All National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) sororities conduct ritual ceremonies. As you progress from new member to initiated member, you will participate in the ritual ceremonies of your sorority. These ceremonies are reminders of a sorority's purpose and goals. Many ritual ceremonies conducted today are the same ceremonies conducted by founding members of sororities over 100 years ago.
Each NPC group practices its own ritual; however, the themes of friendship, citizenship, leadership and scholarship are common to all. Practicing ritual allows members to share in a common experience and to celebrate and affirm common values. Rituals connect the past with the present and the future.
Most sororities conduct rituals during recruitment, typically during the preference round, and to:
- Bring new members into the chapter.
- Initiate new members into the sorority.
- Install officers.
- Recognize alumnae.
- Honor events such as founding dates for the chapter or inter/national sorority.
- Celebrate member engagements and weddings.
Ritual is a common thread among all members of a sorority, from new members to alumnae, regardless of where they went to college, which chapter they joined or where they moved after college.
Ritual is one way that collegiate members can celebrate their ties to alumnae of the sorority. Alumnae often attend and participate in ritual events with collegians. Specifically at initiation events, this illustrates to incoming members that taking the step to become an initiated member of a sorority is a lifelong commitment. Additionally, these special events usually allow time for networking and socializing with alumnae, which provides members with connections during their college years and beyond.
Another important aspect about ritual is that it reveals and reaffirms in members the values of the organization. Sorority members strive every day to live the values of their organization, and ritual ceremonies are a great reminder of why the sorority was founded.
By becoming a member of a sorority, a woman accepts the common shared values of that organization and agrees to live the common values expressed in the ritual. As a member of a sorority, actions reflect not only on yourself but also on all members of the chapter and the inter/national organization. Membership is a special gift that millions of women are thankful for.