2. Originally, initiates were presented to the washing room nude. Sometime in the early twentieth century, it became customary for initiates to wear a "shield," a sleeveless robe open at the sides. The shield preserved modesty while allowing officiators to touch the various parts of the body named in the rite. In a slightly complicated procedure, the temple garment was placed on the initiate under the shield following the washing and anointing.

Beginning in 2005, initates were instructed to clothe themselves in the garment in the privacy of their locker, before being presented at the washing room. This means that they are clothed throughout the initiatory. As before 2005, initiates wear a shield during the initiatory, but this is now worn over the garment.