Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chivalry, Part 8: Manhood Ceremonies

This chapter that I read tonight is definitely written to dads, but as I read it, I couldn't help thinking about one of my favorite movies of all fact, here are some snippets of it....oh, this movie just moves me and makes me cry every time....

In this movie, there are two key things that King Arthur says to Lancelot, upon his decision to become a knight. I share them here because they coincide directly with the topic of ceremonies. "What I offer is no life of privilege, but a life of service." A knight essentially gave up his life in service to his king and his country, to his brothers in arms....he had to live a life of honor.

I quote one more piece: "This is only the beginning....for tomorrow at sunrise, you'll be born again into a new life." A knight went through a specific set of rituals before being dubbed a knight. If you watch the movie First Knight, you can sort of see just a peek of what they went through; mind you, it's a tiny peek. The ceremony was the one event in the knight's life that marked a new beginning in his life.

Lewis suggests that our boys today need ceremonies as well. I know that a ceremony in itself cannot make a boy a man, but it can give our boys a sense of beginnings....a spark of masculinity, a series of events they can look back on and remember. He quotes Richard Barber: "From the early days of knights who were simple fighting men to the extravaganza of the most elaborate kind of chivalry, the ceremony of knighting was the central moment in a knight's life. Its roots lay in the initiation ritual, by which primitive societies marked the coming of age of adolescents."

More next week....


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