March is an exciting month for Ritual. The month starts off with National Ritual Celebration Week (NRCW) from March 6-12th. NRCW was created by Phi Mu in 2011 to encourage reflection on Ritual for their collegian and alumnae members. Since its conception, other national fraternities and sororities have collaborated with Phi Mu on NRCW to inspire Ritual discernment, share Ritual programming and nationally unite Greek men and women in celebration of their organization’s unique values. For the first time, Theta Phi Alpha is excited to participate in NRCW. Please refer to our website to learn about ways you can celebrate Ritual with your chapter or alumnae association
Spring is also an eventful time for initiations and with Founders' Day around the corner, we will now reflect on an aspect of Theta Phi Alpha’s rich history to address both Initiation and our Founders. A big question this year has been what to wear (or not wear) to Initiation. Nationally, we encourage women in all phases of membership to follow the instructions outlined in the Ritual book. Ritual is conducted with the utmost respect and dignity. Items that can detract from the solemnity of the ceremony should be removed. Historically our would wake New Members in the middle of the night and take them to Initiation as they were. That’s right; no makeup, no jewelry, and likely no stylish hair. As we no longer support or allow the idea of waking new members in the middle of the night for Initiation, we do still encourage members of all phases to attend Initiation in their natural appearance.
Finally, this busy Ritual season concludes with graduation. This could involve sisters going from the collegiate to alumna stage or an alumna furthering her education. As I myself am about to graduate, I have thought long and hard about this phase. I’m torn as to where I want to work or what I want to do after graduation. At times, I find myself distracted by opportunities for reasons that should not matter such as a higher, unnecessary salary. As the daily struggle to figure out ‘what I want be when I grow up’ is real, I read the creed. The line “Honor valued over wealth” immediately pointed my needle to the North. I realized that about half of the jobs I considered applying for were not what I really wanted to do, but the salaries were quite enticing. As many sisters are unsure of the path ahead, I encourage you ladies to use the creed as a guide in every stage of life.
Theta Phi Alpha’s Ritual is a beautiful legacy rooted from the lessons learned by our founders. During this busy Ritual season, I encourage you to celebrate our values by participating in NRCW and to discern what our Ritual means to you. You can do this by reading the Ritual Book, reflecting on the Creed, or participating in one of the activities listed on the website. As we enter this spring season, now is the time to refresh the lifelong commitment we made to our Ritual and allow it to guide us through new beginnings.
Tracy Sexton, GN, National Ritual Chairman