by Kay Elam, Sigma Delta (Huntingdon College) Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee
It’s been a decade since our Ritual publications were produced. While many of our alumnae members remember the excitement over the new, more user-friendly materials of 2007, our collegians were not yet members. Therefore, the Rituals, Traditions, and Jewelry Committee (RT&J) thought a review of these Ritual resources would be beneficial.
We have three publications, which are intended to be used together for impressive presentation of our proceedings and to facilitate understanding of the philosophy and traditions of Alpha Omicron Pi.
First, is the fifth edition of the Rituals Book. It is the same size as the first Ritual Book (9 ½” x 6”), which is located in our Archives at International Headquarters. The front of the red cover features the word “RITUALS” and AOII as a monogram. This is one of the few places you will see our letters superimposed like they are on our badge.
All of the Alpha Omicron Pi Rituals, Ceremonies and Services are found in the Rituals Book. Our Ritual has beautifully withstood the test of time. It has not changed substantively in 120 years, yet it continues to be applicable and relevant to our members’ lives. Over the years, RT&J has respectfully written additional Rituals, Ceremonies and Services to meet the needs of the Fraternity.
For the fifth edition of the Rituals Book, comprehensive efforts were made to provide more instructions for presiding officers and participants to delineate Rituals, Ceremonies and Services and to clarify which may be attended by guests who are not initiated members of Alpha Omicron Pi.
The second publication is the Book of Rituals Instructions or the BRI. A large red, loose leaf binder, the BRI is the “go-to” book when you have a question about Ritual. It includes Ritual terms and step-by-step instructions for every Ritual, Ceremony and Service (with photos and drawings). Sections on symbolism, traditions and resources, include the words and music for AOII Grace and other songs important to AOIIs.
Third, a Ritual Education Manual (REM) was developed to assist with Ritual education. It is a black binder with red print. It is filled with workshops for all types of situations, making it easy to incorporate Ritual education into collegiate and alumnae chapters.
The Rituals Book, BRI and REM should remain in the custody of designated officers, but be made available to every member of our Fraternity. By exploring these works, members will more fully appreciate what our Ritual means to them and realize the very profound benefits our philosophy can have for them personally throughout their lives.
When online, don’t forget to check our online Ritual Resources behind the Ritual Tab of the ORL on Fulfilling the Promise. Among the treasures you’ll find are the popular “Ritual Moments” (new ones every month!) and a Keeper of the Ritual Quick List that is great for officer transition. Check the Ritual Tab often as RT&J plans to update it with new information throughout the year.
Each collegiate chapter should have three sets of the Ritual publications. Copies may be ordered through the Supply Order Form in the Resources tab of the ORL.
Don’t forget, in addition to these resources, you may rely on older sisters, advisers, network personnel and RT&J members. Our e-mail address is RT&J@alphaomicronpi.org.
Pictured above: 2017 Convention attendees ready for Closing Ritual.