This post is a day later than usual (for which I apologize to our regular readers.) We have just come off of a big weekend of Flag Football and I'm furiously working on the Keystone Crusader and the Masonic Youth Minutes. These two publications account for almost 3000 pieces of literature going out to the Masonic Fraternity all over the country. However, this doesn't lessen the importance of this Blog, which is also rising in viewer-ship. But, I digress...
Today's post is something we've been discussing here at the office for the past week. As reports of Obligatory Day observances begin to flow in, it has become obvious that some of our members don't quite understand what kinds of activities are considered good Obligatory Day observances.
Part of the problem is that most DeMolays refer to their DeMolay Leaders Resource Guide for ideas, and it was written 20 years ago, but the rules were changed in 2006 by vote of DeMolay International. There was a good reason for the changes-- now, the requirements specifically fall to the officers of the Chapter to establish a chapter activity as an observance. The old requirements were all over the place-- some applied to the Chapters, some to officers, and some to individual members. Consistency-- even 50 years late-- is still a good thing! Why is this important to know? Well, if you are applying for the PMC-MSA you will certainly want to get it right!
The question then comes to mind, what exactly are we supposed to do for these observances? The real definitive answer can be found in a document that I guarantee most of you have never looked at... (cue scary Halloween theme music) the DeMolay International Rules and Regulations; specifically Section 323.1 - Obligatory Observances. Let's take a look, shall we? (Boldfacing of some text was added by PA DeMolay.)
(a) Dates. The following days are fixed as special ceremonial days, and their observance is obligatory for all DeMolay Chapters unless prevented by unavoidable circumstances: (2006)
(1) Devotional Day: A day during the week that includes March 18. (2006)
(2) Patriots' Day: A day convenient to the Chapter in the month of February.
(3) Educational Day: A day convenient to the Chapter. (Note: by virtue of section [b] below, the EO of PA DeMolay has chosen to require this day to be observed in September.(4) DeMolay Day of Comfort: a day between November 15 and December 31. (2006)
(5) Parents' Day: A day between May 1 and June 21. (2006)
(6) My Government Day: A day convenient to the Chapter in the month of July.
(7) Frank S. Land Memorial Day: A day convenient to the Chapter near November 8.
(b) Executive Officer. The Executive Officer may change the date of any Obligatory Day.
(c) Notify Members. The officers of each Chapter shall arrange for the observance of these Obligatory Days, and notify active members of the dates. (2006)
(d) Devotional Day. On Devotional Day it is the duty of the members of each Chapter of DeMolay to attend as a group, a worship service in some church, synagogue, mosque, temple, chapel or other place of worship approved by the Advisory Council. (2006)
(e) Patriots' Day. On Patriots' Day each Chapter shall arrange a program at which the great patriotic events of the country in which the Chapter is located shall be reviewed, so that the great light of patriotism may never grow dim. (2006)
(f) DeMolay Day of Comfort. On DeMolay Day of Comfort it is the duty of each Chapter to visit the sick or aged. (2006)
(g) Educational Day. On Educational Day it is the duty of each Chapter to arrange a program that will tend to emphasize the value of an education and the fact that the public school is a bulwark of liberty and must be maintained. (2006)
(h) Parents' Day. On Parents' Day it is the duty of each Chapter to arrange a program to which the parents, guardians, mentors or other significant caregivers are invited and at which they will be suitably recognized. (2006)
(i) My Government Day. On My Government Day it is the duty of each Chapter to arrange a program at which the members may learn about the government of the country in which the Chapter is located. (2006)
(j) Frank S. Land Memorial Day. On Frank S. Land Memorial Day it is the duty of each Chapter to arrange a memorial program in honor and memory of Dad Frank S. Land, Founder of the Order of DeMolay, and to carry out a special fund raising effort with the proceeds being donated to a Masonic charity.
We suggest that you print out this post and tuck it away so that the next time you have an observance you can make sure that it meets all the requirements! Now, go start observing!
Frat! ~ "Dad" Seth Anthony