In the classic rite of passage, first articulated by Van Gennep in 1909, three phases occur: 1) a separation from the old status, 2) a liminal or threshold period, and 3) anincorporation into a new status.
In the first phase, people withdraw from their current status and prepare to move from one place or status to another. "The first phase (of separation) comprises symbolic behavior signifying the detachment of the individual or group ... from an earlier fixed point in the social structure." There is often a detachment or "cutting away" from the former self in this phase, which is signified in symbolic actions and rituals. For example, the cutting of the hair for a person who has just joined the army. He or she is "cutting away" the former self: the civilian.
The transition (liminal) phase or 2nd phase is the period between stages, during which one has left one place or state but has not yet entered or joined the next. "The attributes of liminality or of liminal personae ("threshold people") are necessarily ambiguous."
In the third phase (reaggregation or incorporation) the passage is consummated [by] the ritual subject." Having completed the rite and assumed their "new" identity, one re-enters society with one's new status. Re-incorporation is characterized by elaborate rituals and ceremonies, like debutant balls and college graduation, and by outward symbols of new ties: thus "in rites of incorporation there is widespread use of the 'sacred bond', the 'sacred cord', the knot, and of analogous forms such as the belt, the ring, the bracelet and the crown."
Both the Old and New Testaments contain numerous accounts of rites of passage:
John 3:5 states:
"Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
Baptism is a Rite of Passage. We take on a responsibility to carry out Gods message wherever we can and to be obedient to His will through His Son Jesus Christ.
When I was incarcerated I made a detailed goal list for my first, third and fifth year out. Graduating was one of those things. Through Gods Grace I have accomplished that Goal. I noticed in prison how Rites of Passage are important for behavior modification when transitioning back into the social structure. Men who had no focus all of a sudden had accomplishment and became part of something, and they protected that. I found that there was something in that and how important it was for inmates to experience all forms of it to counter anti-social behavior. For us, as convicted felons who have just re entered society, we do not experience what Vann Gennep says: "Having completed the rite and assumed their "new" identity, one re-enters society with one's new status." There is a hyper awareness that we suffer from that says no matter what rite of passage we go through society sees nothing but Felon. From what I have personally witnessed Gods grace penetrates that belief and gives us a new look on life. At CARE, It takes time, focus dedication and patience to ensure that these men experience that which is reachable for them.
By Gods Grace, I am doing everything I know to show them that these goals are reachable....... with Honors.....
Gods kingdom triumphs when CARE participants make the decision to turn their lives over to Christ. Today Roderick Ceasar made the choice and committed. Bob carried through the baptismal process and provided the sermon. We welcome our new brother. This is what CARE Tallahassee strives for!