In OSA, the Master of Ceremonies role is related to the concept of the passage rite. Passage rites are cultural ceremonies that take individuals and groups of individuals from one “steady state” to another. In between, there is a transition and transformation. The Master of Ceremonies presides over the passage-rite event, providing guidance about “where we are now.”
OSA is borrowing heavily from the social sciences in general – and cultural anthropology in particular. OSA is in fact implementing a rite of passage. The organization starts the experience one way, experiences a change in status, and exits the experience as something new – and different.
Passage rites evoke feelings of communitas – the “spirit of community.” Everyone agrees to the rules of the game, and then the entire group goes through the experience together. This shared experience tends to elevate feeling of membership, belonging, and communitas.
Transitions are often very “triggering” for participants. No longer “here,” and not yet “there,” those in a state of ambiguous transition can often feel very lost.
In OSA, the purpose of the informal “Master of Ceremonies” role is to provide reassurance and guidance through a difficult transition.