The Bris Ceremony
Approximately one hour before the ceremony, a topical anesthetic is applied.
All gather together as the godparents bring the baby into the room on a pillow. The grandmothers or godparents may hold the baby while the mohel explains the meaning of the bris service.
Candles are lit to commemorate the times in our history when berit mila was forbidden and performed in secret by the light of candles.
A copy of the service is available for all to read and follow. The ceremony allows for the participation of a non-Jewish spouse as well as grandparents, siblings or anyone that you desire.
The baby is then welcomed by all with the words, baruch ha-bah.
The grandparents and others read prayers which express their hopes for the child's future. The parents announce that they are entering their son into the covenant of Abraham and Sarah. The baby is then passed to the Sandek (usually a Grandfather) who then sits in the kisei shel Eli-yahu, the chair of Elijah, holding the baby comfortably and securely while the mohel performs the circumcision.
After the circumcision, the baby is returned to his mother. The service continues with the giving of the baby's Hebrew name. It is then appropriate for a few words to be said about the name and about the individuals for whom he is named.
Finally, the traditional prayer is said over the wine. The mohel then recites a prayer for the health of the baby. All present then recite the she-heh-cheh-ya-nu prayer.
The service concludes with a celebratory meal.