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Ask the Chairman - Ordeal and Brotherhood Inductions

January 24, 2018     Ask the Chairman

Q: Hello Mike,

In our lodge, our Ordeals have only been lasting from Friday night to Saturday night for a long time. We realized it would be better if we extend our Ordeals to Sunday morning and have our new member orientation then, instead of trying to have it on Saturday night when the candidates are tired and we are rushed by the schedule. Are Ordeals supposed to last from Friday to Sunday, or is it up to the lodge?

Also, our lodge has been shortening the Brotherhood hike to one hour instead of two hours, even though the syllabus says it should last two hours. I feel that this is cutting the experience too short, and many times we have gone over one hour. Does the Brotherhood hike need to last two hours, or is it up to the lodge to determine what the schedule is? Thank you.



A: Elliott,

Thank you for your questions. I asked several of our Inductions and Ceremonial Events experts to give me their thoughts before I responded.  

The Ordeal ends with the Ordeal ceremony that is held Saturday night. So the tests (the Ordeal) should not be extended past that to Sunday. However, if you are asking whether the new member orientation should be held Sunday instead of Saturday, that is no problem, and is up to the lodge to decide.

I’m happy that your lodge regards the hike as integral to the Brotherhood experience.  Many lodges have not come around to incorporating it.  If you feel that one hour is cutting the hike short, then you clearly are fulfilling the purpose for which it was designed: to provide Brotherhood candidates with a useful time of reflection and sharing. Better that you allow the hike to be as long as it takes, rather than cutting it short arbitrarily.  As long as you are providing the full experience, I’d say duration is up to the lodge.

I hope this helps! Thanks for doing what you do!