Have you ever heard of a Bar Barakah? Well, we had the pleasure of attending one this weekend. It was absolutely beautiful.
I’m sure some of you are wondering what it is. It’s a blessing ceremony and/or a rite of passage for young men or women. Bar or Bat Barakah is Hebrew for son/daughter of the blessing. Bar is for a boy and Bat is for a girl. In this celebration, blessings are bestowed upon the son similar to the Bar Mitzvah. The blessing occurs generally around puberty, age 13 or older.
To host a ceremony like this is certainly a personal decision. Some people have a small private ceremony in their home, others may choose to host a private ceremony at an outside venue.
I received a save the date card several months ago followed by a formal invitation. This was my third nephew to have a Bar Barakah. I’ve attended his two older brother’s ceremonies as well, traveling as far as California to get there. I wouldn’t have missed them.
I don’t know all the details behind the celebration but I understand the overall purpose. If you are interested in learning more about the Bar Barakah there are resources out there that serve as a guide for parents. All I can say is “google it”.
So why have a Bar Barakah? Again, it’s a personal choice and will depend on your beliefs and values. The Bar Barakah is a ceremony grounded in Christianity. My feeling is, regardless of your spiritual or religious affiliation, a blessing ceremony is a phenomenal way to celebrate and encourage our young men and women. The issues that young people face today are far more complex than when I was growing up.
My natural instinct as a parent is to protect my kids from the dangers of the world. But there comes a time when they must make their own way in the world and the blessing ceremony gives them direction, confidence and courage.
The Bar Barakah ceremony took place on a beautiful farm.
The ceremony was held in a field under a large tree that provided a lot of shade. It was nice and cool. A large green tractor pulling a covered seating area provided transportation for guests to the field. There were white chairs lined up in rows with a podium and a lovely white arch in the front. The ceremony was led by his mother and included a welcome, prayer, praise and worship, words from the pastor, words from the young man of the hour, blessing (by both parents) closing prayer and dinner. The dinner took place in a barn on the property with a DJ. We even did a little dancing.
The most moving part of the ceremony for me was the blessing. I was especially moved as his mother reflected on all the special things about him as he knelt in front of her. After that he then walked over to his father on a red sash laying on the ground, which symbolized his moving from a boy to a man. His father then shared his reflections and prayed as he knelt before him. He then called his two older brothers to join in the blessing and they each stood on one side of him. The words spoken by his parents are not something that I can recapture here. I would not do it justice. It’s the type of thing where you just had to be there. It was just that special and personal. They talked about their being a mark and a calling on his life by God.
I cried through the blessing part of the ceremony. They were joyful tears as I thought about my nephew and the young man he is and is becoming. He is a kind-hearted, intelligent, and focused young man. I believe he is destined to do great things.
As we see kids in our family mature, it’s a reminder that we are aging. The time will come when our children are grown and will leave us to make their mark in the world. All we can do as parents is our best, and the rest is up to them.
I asked my fifteen-year old daughter what she learned from the Bar Barakah. She said that, “parents should encourage their kids from an early age, and it helps us to believe that we will be successful in life because people are praying for us.”
A parents blessing is a meaningful way to speak greatness into our children. If not a parent, then someone close who can stand in the gap for that child. Words are powerful beyond belief.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
The scripture on the program cover was Mark 10:16.
“And He took them (the children) up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them.”
It was truly a special day.
Peace and Blessings To You!!
Peace and Blessings,