The Ritual has special meaning to each and every Alpha Gam. It is the most sacred part of Alpha Gamma Delta membership. Regardless of the institution you attend, the size of your chapter, or the traditions you practice, whether you are new members or old, collegians or alumnae, Canadian or American, the Ritual is something every Alpha Gam shares in common.
But what about your ritual?
No, that lower case "r" is not a typo! While your Ritual (with a capital "R") is the sacred ceremony performed once a week at your chapter meetings and at other special ceremonies throughout the year, your personal ritual is something you practice every day, sometimes without even realizing it.
Big "R" Ritual = the sacred words found in Fraternity writings and ceremonies
little "r" ritual = exemplifying the ideals found in our Ritual (or, living with purpose) through our daily lives
The women of the Beta Alpha-Nebraska Wesleyan University spent some time this past semester reflecting on the practice of their ritual: the daily activities and choices made by each individual member. We were so impressed by the thoughtful words and great photos used to describe what our Ritual and their personal ritual mean to them, we wanted to share it with all of you!
Take some time to read how some of your fellow sisters practice our Ritual each and every day. We bet you'll find that you ALSO practice your personal ritual each day, without even being aware of it!
"Our ritual, contrary to popular belief among some, does not happen once a semester. That is the application of Ritual with a big 'R,' meaning ceremonies in which we learn the values of our organizations which are typically held twice a year. For our chapter however, the word ritual goes farther in its application in ritual with a little 'r.' Little 'r' ritual means the actions and daily practices of the individuals of our organization which match with the values of Alpha Gamma Delta. Our ritual is not just what we do though, it is who we are, thus if you are to come into contact with an Alpha Gam you will know our ritual. While we guard diligently our Ritual, our ritual is no secret."
"In this way each member makes the choice of supporting the ritual through our daily activities. As can be seen in the line 'This shall be my purpose that those who know me may esteem Alpha Gamma Delta for her attainments, revere her for her purposes, and love her for her womanhood' each Alpha Gamma Delta strives to be such a conductor of ritual so that they are uniquely recognized as members."
"Although they did not know the impact this ritual would have their future sisters, they did know that the precepts they purposed were ideals every exemplary woman should strive to obtain. These ideals have proven relevant and have held strong over the last hundred years and will continue to do so as long as there are exemplary women who desire to wear the letters of Alpha Gamma Delta."
"Ritual is the foundation of Alpha Gamma Delta; a foundation that is formed from both concrete aspects, such as our ceremonies and daily actions, and the abstract ideas that support them, such as our Purpose and motto."
"ritual means that my sisters accept me for who I am at all levels, and allow me to believe that I can be more."
"Without Ritual we would be no more than a group of college women living together in a big white house, but because we embrace our Ritual we are sisters, leaders, and visionaries. We are Alpha Gams!"
Take some time to think about the Ritual and your own ritual. What does the Ritual mean to you? How do you and your chapter practice your ritual every day?
Let us know your thoughts and what you think about what these sisters came up with in the Facebook Comment Box to your right!