Planning & Executing Your Daughter's Brit Bat
Parents face many choices in preparing a welcoming ceremony and party for their baby girl.
If you'll be lighting candles, you'll need to them on hand along with candleholders and matches. You should also have ready challah, a challah cover and knife, and, if you plan to have a blessing over wine as part of your ceremony, a ritual goblet for wine or grape juice.
You'll want to have something special for your baby daughter to wear, and, if holding it at home, supplies in order to festoon the place with flowers, crepe paper, and other festive decorations. It's great to involve your new daughter's siblings and cousins in that part of the planning; get them to paint or draw signs of welcome that you can hang up.
One of the most important things to have ready is a program guide for your daughter's welcoming ceremony. Distributing a printed program to your guests isn't necessary, but it does help everyone follow along and makes a wonderful keepsake to share with your daughter later in her life. It's also nice to send a copy to loved ones who can't make it to ceremony
The program need not be fancy, and can be something that you type up on a computer and have reproduced at a copy shop. If your computer can't handle Hebrew, you can input the English text and leave space for the Hebrew on each page. Then you can either cut and paste the Hebrew prayers and text from a prayerbook, one of the books cited above, or other sources, or write it in by hand.
A brief list of the central cast of participants at the front of the program guide can be useful. It's a nice thought to including photocopied pictures of the people for whom your daughter is being named.. Another meaningful element some families choose to include is a family tree, either composed by hand or on a computer, showing your daughter's roots.
On the cover, include your daughter's name (if you're comfortable revealing it before the ceremony--some people follow the tradition of not "pre-releasing" this information), the title you're giving to her welcoming ceremony, the date, and the city. Include Hebrew, if you can, and a decorative motif--perhaps from your daughter's baby announcement.
Don't worry about making it look like a professionally created document. Part of the charm and individuality of these booklets is their homemade look.
Finally, most parents let somebody else actually run the show--even those who are themselves rabbis, cantors, or ritual experts. Allow yourselves the luxury and joy of being participants and parents, as you would with other lifecycle events.
Did you like this article? MyJewishLearning is a not-for-profit organization.