a formal or ceremonial act or procedure prescribed or customary in religious or other solemn use
Why is the RITES OF PASSAGE EXPERIENCE important?
Rites of passage in the west has been watered down to peer led activities like drinking too much for the first time, losing your virginity, a first fight… Because we no longer intentionally involve elders or wider community, our boys rarely mark the transition into manhood, they simply drift into adult life. This leads to the responsibilities of manhood never being taken seriously in a young man’s life, leading to manhood being neglected.
An intensional rites of passage experience provides moments to reflect and honestly think about who you are as a man. This follows anthropologist Arnold Van Gennep’s research who coined the term ‘rites of passage’ and identified three clear stages that signify it:
Ideally, separate your group from their community and plan a trip that leaves your local area for a weekend or at least 24 hours.
While on the weekend a time of transition reflecting on the ManMade values, wrestling with faith questions and gaining new skills should be achieved.
Ideally, for Christian groups, they should be ‘re-integrated’ into their church community and recognised as being on their journey into adulthood.
These three stages are key to helping the young people feel that they have taken a step from boyhood on the journey towards becoming a man.
What does the RITES OF PASSAGE EXPERIENCE look like?
We want to the experience to be a real memorable one and not to be a noraml average youth weekend away. It really need to be a time change takes place and moments are marked. Our aim is to do this through three main themes throughout the experience…
First, the Trials are designed to re-enforce the six values whilst teaching valuable life skills. Ideally these should be undertaken outdoors over a weekend. A variety of options have been offered to suit the needs of different groups (if you have access to a particular expertise, why not design your own trial/s). The focus of these Trials should be the experience of the values rather than their completion.
Second, the Wrestle is a the chance for your young person to start wrestling with key questions that they struggle with but want to investigate further. In the Bible, Jacobs wrestles with God to gain a blessing (Genisis 32: 22-32). It was the turning point for Jacob as it was the point that gain him clarity and revelation to sort his life out and take God seriously. We hope that through wrestling with their thoughts on thier faith, your young people’s foundations in God will grow and be strengthened when others question it.
Finaly, there is the Commission. If your young people are church-based, then the Rites of Passage Experience could conclude with a celebratory service. Regardless, it is important that the commission acknowledges that each young person is on their journey into manhood. This will be an opportunity for your group to make their oaths together and commit to living to become a Godly man.
ManMade Dog-Tags are available to recognise completion of ManMade Rites of Passage Experience. The Dog-Tags should be awarded at the commissioning and should act as a continuous reminder of the oath and core values the young people have made.
Groups that move you from boyhood into manhood