At the 2012 National Planning Meeting, the National Order of the Arrow Committee approved a new Brotherhood Ceremony. This marks the first time in nearly 40 years that any OA ceremony has undergone a major change. Here are the facts:
Well, pretty much all of it. A few things we can share include (if you are a Brotherhood or Vigil member, you should be able to understand exactly what we are referring to):
· Poetic meter (trochaic tetrameter) of the pre-Ordeal is used which makes the lessons easier to retain for new Brotherhood members and the ceremony easier to memorize for ceremonialists.
· Spoken parts are balanced across the four ceremonialists and easier to memorize due to the “Legend”-like progression and poetic style.
· Traditional Brotherhood tests are slightly modified and provide a historical connection to previous Brotherhood inductions.
· Procedures are simplified and shortened for some of the more confusing parts of the ceremony (particularly the movements).
· Provides symbolic meaning for the two bars on the sash, hailing sign, and watchwords.
· The Brotherhood Obligation is eliminated.
· Updates the Closing Ceremony, with emphasis on the lessons learned from the Brotherhood Ceremony and creates the possibility of removing the Ordeal Ceremony Closing in the future.
· The Brotherhood Hike will remain unchanged.
This new ceremony will have a live demonstration at Conclave 2013 on the evening of September 5th. By attending, you will have an opportunity to review the ceremony, and provide feedback, which will be passed on directly to the National Subcommittee responsible for the new ceremony.
2013 Spring – Fall: If all goes well, the new ceremony will be demonstrated at Conclaves around the country this year, 2013.
2013 December: At the 2013 National Planning Meeting this coming December, another vote will be held by the National Committee, which will make the ceremony official if passed.
2014: Lodges will get to choose which ceremony to use, either the current one or the new one. Scripts will be available then.
2015: The new ceremony will be the only Brotherhood ceremony, and the current one will be discontinued altogether.