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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One thought on “The Restorative Act of the Rite-13 Ritual by Katey Zeh

  1. …of earned and performative self-worth I got as a teenager. It shifted from worth rooted in sexual purity to one tied to academic achievement, transformed to professional success, and then on to marriage and parenthood and the illusive “balance” of doing all of it simultaneously. I still yearn to hear those words of acceptance that I needed then and need to this day. Sent from my iPad

    Katey, this is my story , too, but the message was of perfection and hard work. It is only recently [I’m sorry to say] that I have heard the message and felt the warmth of love, unconditional love from God and others. AND THE CALLING TO ENJOY EVERY MOMENT. I hadn’t realized how hard I pushed myself to accomplish and how pervasive were the feelings of guilt for not being perfect, looking perfect, having a perfect house and on and on and on. Thank you for spelling it out beautifully. As a man told me last time I talked about writing and my faith, “transparency reveals authenticity.”



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