Denver's Blessing Ceremony
There has been a little confusion on what exactly this ceremony is.
Blog readers have asked us if we are Jewish, and if not, why do we follow this tradition of a Jewish ceremony? There has also been questions from Jewish readers and those accustomed with Jewish traditions, because the blessing ceremonies that we do differ quite a bit from the traditional Jewish Bat/Bar Mitzvah.
So to clear up any confusion, and set you on the straight and narrow of what this is all about....read on. =)
Back before any of us children were teenagers, my parents came across the concept of the Jewish blessing ceremony, called Bar Mitzvah (for boys) or Bat Mitzvah (for girls). They had some friends who had done these ceremonies for their children around age of 13-16 and my parents loved the concept of a blessing upon the entering of adulthood.
One thing my parents have always taught us kids, growing up, is how much power there is in the spoken word. Words of cursing, pain, and unkindness can have a very negative effect on one's life, lasting for long after the initial words were spoken.
In the same way, words of blessing and encouragement can have great positive impact in a person's life, for years to come.
With all of that in mind, my parents decided to begin a family tradition of having a ceremony of blessing for each of us children, sometime around our early teen years. They used the term "Bat/Bar Mitzvah", because that was the term we had heard, but in reality, the main thing that is the same about our ceremonies and the actual Jewish tradition is the time and idea of BLESSING.
If you know anything about this Jewish ceremony than you will see that we don't follow many of the traditions and typical parts of the celebration. This isn't because we necessarily think they are wrong, it is just because we choose to focus our ceremonies on the blessing time.
Each of our blessing ceremonies have been different, even from each others. We were all different ages when we had our ceremonies. Allison and Carson had their ceremony together. Some of us had large parties, inviting lots of friends and family, and some of us chose to have smaller parties and only invite a handful of guests.
We usually do some kind of theme color or decoration for the evening, and the dinner menu is chosen by the son or daughter whose ceremony it is.
We had Denver's Bar Mitvah back in May. He chose a Mexican dinner menu, complete with Izzies to drink and Allison's rhubarb and apple pies. He wanted a small ceremony, so he just invited our grandma and our pastor's family.
Since it was such a small party, we were able to have it right in the house. We big multi-colored linens Mom had picked up at a market in Mexico, and orange as the theme color.
Someone's loaded fajita!
This little lady was definitely the guest of honor. =)
For the actual ceremony, Denver shared his testimony, and then we all went around and each of us shared a blessing for him. Some were short, some were long. Our blessings had words of encouragement, childhood memories, and funny stories. We also each talked about various qualities we appreciate and value in Denver's life, and blessed him in continuing to be the godly man that he already is.
We ended with singing, and a time of laying hands on Denver and praying God's blessing on him in his life ahead.
"That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth...."