Bar/Bat Barakah – A Blessing Ceremony and Rite of Passage for Young Men and Women

This blog post is a preliminary working copy. We are hosting a Bar Barakah this weekend and needed this available for the attendees to read. Please check back for the finished version.

Bar/Bat Barakah – A Blessing Ceremony and Rite of Passage for Young Men and Women

Most of you have heard of the Jewish ceremony called the Bar Mitzvah, which means “son of the law”. It originated over a thousand years before Jesus ever came on the scene depicted in the Bible. Well, there is another equally ancient Rite of Passage called the Bar Barakah (for young men) or Bat Barakah (for young women).  It translates “Son, or Daughter, of the Blessing or Grace.”

When each one of our sons or daughters reaches 18 years of age, we observe this very sacred and powerful ceremony, with adult family members and friends.  We have had this ceremony with everyone of our children the week that they turn 18 years of age. We think 18 or 21 tend to be the best and most logical ages to do this, but this can work whenever you choose to officially “launch” your son or daughter into adulthood, on or after their 18th birthday.

We have heard of fathers who have had this ceremony when their son or daughter was into their 60’s, married, with kids, and grandkids themselves. It is never too late.
 
We have performed this rite of passage with 4 of our own children and have been a part of a few others now with the sons and daughters of family or close friends.  It is a most monumental and significant ceremony – that the son or daughter will build upon for the rest of their lives.

Most cultures have some sort of requirement, initiation, ceremony, or event that young people can point to and identify clearly when they became a man or woman.  Our American culture leaves that transition very nebulous, much to our demise.

We begin by helping our son or daughter invite the most significant 20-25 adult influences in their lives. A best friend or two are allowed to attend, but mainly to watch the ceremony.  We ask them all to come prepared with a word, thought, memory, encouragement, or blessing to this young person.

This could be prophetic in nature, or a scripture, a story, a word of wisdom, or purely a blessing.  During this time, people tend to share encouraging things about what that young person has meant to them, if they know them well.  Not only does this immensely bless the recipient, but encourages them to go even higher toward greatness in every area of their lives.

A huge bonus of the night is that everyone leaves so blessed and inspired in their own lives.  It inevitably happens – every time.

It is ideal that the father or a father figure of the son or daughter officiate the evening. If the physical father is not in the son or daughter’s life, this may be done by the next closest father to his life. We had a Bar Baracha in our home over the Thanksgiving time this year that was officiated by the young man’s grandfather, who has been like a father in the young man’s life since his father was never a part of his life.

Another man, other than the father, acts as the evening host. This man briefly explains the history of the Bat/Bar Baracha ancient rite of passage, gives everyone present at the ceremony the instructions that they will need to know to participate, and then introduces the father and young man or woman.

The son or daughter will stand in the middle of the room, with everyone else sitting around them in a circle.

The father will go around the room in a circle, starting to his immediate left or right. The father will have each individual or couple stand up and face the son or daughter, and he will ask them if they accept their son or daughter as an equal from this day forward.

When they have acknowledged yes, then the father will give that person or couple an opportunity to speak to the son or daughter.  It is very important that before each person or couple speaks that the father ask them if they will accept this young man, or woman, on equal status to them as an adult, starting with the man first if it is a couple. After the person or couple speaks, then – an embrace – usually happens most naturally.

You can have everyone bring a card only or card and gift, and it can be given at this time individually, or at the end of the ceremony all together.

By the end of the evening, this young person has had all these adults call him into adulthood and bless him and accept him and launch him forth into his world to make a difference – as someone who feels highly believed in and supported.
This is one of the most powerful events I have ever been a part of. I feel  it establishes and builds on their destiny and effects the generations  to follow in the most amazing and profound ways.
This is how we do it and have seen close to 10 performed.  You make it your own and begin building your tradition, however you see it.  But we believe that our country would be a different place, if children left home feeling so honored and called forth so intentionally. It becomes more clear than ever, their unique giftings and how they can bless their world. It sends them forth with so much more purpose and conviction.
 
Let’s make our children – SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF THE BLESSING!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: