Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Man Among Men

On Sunday afternoon, we held B13's 13th birthday service of blessing--a Christian bar mitzvah, of sorts.

Ten men, including his father, older brothers, one uncle, one grandfather and mentors from our church, gathered in our family room to pray together for our son.

Here is a portion of the liturgy Father Rooster wrote for this service:

Celebrant              What do you seek?
Initiate                    To begin my pilgrimage as a man in Christ’s One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Celebrant                Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support [Initiate] in his walk as a man in Christ?
People                     We will.

Celebrant                You will make your journey as a man among men in the Body of Christ.  Will you seek instruction and help from Elders as you go?
Initiate                    By the help of God I will.

Celebrant                Do you promise to be regular in attending the worship of God?
Initiate                    I do.

Celebrant                Will you stand in reverence at worship and prayer, ready to obey the Lord as He calls to you through Word & Sacrament, and the discipline of the Church?
Initiate                    By the help of God I will.

Celebrant                [Do you intend to be confirmed in your baptismal vows?
Initiate                    I do.]

Celebrant                Will you work hard to cultivate all the virtues, especially humility, and faith, hope, and love, which are God’s gifts to all who would receive them in Christ?
Initiate                    By the help of God I will.

Celebrant                Are you ready to pursue a life of prayer, in the Daily Office and in your own private devotions?
Initiate                    With the help of God I am.

Celebrant                Are you ready to begin a life of Godly action and sacrificial service to God, His Church, and those who are near you?
Initiate                    With the help of God I am.

Isn't that stirring?

It goes on with symbolic gifts--a Bible, a crucifix, and a prayer rope--and a chance for each man in attendance to share a word, blessing or Scripture with the young man (and letters are read from those who are not able to attend).  B13 was deeply moved by the service, the gifts and the love these men clearly have for him.  The service ends with the young man reading the Gospel and leading the closing prayers, which some of the men commented on as such a right way to close.  The men seemed to be all about as blessed as B13 was!

So what do you think of this idea?  I am urging Father Rooster to consider self-publishing this service (and the one for a daughter) as an e-book, and maybe his house blessing service as well.

Would you be interested, or know people who would?  What would you like the book to contain besides the liturgy?  What questions can you think of that should be answered in the accompanying material?


Mrs. Smith said...

This is AWESOME! We are at least ten years away from this, but I would absolutely love to have this on-hand. I also know several people who would love to do this with their children!!

Dani said...

Wow, I'd love to have something like this for my children when they reach this age!

Laura VS-D said...

I'd definitely be interested and have friends that would as well. Questions I'd love to have addressed- what if child does not want to participate in this because of where he/she is spiritually. Or if just temperament is such that child does not like a lot of attention drawn to self- shy. And/or if having this kind of attention drawn to self would be incredibly anxiety provoking. Point being- that this might feel like torture for kids of certain temperaments and it is an age of much self- consciousness. I could see 1 of my kids loving it and 1 hating it. Tho' I love the idea.

Re. houseblessing- some thoughts on blessing of material things for some who might be uncomfortable with that.

Anonymous said...

I would love to have this in an e-book, both for our own family, and for families in our church.

Our son is 11, and we've already started thinking about something similar when he turns 13.

Jennifer in Seattle

At A Hen's Pace said...

Wow, very helpful feedback, everyone!

We'll see. We tend to move at a hen's pace ;) on these kinds of things, but hopefully, eventually, we will be able to make it available.