Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Tuck's Rite of Passage

In our culture, we don’t really have any kind of traditional, ceremonial way for boys to mark their passage into manhood. Our young men have to use things like getting their license, or their first job, or their first whiskers to use as a benchmark that they’ve arrived. And yet, in so many ways, our culture turns right back around and tells them they’re still not ready to do many “adult things”,…they can’t drive by themselves, they can’t vote, they can’t get jobs,…Those are confusing signals.

So we came up with our own way celebrate, in a tangible way, the fact that each of our boys had reached that milestone. The result is our family's "Rite of Passage" during which we challenge the boys (at age 15) to BE the kind of men they want to be rather than just hoping people will think that’s who they are; to decide beforehand how they're going to approach life and its adventures; to live a Life of Faith, a Life of Holiness, a Life of Service and a Life of Excellence.

We ask the boys to identify some men from our church whom they respect, who have exhibited qualities they admire. Each of these men writes them a letter about what they think it means to be a man, and pledges to pray for them through the remainder of their high school years.

We identify a key scripture passage for each area (Faith, Service, Holiness, and Excellence), which they must commit to memory as a “lamp unto their feet, and a light unto their path”.

Finally, each area is represented by a member of our family: the boys' two grandfathers, Karen and Dave, and from each they receive a token of some kind to remember their pledge.

The final act of the ceremony, Dave performs a "knighting" ceremony, using the following words:

"In remembrance of the pledges you have made."
"In remembrance of your lineage and obligations."
"In remembrance of the God whom you serve."
"Son of David, son of Patrick, son of Hubert, son of Clyde and Andrew and Moses, rise and join the company of men."

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