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'Tis the season of graduations, and families everywhere are celebrating accomplishments and launching children into new grades, new ventures, new careers, and new independence. While the completion of schooling is one widely recognized rite of passage, many others contribute to the transition from childhood to adulthood and beyond.

What traditions of family and faith make possible the move into new stages of life? Why are these rituals and customs important? Where do they come from and what do they symbolize?


Featured Panelists

Free-Range Rites of Passage

Free-Range Rites of Passage

Christine Kraemer

Our rites of passage for young people need to be based on relationship with both other people and the land, and they must involve both obligations and rights.

Seeking Transformation in Wilderness Rites

Seeking Transformation in Wilderness Rites

Nancy Wiens

Wilderness rites of passage expose us to the natural cycles of death and decay as inherently interconnected with the mysterious cycles of regeneration and emergence.

Courts of Honor

Courts of Honor

Alan Wisdom

Scouting is tied to language and attitudes — honor, duty, reverence, deference to authority and the group, long-term thinking, ideals of manhood — that are increasingly marginal in a society that values individual sovereignty above all else.

Emerging Into Adult Faith through the Waters of Baptism

Emerging Into Adult Faith through the Waters of Baptism

René Breuel

Adult baptism crystallizes something that can feel abstract into a moment embedded in nature and surrounded by the community. It grants a visible, public starting point for the journey of faith.

Born Again Muslim: The Rite of Passage Not Talked About

Born Again Muslim: The Rite of Passage Not Talked About

Saadia Faruqi

"Born again" is often made in a Christian context. But this Muslim say says it was later in life her shahada became meaningful, making her a "born again Muslim."

Returning Hijabi: A Passage to Identity

Returning Hijabi: A Passage to Identity

Firdaus Arastu

I left Arafat feeling cleansed and renewed, and I left Saudi a Hajjia, with a sense of peace and assurance about my identity.

Bookstore Initiations and the Rite of Becoming

Bookstore Initiations and the Rite of Becoming

Heather Greene

We recognize the becoming of someone new through a process marked by a very small and very personal rite: the buying of a book.

Rites of Passage: A Hindu American Experience

Rites of Passage: A Hindu American Experience

Padma Kuppa

A few years ago, the temple in the metro-Detroit area that my family goes to started conducting a special puja to mark graduation.

The Final Passage: Rites of Death and Mourning

The Final Passage: Rites of Death and Mourning

Karen Rappaport

The very specific way that Jewish tradition guides mourning has been created to recognize the tragic loss and guide the living back into life.

Community Support in the Passage from Life to Death

Community Support in the Passage from Life to Death

Sonia Syed Rehman

Defying death is impossible. Our belief that the mercy of Allah is bestowed upon all departed souls equally regardless of the circumstances around their death is reassuring.

Commentary From Our Blogging Community

Rites of Passage: Hassan’s Ameen

Rites of Passage: Hassan’s Ameen

Qasim Rashid

 By Ayesha Noor Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Rites of Passage. Read other perspectives here. Every day when Hassan and I sat down to read the Holy Quran, we fancied the day of his Ameen Ceremony – the celebration of completing the first reading of Muslims’ Holy Book. We had [Read More...]

Consecration to Jesus Through Mary: A Rite of Passage

Consecration to Jesus Through Mary: A Rite of Passage

stefoodie

My mom has been a Marian devotee since she was a little girl. She would stand in front of the Mary statue at Church and mutter made-up prayers because she didn’t know any “official” ones. She was so enamored with Mama Mary’s face and just knew that someone who looks so beautiful must love her [Read More...]

Let’s bring an end to the use of Confirmation as a Kind of “Graduation”

Let’s bring an end to the use of Confirmation as a Kind of “Graduation”

Billy Kangas

Earlier this month Bishop Larry Silva of Honolulu made waves by instructing his diocese that they are to begin efforts toward restoring the sacraments of initiation to their “proper order:” Baptism, Confirmation, and then First Holy Communion. As a liturgical theologian I applaud the change. It makes much more sense both historically and theologically to [Read More...]

On Being Breathless: My Daughter’s First Holy Communion

On Being Breathless: My Daughter’s First Holy Communion

Tod Worner

  Last Supper by Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret   When I saw her, I was breathless. I had just arrived home from a night of teaching. Tired and a little hunched over (with a slight resemblance to Willy Loman), I dropped my satchel of books on the ground and I headed for the stairs to see my wife [Read More...]

Not Your Inspiration Porn – Why I Don’t Owe You My Conversion Story

Not Your Inspiration Porn – Why I Don’t Owe You My Conversion Story

Guest Contributor

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on Rites of Passage. Read other perspectives here. By Leanne Scorzoni How did you come to Islam? When did you convert? Will you tell me your story? Mashallah, you are such an inspiration to us! There’s a term used to describe stories of people who have overcome great [Read More...]

Rites of Passage that We Forget to Celebrate

Rites of Passage that We Forget to Celebrate

Ashley Willis

From the moment we enter this world and take air into our lungs, we experience our first rite of passage – birth.  In fact, life is basically a series of rites of passage.  If our life was a roadmap, they would be the mile markers.  We take pride in them.  We celebrate them.  We sometimes [Read More...]

Liturgy: The Work of the Church

Liturgy: The Work of the Church

Sarah Conrad Sours

Note: This post is part of the Public Square series on rites of passage.  Read more here! Our church scheduled its Nursery Worker Appreciation luncheon on the same day as its High School Senior Recognition luncheon this year. For just a second, I was really, really annoyed. “Why on earth would they deliberately schedule such [Read More...]