honor

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Vigil Honor Ceremony Changes

E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson wrote the first Vigil Honor ceremony (then known as the Third Degree) for the Grand Lodge. The ceremony served the Order well for twenty years from 1921 to 1940. However, with the changes necessary for the Order to become an official BSA program the National Executive Committee determined at their 1937 meeting in Pittsburgh that the ceremony needed to be revised.

Second Degree Questionnaire Required

In 1927, the 31 questions were recommended and accepted. The need for these questions, to assure knowledge of Second Degree members was first brought to the Grand Lodge's attention in 1923. However, the formal requirement for knowing the content of the 31 questions did not become a requirement for the Second Degree until 1936.

In 1936, the Brotherhood (Second) Honor was printed in a booklet format. The cover was in green ink. A section entitled “Question List for Examination of Members on the First Honor” was placed in the front of the book. These 31 questions were asked of the Brotherhood candidates before they could be inducted into the Brotherhood (Second) Honor (Degree).

Ceremonial Rituals are Changed

In 1933, the Grand Lodge was making the preparations necessary to become an official BSA program. In August of that year, a document entitled: A Statement of Principles Applying in the Case of National Approval of the Order of the Arrow, was produced to give guidance to the transition needed within the Order of the Arrow (OA).

One of the sections made reference to the Rituals of the Order of the Arrow and stated the following:

A competent committee will review the Ritual in its entirety with a view to assuring that it is free from:

1. Any words or phrases, which may cause offense to religious bodies
2. Any performance or expressions, which may be interpreted as acts of religious worship
3. Any employment of the element of secrecy as in obligation, which may prove inconsistent with the policies of Scouting.

Between 1933 and early 1935 the OA’s rituals underwent strong examination and rewrites to ascertain that the rituals were in compliance with the guidelines set forth in 1933 necessary for National Council BSA approval.

Changes in Terminology

As part of the agreement made by the OA National Executive Committee with the BSA to become an official part of the Boy Scout program the OA agreed to change certain terminology effective January 1, 1935 (although not disseminated to local lodges until April 23, 1935).

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