Coming of age ceremony; 13th birthday

Our eldest son turned 13 recently and to mark the occasion we held a coming of age ceremony. We wanted to set this birthday apart as a symbol of stepping into manhood. While he is by no means fully a man, he is a young man and as such, this is an important occasion. Endless adolescence (often considered by our culture as a period of expected rebellion, irresponsibility and generally having a good time without any ties) is not something we want to encourage in our family. We want our children to use their young years (their youth) wisely and to grow in Godly character.

If you would like more information about coming of age ceremonies, check out another  post I have written, with book reviews and links to useful websites and this one for a girl’s version. Ours was a simple evening, with Fathers and sons invited for food (make your own stuffed potato bar), a campfire and some time set aside for the men to share letters of wisdom that we had asked them to bring along for our son to keep and learn from.

My husband had chosen bible readings and words of wisdom of his own to correspond with special gifts that we presented to mark the evening. These were a bible (true wisdom comes from God), a Leatherman (be prepared for the future that God has for you) and a survival knife (because it’s cool because you are dangerous now – your strength can be used to protect and serve, or to harm.)

Needless to say, he LOVED the knives, as did the other young men, but has also shown us that he has the responsibility to handle them appropriately. We still had an element of “just for fun” with the Millennium Falcon landing on his Planet 13 cake (warning: uncharted territory ahead) and the ice-cream Sundae bar for dessert, as well as plenty of time just to hang out and enjoy his mates. While we could have gone all out, we chose to keep it simple, knowing that we have 6 more children coming along behind him who we will also be celebrating this milestone with.

If you have any wonderful ideas for blessing ceremonies or the like, I’d love to hear them.

 

 

 

 

 

Coming of Age 13th Birthday

I had the privilege of attending a young lady’s coming of age 13th birthday recently. It was a memorable celebration and commemoration of this important milestone and transitional point in her life –  a rite of passage experience to help mark the first stage of a girl’s cross-over into womanhood. After reading “Raising A Modern Day Knight” and “Raising a Modern Day Princess” I have several ideas stored away for my own children’s coming of age ceremonies and have added some of the special things I saw at this event to my mental list.

The birthday girl and her friends spent a little time together first, with some games and gifts to celebrate their friendship. One-handed present wrapping was one of the games they enjoyed.

A delicious afternoon tea was served during the adult gift presentations. We all loved this ring tin sandwich idea.

One of the themes of the day was “The Proverbs 31 woman” with this charm bracelet given to the 13 year old by her parents. The charms were carefully chosen to represent each of the bible verses in Proverbs 31 and symbolise the qualities that a Godly woman possesses. It will be an ongoing reminder and symbol of her faith and the moral foundation that a Godly woman’s character is based on.

Another gift to mark the occasion was a beautiful hope chest (glory box). Guests were invited to contribute something to the chest to start building a collection in preparation for the 13 year old’s future life. “The Hope Chest; A Legacy of Love” by Rebekah Wilson includes ideas on how to use a hope chest and what you may like to include.

Continuing on with the Proverbs 31 theme, 5 of the women took a section each from the bible passage and presented a symbolic gift to go with each part, along with a bookmark with the bible verse printed on it. Many other beautiful gifts were given, with the women explaining their choices and reading out their words of wisdom as they were presented.

These gorgeous spoons were inscribed with “a heap of love, a spoonful of family, a pinch of friends and a dash of joy.”

This wonderful handicraft kit was put together by one of the ladies. She had made a couple of items herself and included the materials needed to complete several more little projects.

One of the lovely letters of wisdom. The box held hand-made doilies and table runners that had been handed down through several generations.

Some of the gifts could be used right away and some were to be put away for her future home.  Each one was chosen for a reason and the givers had been previously asked to include a letter explaining their choice and any symbolism involved, as well as sharing wisdom or encouragement for the future.

The celebration was a simple but memorable one and hopefully left the young lady knowing without a doubt that she is well-loved and supported by many around her and with a sense of excitement and joy as she looks forward to her future. Whether your event is small and simple or big and amazing, plan to mark these pivotal points as stepping-stones towards Godly womanhood (or manhood.) See this post for some links to interesting websites.