House initiation takes place each January to fully incorporate the new members of each house. After being sorted in August, the newest Upper School students take on the responsibility of carrying a symbol of their house with them where ever they go. This small token reminds the initiates of their house namesake and the unique community they will soon fully join. Becket house carries a brick, Columba a caber, Boniface a cross, and Athanasius carries sand.
A few of our Upper School students shared their thoughts on each houses’ initiation day below.
It’s amazing to be a part of something great; to know that you belong, and are built into the internal workings of a grand whole. This is why House Initiation is such a memorable day for Becket catechumens- it’s the day their name is added onto the long list of everyone who’s ever been sworn into Becket and they are formally welcomed as members of the House. On Friday, January 17th, our initiates gave up their bricks for good. Their names, faded and smudged but never gone as long as their brick is passed down to future initiates, serve as a reminder that even after they bid Westminster farewell, they will always have a place in Becket House. The pins they received are a mark of their allegiance and unique niche in the group. Our new members will do great things for Becket in coming years, and we’re proud to call them our Housemates. -Isabelle Saunders, 8th grade
Initiation is my favorite tradition within Athanasius House! Each year, we travel to St. John’s Orthodox Church and hold our ceremony. St. Athanasius himself was a Greek Orthodox Bishop, so being in a church of that denomination is exciting for the new initiates. This year, our house was actually able to take part in a morning prayer service with the members of St. John, allowing us to see what our namesake would have done in the 4th century. After the ceremony, we traveled to the Dawkins’ house where everyone had a wonderful time playing games, doing scavenger hunts, and eating cake! Athanasius’ 2020 Initiation was one I will never forget! -Emma Gregory, 11th grade
Excitement. Nervousness. Anticipation. All the new students and seventh graders were anxiously waiting for the day we would become official members of Boniface House. Everyone could feel the tension in the air as we stood in line at IPC, anticipating the moment the doors would open and the ceremony would begin. Previous initiates smirked in the wings as they remembered ceremonies of the past. At last, the doors opened and the ceremony began. We marched in proudly, yet nervously, as Reid Gentry played his guitar to welcome us in. We took our seats, prayed, and sang a couple hymns before Anna Funes, our house captain, began calling initiates to the stage. Marching towards her we listened as Anna spoke our vow we would soon commit to. Older Boniface students stepped on stage and bound our pins onto our shirts as we were sworn in. As we stood there, we looked upon the faces of proud parents and past initiates who once stood where we were standing now. All too soon, the ceremony was over, and all of the initiates were filled with pride and joy for the house of Boniface. We headed over to the reception, where we partied for an amazing two hours until it was time to leave. We were now full-fledged members of Boniface house, and we will live our lives as God wants us to. We will honor him in all we do and serve him in our daily lives. Just like our namesake once did. Now, it’s our turn. -Kaitlin Baker, 8th grade
Initiation is one of the best times of the year for Columba. We all ride to St. Andrews Episcopal Church for the ceremony. There the initiates hear the history of our house, get to put down their cabers for the last time, and are pinned, symbolizing their graduation to full house members. Then, after taking a house picture on the steps of the church with all of the newest members, we usually go out to celebrate. This year, we went to the Carney’s house for a time of feasting, fellowship, and games. It was so much fun and such a nice day to accept our initiates as full house members. -Mackenzie Riggs, 10th grad