New Brotherhood Ceremony
In mid-2014, the Order of the Arrow released the newest revision to the Ceremony for the Brotherhood for official use effective January 1, 2015. The last revision was over fifty years ago in 1961.
During section conclaves throughout the country in 2013, the new text was introduced. In the largest effort of its kind, the National OA Committee sought feedback from Arrowmen around the nation regarding the proposed changes. Over 3,000 Brothers from 200 lodges in 45 sections viewed and provided feedback leading to over 3,700 responses.
In the old ceremony, brotherhood was focused on the level of membership, not as brotherhood itself. To many, the Brotherhood Obligation seemed unnecessary, the ceremonial tone administrative, the symbolism disconnected, and the principle character’s parts unequal.
The new ceremony addresses several of these shortcomings, while retaining familiar tokens and tests. It features a “legend within the Legend,” four balanced principle character parts, simplified administration of the Brotherhood seals, and a rich meaning for the two bars on the Brotherhood sash. This revision is written fully in verse where Brotherhood builds upon the lessons of the pre-Ordeal and Ordeal ceremonies.
Commended is Jay Dunbar for his leading role in the revision, as well as Tipisa Lodge, for serving as the demonstration lodge.