Proposed Ritual Revisions Available for Review

Documents pertaining to the proposed revision of Sinfonia’s Initiation Ritual are available through the Fraternity’s website. To access the documents, log in to MyDesktop. The documents are subject to multiple levels of electronic security and consist of the following:

  • Introduction and proposed changes with rationale
  • 1988 (current) revision containing numbered references to proposed changes

The following excerpt from the proposed revision’s introduction explains its purpose and scope:

The beginning of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia’s second century has been characterized by a growing movement to embrace the intentions of the Founder and those who designed the Fraternity’s symbols and traditions in keeping with his vision. As the core experience shared by all Sinfonians, the Initiation Ritual has gained much attention during this period. As members have sought greater understanding of the Ritual, closer examination reveals areas where revisions have diminished the work of earlier authors, often with a lack of sufficient scholarship prior to revision.

Throughout its history, the Ritual has undergone many changes that have both added to and detracted from it. The development of the Ritual in the Fraternity’s first three decades reached a point of artistic and philosophical culmination with The Revised Ritual (1926). Subsequent revisions in 1938 and 1947 brought some changes while maintaining the integrity of the previous work. Revisions in 1960, 1970, and 1982 deviated from the earlier revisions. The Fraternity attempted to restore much of the work of the earlier authors with revisions in 1985 and 1988, but these later attempts were not based on all of the information now recognized as relevant. This is supported by revision committee notes, correspondence, and in some cases, acknowledgment by those involved in the revisions.

In July 2000, work was begun on a revised Initiation Ritual for the purpose of restoring portions of spoken text that were altered or removed in revisions after 1947, and clarifying staging direction that is commonly acknowledged as inadequate or unclear. This revision is the product of that work. Rather than simply restoring the text and staging of The Revised Ritual (1926), we have merged our understanding of the intentions of that revision’s authors with what is accepted and/or necessary for modern practice. We have endeavored to provide direction that specifies the ideal staging. However, due to space considerations and/or other limitations, some of the prescribed staging will not be possible in all cases. Nevertheless, chapters should be as faithful as possible to the staging herein and must never depart from the spoken text. Each change in this revision is accompanied by a thorough rationale, which has been entered into the Fraternity’s archives to provide an accurate historical record. It is our hope that this work will result in a definitive version of the Ritual that will stand the test of time so that all generations of Sinfonians may share a common exalted experience that transcends the boundaries of time and place.

The 2006 National Assembly approved the following resolution regarding the proposed Ritual revision:

     Whereas, John Mongiovi, Mark Lichtenberg and Ryan Ripperton have collaborated on a proposed extensive revision of the Initiation Ritual to restore portions of spoken text that were altered or removed in revisions after 1947 and clarify staging direction that has been commonly acknowledged as inadequate or unclear; and
     Whereas, The authors of the revision wish for every chapter to have an opportunity to hear rationale and express their opinions prior to submission to the 2009 National Assembly; therefore,
     Be it resolved by the National Assembly of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America:
     That each Province Governor agrees to dedicate one workshop during the 2006-2009 triennium primarily to the revision so as to allow one of the authors to present the revision, answer questions, and receive input; and
     That the scheduling of such workshops within the triennium will be undertaken in accordance with the travel plan developed by the authors.

UPDATE: The final version of the revision was adopted at the 2009 National Convention. Any questions about the ritual revision should be sent to ripperton@sinfonia.org.

December 22nd, 2006|
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