Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"I do so promise and vow."

Each year, participants in the Key Man Conference set aside time to focus on some of the things that make DeMolay different from “just another club.” In 2000, they focused on the obligations taken by each member at his initiation. It is our hope that as you work to commit the obligations to memory, each of you will be impressed once again with the call they make to upright, purposeful living. It is also our hope that you will not only practice the words of the obligations, but their principles as well, as you relate to your chapter members and advisors.

Contrary to what some may think, the obligations are not one of our secrets. If they are, there is something wrong. Whether we ever speak the actual words of the obligations in public settings, their content is very public, and should be “no secret” to those around us by the different way that we, as DeMolays conduct our lives.

As an emblem of those obligations, view the stained-glass window which is among the historical items maintained by DeMolay International in Kansas City. The window was made in the early 1960’s as a memorial to “Dad” Frank S. Land. It depicts a young man kneeling at a DeMolay altar as if taking his obligations. An ALTAR represents a place of worship, and reminds us that all our vows are taken before God, and are, in truth, promises made to Him as much as to others. The young man in the picture is clothed in a WHITE ROBE. A similar robe may once have been worn by a candidate for degrees. It represents purity of action and intent. Both hands are on THE BIBLE, representing a most solemn vow, and representing a DeMolay’s submission to a higher moral code, and not merely to personal or public opinion regarding right and wrong. KNEELING is a traditional symbol of humility, and willingness to serve others. The CROWN OF YOUTH is set upon the altar, emphasizing the opportunity afforded to youth for self-improvement, and reminding us of the seven cardinal virtues set as jewels in that crown. The SCHOOL BOOKS, as always, represent the public schools as the cradle of liberty, and are a symbol of freedom of conscience. The words on the window do not appear anywhere in DeMolay ritual or ceremony, but are, nonetheless, a fitting reminder for each of us, whenever we speak or hear the obligations we took, to reaffirm in our own heart and mind, “I DO SO PROMISE AND VOW.”

Have you lived like a DeMolay this week?

Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony

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