Daughters of Penelope
Initiation Ritual

Warden prepares stations and Altar; places Pianist’s jewel at piano. The Marshal carries her baton.
The President shall seat the members with one rap of the gavel, officers shall take their stations and the Sentinels shall see that the doors of the meeting hail are closed.
PRESIDENT: Sisters, the meeting of ... Chapter No. ... of the Daughters of Penelope will please come to order. *
Sentinels, secure the doors of our chapter room, and allow no interruptions during the opening and closing ceremonies.
Sentinels secure the doors and return to their stations.
PRESIDENT: Marshal, obtain the pass-word from every Sister present.
The Marshal goes first to the President, and on around the room, going last to the Treasurer. Each Sister rises and with cupped hands about her mouth, whispers the password. Those who do not know it are directed to the Secretary. The Marshal returns to the Altar.
The Guards at the direction of the President may assist the Marshal.
MARSHAL: Worthy President, I have obtained the password from every Sister present, except those whom I have directed to the Secretary to ascertain if they are eligible to attend our meeting.
PRESIDENT: Marshal, prepare the jewels of our Order.
The Marshal takes three steps back from the Altar and goes to the Warden’s station, and the Warden who has the jewels in order, places them on the Marshal’s baton. The Marshal proceeds to the front of the Altar, takes three steps back and makes the following announcement.
MARSHAL: Worthy President, the jewels of our Order are at the Altar.
PRESIDENT: Worthy officers, proceed to take your jewels. *  *.
Officers take their jewel from the baton and place it around their neck in unison; return to their stations and remain standing until the President raps the gavel for them to be seated. *.
The Marshal’s jewel is placed around her neck by the Warden after all jewels are taken by the officers, she returns to her station without orders from the President.
PRESIDENT: Daughters of Penelope stand reverently while our Worthy Priestess attends the Altar and aks the blessings of Almighty God upon this Order.
The Priestess takes the Bible, leaves her station and walks three steps toward the rear of the room, turns, walks to the Altar, turns and then takes three steps up to the Altar and slowly places the Bible on the Altar, lights the candles, opens the Bible, then kneels and gives the opening prayer.
PRIESTESS: Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. We humbly beseech Thy blessing upon all our Sisters gathered here in Thy service, and for the propagation of Thy ways among men. Help us to think clearly and wisely in our deliberations, and guide us in all our actions during this meeting. Amen.
The Priestess will remain kneeling and with the assembly will make the sign of the cross.
The Priestess retraces her steps to her station; the President taps the gavel to seat the officers and members. *.
PRESIDENT: Marshal, with the assistance of the Guards, conduct the Colors into the chapter room.
Guards follow Marshal and retire to the anteroom to prepare the Flags.
Colors may be posted before the meeting is called to order.
INSIDE SENTINEL: Worthy President, the Marshal and the Guards with our Colors seek admittance.
PRESIDENT: Admit them. *  *  *.
Members place their right hand over their heart as the Flags pass. The Marshal leads the Flag Guards from the center, and remains at the Altar. The American, or Canadian flag may be placed to the right marching right of the Greek flag. Flag Guards cross at the head of the Altar so that the American, or Canadian flag should be carried on the of the President. After the Flags are posted, the Guards step back three steps, and stand facing the Flags. At this time, members drop their hands.
PRESIDENT: Sisters let us give the Pledge of Allegiance. The hand is placed over the heart, and dropped after the words “justice for all.”
PRESIDENT: We shall sing one stanza of our National Anthem.
PRESIDENT: Sisters, Epi to Ergon. (On with our work.)
Kali Arhi. (A good beginning.)
PRESIDENT: Sisters, give the sign of our Order.
The sign of the loom is given by the assembly.
PRESIDENT: Our general purpose in the Daughters of Penelope is to cultivate the principles which are known as the Hellenic Trinity, namely, Truth, Goodness, and Beauty; and to promote our personal ideals which are Purity, Loyalty, and Patience, the virtues which were embodied in Penelope, the faithful wife of Odysseus and an ideal example of womanhood throughout the world.
Secrecy is a fundamental principle of this Order, no action taken, no comment made, no ritualistic ceremony executed, and no other event pertaining to our secret work shall be revealed to anyone other than to a regular and duly initiated member in good standing of this Order.
I now declare this chapter to be regularly convened. *.
PRESIDENT: Worthy Secretary, we shall now have the roll call of officers. *.
Secretary stands, and calls elective and appointive officers by name and rank. Officers stand when responding.
NOTE: Marshal stands during roll call, and answers for those who are absent.
PRESIDENT: The next order of business is Initiation. *.
Before the meeting, the Warden will prepare the Altar by placing an unlighted candle for each candidate on it, and candles at each officers station.
The President shall appoint one or more members who shall put out the lights and turn them on again at the proper moment:
Sisters, we are about to perform the solemn ceremony of Initiation. In order that the impression may be everlasting upon the minds of the candidates, I charge you to cease all conversation, and to deport yourselves so as not to distract the Neophytes, or interfere with the work of the officers during the ceremony.
I now declare this Chapter to be ready for Initiation. *.
Worthy Secretary, please read the names of all who have been selected by this Chapter for membership, and who have been invited here for Initiation. The Secretary does so.
Marshal, take the list and retire to the anteroom to ascertain if all the candidates whose names have been called are waiting.
The Marshal does so and returns to the Altar to make her report.
MARSHAL: Worthy President, the names of those who are now waiting to be initiated are as follows: Reads the names.
PRESIDENT: Marshal, retire to the ante-room with your assistants and prepare these candidates for Initiation.
Each candidate should have an escort. The Marshal will take with her as many Guards as there are candidates and proceed to the ante-room. If there are more candidates than Guards, the President should assign a sufficient number of members to aid in this task. In the ante-room the Marshal lines up the candidates and blindfolds them carefully with the aid of her assistants.

When the Marshal goes out to prepare the candidates, a Sister may sing or play a religious song, preferably the Lord’s Prayer.
The escorts now stand on the right side of the candidates, holding them lightly by the arm. When all is ready the Marshal knocks.
INSIDE SENTINEL: Who knocks at the Gate?
MARSHAL: The Marshal with … candidates for Initiation into our Order.
INSIDE SENTINEL: Worthy President, the Marshal with candidates seeks admittance.
PRESIDENT: Put out the lights.
Initiation officers stand, light their candles and remain standing throughout the entire ceremony. The appointed person puts out the lights. Then the President orders the Sentinel: Sentinel, admit them.
The Marshal leads the candidates with their escorts once around the hail. The procession moves slowly and clockwise, passing first the station of the Warden, then the station of the President, then the station of the Priestess, and halts only when it reaches the station of the Vice-President.
VICE-PRESIDENT: Marshal, who are these strangers with you, and what is the purpose of your journey?
MARSHAL: Worthy Vice-President, these strangers are candidates for Initiation, and I am leading them to the Altar.
VICE-PRESIDENT: The secret rites of Initiation and the privilege of membership are only for the worthy and the approved. What is the proof of their fitness, and the token of their worth?
MARSHAL: These strangers have wandered from afar, seeking our sanctuary, and when they found it, they were examined and approved by our Sisters of … Chapter. For they believe as we do, and they long to emerge from their darkness into the light and guidance of our Order.
VICE-PRESIDENT: Marshal, your message is a happy one. You may proceed on your journey.
The Marshal leads the candidates to the station of the Warden.
MARSHAL: Worthy Warden, I beg your permission to lead these candidates through the Gate of Self-Criticism.
WARDEN: Your request shall be granted. Candidates, groping in the dark, the Gate you are about to pass has this inscription for your guidance. ‘Wise are they who practice self-criticism before they pass judgment upon others.’ Consider this carefully as you proceed on your journey.
Marshal proceeds to the station of the President.
MARSHAL: Worthy President, I beg your permission to lead these candidates through the Gate of Kindness and Tolerance.
PRESIDENT: Your request shall be granted. And you who are still in darkness, listen carefully to the words of wisdom inscribed upon it: ‘Noble are they who moderate their tongue with kindness and tolerance, and permit no evil word to cross the barrier of their lips.’ You may now proceed on your journey.
Marshal proceeds to the station of the Priestess.
MARSHAL: Worthy Priestess, I beg your permission to lead these candidates through the Gate of Unselfishness.
PRIESTESS: Your request shall be granted. Candidates, the darkness which is about you is already beginning to crumble through the power of wisdom and resolution. Listen then to the ancient truth which is inscribed upon this Gate: ‘Happy are they who have taken selfishness out of their heart, and have put there unselfishness instead. For while selfishness may sometimes win an ephemeral thing, unselfishness always wins the permanent and the eternal.’ You may now proceed on your journey.
Marshal proceeds to the station of the Vice-President.
MARSHAL: Worthy Vice-President, these candidates have passed through the Gates of our sanctuary, and are now ready to receive their charge.
VICE-PRESIDENT: Candidates, you have come a long way on your noble quest, and the light which you seek is not far to see. It is a light that symbolizes our faith, our purposes and our ideals.
Our faith is in the message of Christianity, and in the lofty promise of democracy,
Our general purpose is to cultivate the principles, which are known as the Hellenic Trinity, namely, Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.
And our personal ideals which are Purity, Loyalty, and Patience, the virtues which were embodied in Penelope, the faithful wife of Odysseus, and an ideal example of womanhood throughout the world.
All the above principles and ideals contain and imply many others, and all are related into a unity, shining like a star that has several points, but all the points radiating from the same flame. And we believe that to be guided by this light is to make our lives richer for ourselves, and more useful to others.
Thus to become a Daughter of Penelope is to assume the responsibility of self-improvement, and the duty of service to our fellowmen. I charge you, therefore, to think seriously as you make your way to the Altar to receive the light and to take the oath of our Sisterhood.
Marshal, lead the candidates to the Altar.
This charge may be read and it is not necessary to memorize it. The Marshal leads the candidates to the Altar and lines them up in front of it so that they are facing the Altar and the President’s station at the opposite end of the hall. The Marshal and the escorts stand in line behind the candidates, ready to assist or direct them as may be required. When all are in place the Marshal walks before the Altar, in front of the candidates, makes the following announcement, and returns to her place.
MARSHAL: Worthy President, the candidates have arrived before the Altar.
PRESIDENT: Let the Spirit of Penelope transmit to them our Sacred Light.
The Spirit of Penelope, with her escort of four Attendant Maidens, proceed from the anteroom to the head of the Altar, facing the candidates. The Spirit carries a lighted lamp, preferably an ancient type “lychnia,” and her Attendant Maidens carry lighted candles. Two of the Maidens precede, and two follow the Spirit, and at the Altar they stand in line to the right and left of the Spirit, but one step back of her. Then the Spirit commands:
SPIRIT OF PENELOPE: Remove the blindfolds, and prepare the candidates.
Each escort removes the blindfold of her charge, while the Marshal takes the unlighted candles from the Altar and gives one to each candidate. Then the Marshal announces: Spirit of Penelope, the candidates are ready.
SPIRIT OF PENELOPE: Neophytes, through darkness and uncertainty you have at last emerged into the light of this Altar. You have received your charge, and, therefore, you are fully aware of its meaning, and of the task before you. The sacred light of my lamp is the symbol of all the principles and ideals of the Daughters of Penelope. It also symbolizes the religious fervor with which every Daughter accepts and cultivates these ideals. Advance now and receive it.
First the two Neophytes at both ends of the line advance from the right and left of the Altar respectively, light their candles, and return to their places. Then the next two, and so forth. If there is an odd number of candidates, then the last one advances by herself. The escorts quietly direct each Neophyte in her turn. After this ceremony the Spirit continues: You have received the sacred light, and you are pledged to live by it as Daughters of Penelope. But remember that the flame which you hold in your hand is the physical symbol of a spiritual light.. The physical flame is outside of you and will be extinguished. But the spiritual light must enter your soul, and you must keep it alive there. Let it guide your steps on the paths of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, for these are vital forces that can enlarge the world and set the spirit of man free; and let its spiritual warmth give you strength to follow steadfastly the ideals of Purity, Loyalty, and Patience, for these virtues are the fountainhead of love and happiness.
Cherish these ideals in your heart, and transmit them to your children and to those about you, so that the world through you, may come to possess more Love, Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.
I welcome you, Neophytes, and I commend you to your Sisters.
Let the full light of our Sanctuary shine upon the new Daughters.
All lights are turned on at the above command.
The Spirit and her Attendant Maidens return to the ante-room where they deposit their lamp and candles, and return quietly to their places in the room. The escorts take their places in the room. At the same time the Marshal collects and extinguishes the candles from the Neophytes and puts them away.
PRESIDENT: The Neophytes are ready to take the oath and obligation of our Order. Worthy officers proceed with me to the Altar. *  *  *.
The President stands in front of her station until the Vice-President reaches her. They walk together to the Altar followed by the Warden and Priestess. They stand at the head of the Altar in a straight line facing the Neophytes. The Warden is to the right of the Vice-President and the Priestess is to the left of the President.
The President raises the cross in proclaiming the introductory lines to the oath. The oath itself should be read in small portions, as indicated by the stars.
PRESIDENT: In the name of the Holy Cross and the Daughters of Penelope, I administer to you the sacred oath of our Sisterhood. Raise your right hand, and repeat, after me:
The Oath

I, …,  in the presence of almighty god and these witnesses  of my own free will and without mental reservation do solemnly affirm that:
I will be actively and steadfastly loyal to the order of the Daughters of Penelope.
I will obey and respect all the laws, rules or mandates and the traditions of this sisterhood and its grand lodge and subordinate officers.
I will neither in writing or by word of mouth or in any other manner divulge to any outsider its secret work.
I owe fealty to the mother lodge and allegiance to the order of AHEPA of which the Daughters of Penelope is an auxiliary order.
I will be helpful and true to all my sisters of this order and will respect and protect their good name and that of their families.
I will always try to live in accordance with the principles and ideals to which our sisterhood is dedicated and to be worthy of my title as a Daughter of Penelope.
So help me God.
PRESIDENT: The oath will now be explained (or administered) in Greek.
The officers return to their stations. President raps once to seat assembly. *.
PRESIDENT: Marshal, conduct the Neophytes to my station.
Marshal leads Neophytes before the President.
PRESIDENT: Neophytes, you have successfully completed your initiation into our Order, and at this time, I would like to relate briefly to you the Story of Penelope:
“Penelope, in ancient Greek legend, was the wife of Odysseus, King of Ithaca. Odysseus left her with their son Telemachus when he went to the Trojan War. When the war ended, many mishaps and weary wanderings kept him from returning home. As time went on and he did not return, many suitors claimed her hand. For a long while she put them off on the plea that she must finish a robe for Laertes, her father-in-law; but every night she unravelled what she had woven by day, thus remaining faithful to his memory and steadfast to the sanctity of her home. Finally, Odysseus appeared after an absence of twenty years ... and thus, the name of our Order, DAUGHTERS OF PENELOPE, in which the word DAUGHTERS symbolizes all the noble virtues which made up the character of Penelope.
PRESIDENT: Neophytes, I shall now proceed to give you our secret password and signs. But before I do so, I shall read you the Article pertaining to secrecy, as required by our Constitution.
“ARTICLE XXVIII, Section 1. Secrecy is a fundamental principle of this Order. No action taken, no comment made, no ritualistic ceremony executed, and no other event pertaining to our secret work, shall be revealed to anyone other than to a regular and duly initiated member in good standing of this Order.”
PRESIDENT: I will now instruct you as to the passwords and signs of our order. The Order of Daughters of Penelope has two secret passwords known as a permanent and current password. The Permanent password is: … President whispers in candidate’s ear. This identifies you as having been initiated into the Daughters of Penelope. The current password changes every year and identifies a member as being in good standing and will be given to you by the Secretary at the time your dues are paid. The passwords are always whispered from mouth to ear with cupped hands.
The Sign of our Order is the sign of the Loom and is made thus. You will repeat the motion with me. The Loom symbolizes the virtues of Penelope who used it as a means to remain steadfast to the sanctity of her home. The Sign of the Cross is made at the opening and closing of the meeting.
Neophytes, by authority vested in me by our Constitution, I proclaim you Daughters of Penelope, and entitle you to all the rights and privileges of membership in our Order. I congratulate you and welcome you into our ranks.
Marshal, conduct our new Sisters to their places.
The President resumes the regular business of the meeting.
PRESIDENT: Sisters, the regular order of business before us tonight has been completed. Worthy Priestess, please offer our closing prayer. * * *.
PRIESTESS proceeds to Altar as in opening and kneels: God, our Father and Lord of the Universe, we thank Thee for whatever has been accomplished tonight, and as we are preparing to depart we beseech Thee to continue to guide us outside this lodge that we may always be a credit to the Daughters of Penelope and to the Order of Ahepa of which we are an auxiliary. Help us to remain true to our obligations, faithful to our ideals, and steadfast in our purpose. And we also beseech Thee to bless all the officers and members of this Christian association, and keep them in health and in peace for greater accomplishments in Thy Name, Amen.
Priestess will remain kneeling, make the sign of the cross, followed by the members. She then stands, closes Bible, extinguishes candles, and returns to her station.
PRESIDENT: Sisters, give the sign of our Order.
ASSEMBLY: En Touto Nika. (In this sign conquer.)
The sign of the loom is made at this time.
PRESIDENT: We will now sing the Greek National Anthemn.
PRESIDENT: Marshal, with the assistance of the Guards, retire the Colors.
Guards go to the posted Flags, take them, and proceed to the ante-room, followed by the Marshal. Then return to their stations.
Officers, return your jewels.
PRESIDENT: Sisters, I now declare this lodge to be regularly closed. We shall meet again when you are notified by the Secretary. *.
After the meeting, the Warden collects chapter paraphernalia, and puts it away.
A program and social may follow.