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The Value of Ritual

March 7, 2013

This blog is written by Kyle Rinderle, Xavier, an Educational and Leadership Consultant at the Central Office. In honor of National Ritual Celebration Week, we hope you enjoy this blog and remember that Ritual is more than words in a book.

The Value of Ritual

For the first few years of my membership in Delta Sigma Pi, I think a large failure of mine was not truly understanding the value of Ritual.

Not too long ago I was speaking with another Brother.  He was telling me about a recent trip to an area in which he was unfamiliar.  Since he was gone over the weekend and being a good Christian man he attended church on Sunday morning.  It was a Catholic mass.  Being used to his local Protestant church, he started asking me questions about specific sections of a Catholic mass.  I answered all his questions, but it struck me when he stated the following “You know… I do not enjoy attending mass other than at my local church, because masses are done different everywhere else I go.”  This statement struck me because being a Catholic, mass is the same everywhere I go.  In fact (any Catholic will likely claim the same), a Catholic mass is primarily recitation week after week – almost mundane.  However, there is a benefit to this sameness.  With the exception of the sermon, A Catholic can attend mass in Oxford and have the same experience as someone in Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, and [insert your location here].  This makes us one community and a part of one whole.

This is how I now view our Ritual.  It is the constant that holds us together and makes us one Brotherhood.   A Brother is your Brother because he/she took the same oath, and hears the same meeting Ritual, even though his/her first time experiencing Ritual was possibly thousands of miles from your first experience.

Sure, Ritual has changed along the way, but the change was made by majority vote of the Brotherhood.  We identified these changes as best for the Fraternity, and we have a right to make these decisions because we are Brothers entrusted by Brothers to carry the torch enflamed by the founders.  This week as we celebrate our Ritual, give it the identification it deserves: the constant that solidifies our bond.


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