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Initiation and Living Your Ritual

Sunday, November 01, 2009

At the completion of your new member period, it is time for initiation. Every National Panhellenic Conference organization has its own ritual, which ties members of that organization together across time and geography. So, what is ritual, why do sororities have rituals and what does it really all mean?

What is the initiation ritual?
Initiation is the ceremony that marks a change of status for a sorority member - from new member to initiated member. It is a celebration by every sorority about the accomplishment one has achieved in reaching full membership status. It is extremely important that each woman who enters into one of these rituals is prepared for her new responsibilities. The ritual is the foundation of every sorority. The initiation ritual is not hazing. It is a serious and very meaningful ceremony for every sorority member.
Why do sororities have rituals?
A ritual ceremony is a reminder of a sorority's purpose and goals. It is a sharing of common values. A ritual reminds each member of her responsibilities and inspires her to fulfill them. It is a special occasion with sorority sisters you have shared experiences with, laughed with, cried with and overcome obstacles with. Rituals connect the past with the present and the future.
What does "living your ritual" mean?
When we become a member of a sorority, we accept the common shared values of that organization. What we do and who we are reflect not only on ourselves but also on all members in our organization. We must always be mindful of our actions and the effect they may have on all of our sisters. If we do something to harm our sorority, we are harming all of its members, including our closest friends. Enjoy your membership in a sorority. It is a special gift and one that truly lasts a lifetime.

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