Ask the Chairman - Can the OA Legend be used as part of a public ceremony?

Q. Ray,
My lodge is looking to develop a public recognition ceremony which will be used at summer camp. In the process of writing the ceremony it was suggested that we use the OA Legend as part of the ceremony. I did not think it was appropriate to use the legend in this way as it is part of the Ordeal Ceremony. There was some conflict of opinion among our group. Could their be a way for national to address this directly?

A. The Legend, like any other part of our ceremonies, should not be presented before an Ordeal candidate reaches that point in the induction process. Principle nine of the 10 induction principles (page 7 of the Order of the Arrow Guide to Inductions) states, in pertinent part:

Principle Nine -- Symbolic Progression
No symbol or symbolic procedure should be mentioned or used unless or until it is called for in the authorized ceremonies.

The induction must be presented to the candidates in an organized sequential pattern. When the prescribed pattern is disrupted, the candidate's experience of the induction is diminished. Lodges must not use any ceremonial challenge, text, or action before it is called for in the official ceremonies. For example, candidates must not be put on silence at a call-out or at an Ordeal until they accept Meteu's challenge.

The legend is certainly "text" that should not be used before it is called for in the Ordeal ceremony. We address the legend specifically in the Guide to Inductions in the context of call-out ceremonies. Reciting the legend is among the examples of violating symbolic progression listed on page 20, where it is stated:

"Premature use of symbolism has several negative consequences including upsetting the orderly pattern of the induction, violating the requirement that our ceremonies be kept a mystery to nonmembers, and confusing the candidates."

Thanks for checking into this.

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