One of the things that sets DeMolay apart from other youth organizations is our ability to perform Ritual. When the term “Ritual” is used, it’s usually referred to in a negative sense. The definition of Ritual is “an established or prescribed procedure.” When DeMolay performs Ritual, it’s used as a prescribed way of expressing the beliefs of our organization and the things we stand for. It expresses our belief in the 7 cardinal virtues of the order, our appreciation towards our country and all those who have served for our freedom, and our respect for the public school system, among several other things. Each piece of Ritual is a lesson that is used to educate members of DeMolay as well as others.
At a young age, young men and women have choices to join activities, such as sports and theater, that allow our youth to share their talents with an audience. The way Ritual is performed by our DeMolays is no different from those activities. The young men of DeMolay take pride in the way they perform each ritual part. They want the viewers to leave satisfied with the way they present the work. The young men make sure that the movement looks good, the words flow properly, and that they look professional in the presentation of the work. It takes effort and practice to make sure that it’s performed right, the same way that athletes attend practice and actors hold rehearsals.
As a Senior DeMolay, I enjoy seeing the Ritual performed to such a high quality that the members are capable of performing it. It reminds me of the days that I put the same effort into those parts. Recently in Pennsylvania, the Mid-Atlantic Tournament of Champions was held in Gettysburg, a DeMolay Ritual Tournament in which members perform their parts competing against the best of the best in the Mid-Atlantic Region. It was encouraging to see the young men perform the Ritual of our work to the level that they did. It shows that we really do have something special with the organization of DeMolay.