What exactly happens at a barmitzah ceremony? What does the congregation family pastor and friends do?
The central event of a bar-mitzvah ceremony is the calling of the boy to the Torah. He reads the relevant portion of the Torah, and recites the blessings over the Torah. This is the public declaration of his ‘coming of age’, and his entry into the world of obligation and responsibility.
Apart from this, a celebratory meal of party is usually held in honor of the bar-mitzvah. Frieds attend, and give the boy gifts (usually related to Judaism: books, and so on), and the rabbi will perhaps deliver a sermon to the boy and the community, speaking of the virtues of the boy and expressing his hopes and prayers for the boy’s future.