The Restorative Act of the Rite-13 Ritual by Katey Zeh

carpeI had never heard of the Rite-13 Ritual until I saw it listed on my worship bulletin a few months ago. My first reaction was to become annoyed when I saw the additional program item and to begin to calculate the additional minutes we were going to be sitting in our pew. Our nearly two-year-old daughter had just had her weekly meltdown over being left in the nursery, and all I wanted was for this liturgical hour to be over so I could scoop her up in my arms and take her home.

Started by an Episcopal Church in the 1980s the Rite-13 Ritual is modeled on the Jewish bar and bat mitzvah and intends to recognize adolescence as a time of transition in a young person’s life. After the opening hymn, six gangly, slightly awkward teenagers and their slightly nervous parents made their way up to the front of…

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