ritual

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Brotherhood Rituals Change

In 1956, the National OA Committee, after consultation with medical advisors, determined that it was no longer safe to draw and exchange blood between two people in the “Blood-rite” of the Brotherhood Ceremony.

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.

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.

George Lower

George Lower was inducted into the Order of the Arrow (OA) at Treasure Island during the second summer of Wimachtendienk in 1916. He was one of the two major contributors to the writing of the rituals used by the Grand Lodge from 1921 until 1936. Prior to 1921, Lower was one of the quiet adult forces within the Wimachtendienk. In a newspaper article in August 1921, he is pictured in a sash and black robe and identified as one of two Medicine Men along with Dr. William M. Hinkle.

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