Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brotherhood - ΛΧΑ - in Music City USA

Last evening I found my way over to the West End side of Vanderbilt University. On the way I looked up and amid the swiftly-blown clouds in the dusky sky saw a waxing crescent moon. This was very appropriate, because I was on my way to my fraternity's chapter house at Vandy. And the waxing crescent is a symbol for us in the Brotherhood. It's usually combined with a Greek cross (equal four arms), to illustrate our open motto Per Crucem Crescens ("Crescent in the cross").

For my fraternity is Lambda Chi Alpha.

The undergraduate Brothers (referred to as "actives" as contrasted with us alumni) of Gamma-Delta Zeta at Vandy ("zeta" means chapter) surprised me by all wearing suits and ties! Usually I'm dressed nicely whenever I attend a chapter meeting, but this being a holiday I wasn't even sure that the Brothers would be holding a chapter meeting. S o I'd worn casual garb, including my Xmas-gift "Eastwood" (Christian Church) sweatshirt. I felt more out of place that I've felt on earlier occasions when I was the only suited and tied fellow present! But oh well, what the heck!

The Brothers of LCA at Vandy had another surprise in store. When the meeting adjourned, they held the fraternity's Associate Member Ceremony to formally welcome sixteen new young men who are associating with us and will be initiated later in the semester. The ceremony consists of three or four of the officers explaining three or four of the symbols in the room and what they signify for the new associates. Having been High Phi or Ritualist at the Zeta at Idaho during my undergrad years, I am quite familiar with the topics covered in this ceremony, as I am with all ritual events in LCA. And once again I was moved in my spirit by this refresher on some of the spiritually-based teachings of this Brotherhood that I so cherish.

That earlier sighting of the waxing Crescent Moon had likewise moved yours truly. It was almost a year ago that on the Vanderbilt campus I had espied one up above the Parthenon as I was leaving the closing event of the Bluegrass Conclave hosted at Vandy by the Vandy Brothers, to mark the Centennial of Lambda Chi Alpha. It had been wonderful to participate in a gathering oriented to our hundred years of fraternal history -- then in the deed and now in the memory.

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