Ask the Chairman - Handclasp

Q. Ray,
Has the handclasp of the Order been the same over all these years, or has it changed?

David

A. David,
In the earliest ceremony available (Ordeal text circa 1925), Gegeyjumhet (Allowat Sakima) says, "My Brothers, I now take you by the hand, and give you the grip of the Order. (Explain grip is one more link to Scout grip)." The Scout handclasp at the time was right handed with three fingers.

Since then the Scout handclasp has changed; first to the left hand with 3 fingers and later to just the left hand, like other world Scouting organizations. The official OA handclasp changed hands in 1927 along with the Scout handclasp, but otherwise has remained unchanged. See this link on the official OA site which reminds us that there is only one Order of the Arrow handclasp, and thank you for your question, brother!

Two other things that may be worthy to note. The only place the handclasp is described is in the Ordeal Ceremony booklet on page 17 and there is a picture of the OA handclasp on page 19.

Thanks,
Ray

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