Chi Phi
Initiation Ritual


Preparatory Ceremony
The candidate shall be hoodwinked and conducted to the outer door of the Lodge where the following ( Princeton ) signals shall be given:
Conductor (without): .
Zeta (within): .
Conductor (without): .
Zeta (within) :  Who goes there?
Conductor: One who walks in darkness and seeks the light.
Zeta: How shall he find the light?
Conductor: By entering the place of light.
Zeta:  How may he enter the place of light?
Conductor: By means of a secret password.
Zeta: Advance and communicate the password.
Conductor whispers .
Zeta, opening the door: I admit him to the Chamber of Preparation in the name of Brotherhood.
The Chamber of Preparation shall be painted or draped with black; its only furniture shall be a chair and a table, both in black. Upon the table shall be the book of The Three Declarations, a three-minute glass, a pen and ink. The rooms shall be lighted by a single taper standing on the table. The Zeta having seated the candidate and removed the hoodwink shall say:
Zeta: ..., the obligations of membership in the Chi Phi Fraternity are sacred and enduring. Do
you in good faith desire to assume these responsibilities?
Candidate: I do.
Zeta: Sign each of the declarations with your name in full. When the sands shall have run through this glass Zeta inverts the glass, I will return. Zeta retires.
When the sands shall have run through the glass the Zeta shall return.
The Zeta shall remove the Book of Declarations and shall substitute the Chapter Register in which the candidate shall, under the direction of the Zeta, make the requisite entries.
The Candidate after being hoodwinked shall be robed in white, and seated as before.
Zeta: Await my return.
The Zeta shall retire bearing with him the Book of Declarations and the Chapter Register.
In the Lodge of the Chapter: the Zeta, having been duly admitted, shall address the Alpha.
Zeta: May it please the Alpha, , born at on the .. day of reads the entire record of the candidate has made the Declarations exhibiting Declarations of Union , Honor and Secrecy. He waits in the Chamber of Preparation, desiring to receive the Light.
Alpha: Let the candidate be summoned.
The Zeta shall return to the Chamber of Preparation and say to the candidate:
Zeta: Follow me taking the lighted taper from the table.
The Zeta with the candidate shall proceed to a door where the following (Southern) signals shall be given:
Zeta: .
Epsilon: .
Zeta: .
Epsilon, .: Who waits at the door of this Lodge?
Zeta: A candidate for initiation into the Holy Order of Chi Phi.
Epsilon: Whence does he come?
Zeta:  From the outer night.
Epsilon: Whither would he go?
Zeta: To the inner light.
Epsilon: How shall he gain admittance?
Zeta: By means of an honorable watchword.
Epsilon: Advance and give the watchword.
Zeta whispers: .
Epsilon: I open the door for his entrance in the name of the Holy Symbols
Sound of a door being unfastened.
The Zeta and candidate shall pass through a door and proceed to the inner door of the Lodge.
Zeta: , the gates of Secrecy and of Honor have been opened to you, and you now stand at the portal of Union . Through this door you must pass alone. Go forward; fear not. In the spirit of the vows you have taken, you will be received.
Here the Zeta-shall instruct the Candidate, charging him, when the signals have been given and answered, to open the door and enter. The Zeta shall then remove the hoodwink, place the lighted taper in the hand of the candidate and say:
Zeta: Farewell. Zeta retires.
The Hobart Signals
Candidate, (without): .
Epsilon, (within): .
Candidate, (without): .
The Candidate opens the door and enters. The Lodge shall be in semi-darkness. A coffin with a human skull or skeleton shall stand upon trestles in the center of the Lodge, the foot of the coffin toward the door by which the candidate enters. Members holding lighted tapers or burning torches shall form two lines, extending from the door to the head of the coffin where the Beta shall stand. The Candidate shall be caused to advance to the foot of the coffin and the Beta shall say:
Beta: Behold, and ponder well the end of man!
Here the lights held by the members shall be extinguished in succession, the Beta's last, and the Beta shall resume: All that is born must die; such is the law,
The stern immutable decree of fate.
A coffin, coarse and loathsome at the best,
Awaits to claim thine unresisting clay.
The flickering taper, failing in the dark,
Here the flame in the candidate's hand shall be extinguished.
Is emblematic of the life of him
Who shuns the kindly light of friendship's torch
And treads in gloom his solitary way.
But he who, choosing wisely, enters here
Shall pass with fleet step through the shadowy vale
To find beyond the figured gates of death
The light he seeks within our Brotherhood.
Burial and Resurrection
The candidate, again hoodwinked, his wrists bound together with a cord, his hands palm to palm, shall be placed in the coffin from which the relics shall have been removed and the lid fixed thereon in silence. A funeral procession shall then be formed and the coffin borne in the direction of the sun three times about the Lodge while the Beta shall recite or chant:
Beta: Man that is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.
He cometh forth as a flower and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow and continueth not.
He fadeth away suddenly like the grass; in the morning it is green and groweth up, but in the evening it is cut down, dried up and withered, for man walketh in a vain shadow.
This, my brothers, is the ancient teaching. Behold now the more excellent law. The gates of death are the portals of life. Death, though a sleep and a forgetting, is a birth and an awakening. The acorn dies and the oak is born; from the chrysalis rises the butterfly. So it is with man.
As at the resurrection of the dead, men rise to a better and more glorious life, so may the tenant of this rude coffin leave behind him as in the grave all that might in any wise impair the eternal friendship that shall be his in our Holy and Glorious Brotherhood.
All: Amen! Amen! and Amen!
The coffin shall then be lowered as it were into a grave, when shall be sung:
Chorus or Quartette: All hail, Chi Phi! Thy cause shall be victorious,
Scarlet and Blue thy banner e'er shall be;
Thy sons uphold it, waving ever glorious,
Steadfast and true to their Fraternity!
Solo: Tell me why this joyful sound ascendeth
O'er the midnight breezes to the sky.
Answering Solo: 'Tis because this band of brothers lendeth
To a stranger's name, the name Chi Phi.
Solo or Quartette: Well we know he never will disgrace it;
Spotless is its ancient history;
Well we know that naught can e'er erase it
From the brightest page of memory!
As the dead awake to joys supernal;
From the lonely grave where now he lies,
To a life of light and love fraternal
Shall a brother, among brothers, rise.
Solo: Let us, then, rejoice one with another,
And renew our oft-repeated vow;
Answering Solo: We will love our newly-welcomed brother,
Youthful manhood's stamp is on his brow.
Here the Alpha shall say:
Alpha: Brothers, rejoice, and let us all be glad,
For it is meet and right that we rejoice
Whene'er a link is added to the chain
That binds us in this Holy Brotherhood.
Then all shall unite in singing:
All: All hail, Chi Phi I Thy cause shall be victorious,
Scarlet and Blue thy banner e'er shall be;
Thy sons uphold it, waving ever glorious,
Steadfast and true to their Fraternity!
The words of the Alpha beginning "Brothers, rejoice," shall be the signal for raising the coffin as it were from a grave and while the concluding verse of "Carmen Initii" is being sung the candidate shall be taken from the coffin and caused to advance before the altar in the center of the Lodge. The coffin shall be removed. The candidate shall be caused to kneel upon one knee before the Altar, toward the Hobart side of the Lodge signifying union. His hands shall be caused to rest upon the Altar, and between his palms shall be placed the Monogram of the Fraternity.
The members of the Chapter shall gather in a circle around the Alpha and the candidate, with hands joined (when practicable, left over right). The Alpha shall stand behind the Altar facing the candidate, and shall say:
Alpha: Know thou, who as our friend dost kneel within
A living circle of our Brotherhood,
But one thing more is needful to perfect
Thy title as a Brother in Chi Phi.
The words we now shall cause thee to repeat,
Line upon line, embrace the solemn vow
That shall, henceforth, bind thee unto us
With ties that never shall be rent in twain;
Which vow will join thee to a Band of Friends
From whom in hours of sickness as of health,
In time of evil fortune as of good,
Thou shalt not he divided. Then repeat:
Vow of the Novitiate
I, Full Name - in the presence of these members - of the Chi Phi Fraternity do hereby solemnly and sincerely - promise and vow - that I will always hail - ever conceal and never reveal - any part of the secrets and mysteries - of the Chi Phi Fraternity - which I have received - am about to receive - or may hereafter be instructed in - to any person - save to a true and lawful - member of Chi Phi - or within the body - of a lawfully - and justly constituted lodge - of the Chi Phi Fraternity.
I do solemnly and sincerely promise and vow - that I will never - without its consent, legally given - leave, withdraw or disconnect myself - from the Chi Phi Fraternity - at any time under any circumstances - or for any purpose whatever - and that I will not - without such consent connect myself with any other college secret fraternity.
I do furthermore solemnly and sincerely promise and vow - that I will submit myself - to the discipline of the Chi Phi Fraternity - that I will obey - maintain and support - its constitution and laws - living up to their spirit and genius that I will ever hold as a Brother - every member of Chi Phi - and that I will endeavor - so to regulate my speech and conduct - that they shall not impair - the dignity and sacredness - of this Fraternity.
All this I do solemnly and sincerely promise and vow - upon my sacred honor - without any equivocation- mental reservation - or secret evasion of mind whatever.
Vow of the Chapter
Alpha: Brothers of the Chi Phi Fraternity: do you, who have heard this vow, promise on your part, ever to hold as a brother, ..., to promote his welfare, to defend his honor, to warn him of danger, to counsel and protect him?
Here all except the Alpha shall kneel upon one knee.
All: We do so promise.
Then shall be said Psalm 133:
Alpha: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in unity!
Chapter:  It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;
Alpha: As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the Mountains of Zion.
Chapter: For there the Lord commanded the blessing, even Life for evermore.
All: Amen! Amen! and Amen!
The bonds and hoodwink shall then be removed.
Alpha: From darkness dost thou enter into light.
With outward bonds thou art no longer bound;
For Honor's sacred pledge links thee with us
In Secret Union stronger far than chains;
In sign whereof, I fix upon thy breast
The golden token of our Brotherhood.
Here the Alpha shall place the badge of the Fraternity upon the left breast of the Novitiate.
And by the authority in me reposed,
Proclaim thee now a brother in Chi Phi.
Our true and well-beloved brother, rise.
The Alpha shall take the Novitiate by the right hand and raise him to his feet: The Lodge shall be brilliantly illuminated and all, removing their masks with their right hands, shall rise and, raising their left hands above their heads, shall say:
All: Hail, Brother! Hail, our Chi Phi Brother! Hail!
The Alpha shall then instruct the Novitiate as follows:
Lecture to Novitiates
Alpha: Brother, you have been invested with the badge, which is the outward and visible token of your allegiance to Chi Phi. The inner and secret signs of membership are the grip and passwords. Give me your right hand and I will instruct you in the grip of our Fraternity.
The Alpha shall give and explain the grip to the novitiate, including its physiological significance, and continue:
Always cover the grip with your left hand and, that you may further conceal it when giving it in the presence of strangers, raise your hands to the level of your heart and lean forward until your head extends as nearly as may be over the left shoulder of the brother with whom you are exchanging the grip.
Guard the unwritten law, soon to be imparted to you, with jealous care, lest it become known to persons not entitled to such knowledge. Maintain a reticence concerning the affairs of our
Fraternity should persons other than members attempt to discuss or examine them.
Never permit a person not a member of Chi Phi to possess our badge. Wear it at all times over your heart as your dearest possession. Never disgrace it; but ever maintain it as it now is, a token of honor in the eyes of the whole world.
At the conclusion of the lecture, the members of the Chapter in succession shall give to the initiate the grip of the Fraternity, addressing him as "Brother."
When two or more persons are initiated at the same meeting, that which follows may be postponed until the initiation of the last has proceeded to this point, the Alpha concluding the ceremony with the words:
The traditions of our Fraternity as exemplified in our history and unwritten law shall be more fully explained at our next meeting, Until that time preserve silence without this lodge in all that has transpired herein.
Introduction to Lecture
The following shall be used as an introduction to the Lecture when the latter is delivered to initiates, immediately after the initiation ceremony, or at the meeting next thereafter.
It must also be used as an introduction to the Lecture at least once in regular Chapter meeting during each college term.
BROTHER: The Chi Phi Fraternity has a triple origin and our initiation rites embody much of the history and symbolism of the Three Orders from which it sprang.
A secret fraternity of religious character existed at the College of New Jersey , at Princeton , as early as 1824 and the initials of the words chosen as its motto were the Greek letters Χ and Φ. The date of the formation of this society was December 24, 1824. In the year 1854 a copy of its constitution bearing the date 1824 was found at Princeton by John Maclean, Junior, among the papers of his uncle, then president of the college, and a Fraternity, based upon the records of the older organization was instituted and was named Chi Phi. Anti-fraternity laws drove all secret societies from the College of New Jersey , but a Chapter of Chi Phi had been established at Franklin and Marshall College which has since maintained a continuous existence.
The principle of Secrecy embodied in our Fraternity dates, therefore, from the earliest known beginnings of Chi Phi and will be forever associated with the Princeton Order. This principle is symbolized by the stars which are eternal emblems of mystery and which were also represented upon the badge of the Southern Order.
During the initiation ceremonies of Princeton Chi Phi, a cup of wine stood, as a symbol of life, upon the desk of the presiding officer, and the same symbolism was repeated in the monogram badge of that Order which bore a representation of a vine with grapes in natural colors.
The character of the Princeton Order renders it appropriate that the Beta, whose office embodies recognition of the religious principle in our Fraternity, should stand, during our initiations, at the right of the Alpha on the Princeton side of the Lodge and that he should be the custodian of the wine, the significance of which we still recognize. The motto of the Princeton Order was . The password spoken when a candidate is about to be admitted to the Chamber of Preparation is . Before pronouncing this password the signals which are used are and they indicate .
In the year 1858 a secret college "club" called Chi Phi was founded at the University of North Carolina . It required of its initiates instead of the oath usually exacted by secret societies, a simple promise on honor, and its members pledged themselves to support and defend the candidate. Honorable and chivalric character was insisted on as a requisite for membership and this essential was typified by crossed swords emblazoned on the Greek letters Χ Φ which composed the badge of membership. The reciprocal pledge, in which the word of honor of a gentleman is accepted as the most sacred of obligations, now distinguishes the Chi Phi Fraternity.
Meetings of the Southern Order were marked by literary exercises and, therefore, to the Zeta who is the literary official of our Chapters, is assigned during our initiations a position at the Alpha's left on the Southern side of the Lodge.
The name of the Southern Order was . The watchword spoken when a candidate is about to enter the Lodgc is . The signals given before the watchword is spoken are and they indicate .
In the year 1860 a college fraternity called The Secret Order of Chi Phi and having, like its predecessors, a monogram badge of membership, was founded at Hobart College by twelve undergraduates. During the initiation ceremonies of the Hobart Order the members carried rods in their hands, while the Beta bore an axe. The Hobart Order had inherent elements of a stronger organization than the Princeton and Southern Orders and, mainly through its efforts, the two living Princeton branches were incorporated with the Hobart Order and, later, was effected the union of all the Chapters composing the Northern and Southern Fraternities called Chi Phi. For these reasons, the Hobart Order and the principle of Union with which its members have endowed our Fraternity are today symbolized in every lodge room of Chi Phi by the twelve rods and the Beta's axe bound together in a fasces, The signals given when a candidate is at the gate of Union, before taking the final vow of membership are . They
refer to and it is at the Hobart side of the lodge that the candidate stands when he takes the final pledge that unites him to the Fraternity.
The constitution adopted by the united Fraternity  in 1873 differed little from that under which the Hobart and Princeton Orders were consolidated in 1867. The Hobart organization was retained but the name was changed from The Secret Order of Chi Phi to The Chi Phi Fraternity.
The Lecture
Constitution, Article 1, section 1: This Brotherhood, founded in friendship, is known and shall be known as the Chi Phi Fraternity.
The motto of the Fraternity is . This motto is known only by tradition, shall never be written, and shall be spoken only within the lodge room of a Chapter, or by the Grand Alpha at the Congress.
The Fraternity is composed of chapters established and maintained solely at colleges, universities and institutions of learning whose charters allow them to grant degrees.
The Supreme Power of the Fraternity is vested in the Active Chapters thereof, collectively.
The written names of the Chapters and the institutions at which they are established, are:
Alpha, University of Virginia (&c., as at date). The name of this chapter is and its motto, which is unwritten, is .
The Grand Officers of the Fraternity shall be the , in the written law known as the Grand Alpha; the , in the written law known as the Grand Beta; the , in the written law known as the Grand Gamma; the , in the written law known as the Grand Delta; the , in the written law known as the Grand Epsilon; the , in the written law known as the Grand Zeta; and the , in the written law known as the Grand Eta.
The Officers of a Chapter shall be the , in the written law known as the Alpha; the , in the written law known as the Beta; the , in the written law known as the Gamma; the , in the written law known as the Delta; the , in the written law known as the Epsilon; and the , in the written law known as the Zeta,
The following is the manner of testing membership: Introductory signs . Interrogatories and replies . Until these are satisfactorily received, the grip shall not be given to unknown persons.
The colors of the Fraternity are Scarlet and Blue. The significance of the Scarlet is . The Blue signifies .
This is the poetical interpretation of the grip and colors: .
The symbols are .
The secret alphabet has as its key , and special communications shall be made by means of it.
The password throughout the Fraternity is .