This post answers the question, "Why is ceremony an important component in a boy’s rite of passage?"
“In many cultures throughout history, a teenage boy is taken through some type of ritual to mark his official passage into manhood.
I believe one of the greatest tragedies of Western culture today is the absence of this type of ceremony.”
- Dr Robert Lewis (Author) from his best-selling book, “Raising a Modern Day Knight”
“Every knight remembers his dubbing as the first day of his existence.”
- Georges Duby (French, influential Medieval Historian, specializing in the social and economic history of the Middle Ages)
Ceremony marks the transition from one season to another.
It declares powerfully, forcefully, and regally, “From this point forward, life is going to be different!”.
The most incredible man I’ve ever met would have to be Dr Robert Lewis.
He is a man who has lived well.
He has lived a life of great strength and courage, honour and integrity, and leadership and humility.
He’s been like a father to me… a mentor… and I’m honoured to call him a friend.
In Robert’s best-selling book, “Raising a Modern Day Knight”…
he lists "four (4) common characteristics that every good ceremony possesses".
I felt it important to share them here…
1. Memorable Ceremonies are Costly.
The more time, thought, planning, effort, and money you give to a celebration, the more memorable it will be.
Memorability grows in proportion to cost.
The more you give, the greater the impact.
Therefore a rite of passage ceremony... or at least a rite of passage... should be costly.
2. Memorable Ceremonies Ascribe Value.
By setting aside time, making an effort, spending money, and employing meaningful ceremony, we declare the high value of an individual.
Effective ceremony says, you are important!
And this moment is important!
You want your son or daughter's rite of passage ceremony... or at least their rite of passage... to ascribe value.
3. Memorable Ceremonies Employ Symbols.
Your son or daughter's rite of passage ceremony should definitely employ symbols.
For sons, we employ swords, and for daughters, we employ tiaras.
4. Memorable Ceremonies Empower a Life with Vision.
One of my personal favourite moments from each of our guided “Rite of Passage” Son and Father Adventure experiences, is definitely the Rite of Passage Ceremony on the final evening.
The look upon the face of every son who kneels before his father, as he listens intently to what it is his father is calling him out of (boyhood), and up and into (the higher ground of authentic manhood), is simply priceless.
Their eyes are always as wide as saucers.
It is a moment in that young man’s life’s journey that he will never forget, for as long as he lives.
The culmination of a week of adventure & fun, and training and instruction, alongside his Dad or father figure, within a community of men… sealed by the rite of passage ceremony, whereby each father casts vision of the new expectations he and his mother will have upon his son once they return home.
Now that’s a true rite of passage to manhood / a real process of initiation to manhood, in action.
For those of us who are married, or have been married… we’ve experienced first-hand the power and weightiness of ceremony and celebration.
So how about you?
Did you ever experience a rite of passage ceremony and celebration when it came to your journey of becoming a man?
I suspect not. Most men in our Western culture today haven't.
What would it have meant to you to have experienced a rite of passage... a process of initiation... sealed by a rite of passage ceremony... supported and encouraged by a community of good men around you? Plenty I'm sure.
Well it's time for us to offer our kids, what we wished we had experienced at their age.
You can find a list of dates and locations etc. for all of our upcoming guided “Rite of Passage” Son and Father Adventure experiences, and our upcoming guided “Rite of Passage” Daughter and Father Adventure experiences too, at the 'Fathering Adventures' website, now.
If you would like to know and understand the topic of rites of passage more fully, above and beyond this single element (a rite of passage ceremony), then we encourage you to read "The Ultimate Guide to Rites of Passage" blog post, now.
Incorporating a full rite of passage experience (again, beyond just a rite of passage ceremony) in your role as a father of a teenage son, and or a teenage daughter, literally changes the trajectory of their lives, for the better.