Beta Sigma Phi
A single yellow
rose in a black bud vase sits by a lit black candle in a black candle holder on
the Ritual Table, which is covered with a black cloth
We are gathered together in sorrowing sisterhood to
consecrate in our hearts and memory the life and virtues of a dearly departed
As she stood before in Darkness, initiate, so stands
she now initiate to the mystery of Death, and we in the somber shadows of our
The glowing torch of her bright self must be
henceforward absent from us here, but the clear light of her spirit shall
remain, undimmed, to guide and strengthen us whom she preceded.
In life she was devoted to the good, the true, the
beautiful, and was by color, form and music touched to tears. With loyal heart
and with unflagging effort she faithfully fulfilled her duties here. Then,
being weary for a moment, she lay down to rest, using her burden for a pillow,
and fell into that dreamless sleep that kisses down her eyelids still. While
yet in love with life and raptured with the world she passed to timeless
silence and to formless space.
So every life, no matter if its every hour be rich
with love and every moment jewelled with joy, must, at its close become to
those who stay, a tragedy as sad and dark as can be woven of the warp and woof
of mystery and death.
But in this night of death hope sees a star and
listening love can hear the rustling of a wing.
She was a faithful and true friend, a treasure
inestimable in possession, and deeply lamented in the loss. If we in her
lifetime were not always worthy of her love, let us now in her death resolve to
be more worthy of the love of all other members of our sisterhood. Nothing is
more common than to talk of a friend, nothing more difficult than to find one,
nothing more rare than to improve by one as we ought. She has taught us it is
best to live in time as friends to those with whom we would be to all eternity,
for true friendship is infinite and immortal.
The record of generous life runs like a vine around
her memory and her every sweet, unselfish act is now a perfumed flower. Were
every one to whom she did a service to bring a blossom to her grave she would
sleep tonight beneath a wilderness of flowers.
Life is a narrow vale between two eternities. We
strive in vain to look beyond the heights. But through the mist of our tears
the light of love beholds a rainbow, the rainbow of her virtues; the red of her
courage, the orange of her loyalty, the yellow of her vision, the green of her
fellowship, the blue of her humility, and the violet of her service.
Character survives, goodness lives, love is immortal.
The torch of our sisterhood lighted her way on earth,
but she hath now no need for sun or moon. But we have need to keep forever
bright within our hearts the memory of her living presence.
Speech cannot contain our Love. She was, she is, our
Eternal Father, Shepherd of the Stars, guide us that
we may follow only the Good, only the True, only the Beautiful. Hold aloft to
us the guiding torch of wisdom and help us to push on, undaunted, towards its
light. Illume our souls with Thy wisdom that we in turn may light the way for
those who follow us. If the road we take seems obscured in dust, give us the
skill and grace to pave it with stars, to transmute the dust into stardust.
Grant us such clearness of vision, such sweetness of spirit, such earnestness
of purpose that we may follow the torch to our goal.
May the Lord watch between me and thee, while we are
absent one from the other.