According to traditional Jewish practice, on the eighth day after a boy is born, he is circumcised. This ritual, referred to as Brit Milah (the covenant of circumcision).
THE NAMING &
The Bris Milah ceremony has two parts: the circumcision and the naming. There are wealth of different customs surrounding a Bris Milah many of which are unique to different communities or families. If you are unsure of your custom, then please ask the Mohel or your local Rabbi beforehand and they will be happy to discuss the matter with you.
It is customary to honour family and friends to participate by holding the baby at various parts of the Bris. A description of some of these honours are as follows;
Kvatter/Kvatterin: These carry the baby from the mother to the Bris and return him afterwards. This honour is often designated to a couple who are not yet blessed with children.
Sandek : At every Bris Milah one man is honoured with the role of Sandek, and holds the baby during the circumcision. This is considered the most prestigious honour of the ceremony and is often performed by a grandfather or esteemed Rabbi. The role of the Sandek is not only a technical one, but is also an symbolic of the child taking his place in the chain of continuity that ensures the existence of the Jewish people. The Torah teaches us that the role of the Sandek is of such prominence that it is compared to the role of the Kohen (priest) burning incense on the temple altar.
Sandek Me’umad : Once the circumcision is performed, the Sandek rises to his feet and passes the baby to the Sandek Me’umad, or “standing Sandek”. He will then hold the baby for the subsequent naming ceremony.
Mezamen : It is customary to have a special Se’udas Mitzvah, or festive meal on the day of the Bris. One man is designated to lead the special grace after meals for this occasion. Many other honours may be designated.
INFORMATION YOU MAY NEED IN ADVANCE
1, What is the baby’s Hebrew name?
2, What are your (the parents’) Hebrew names?
3, Who will act as sandek (holding the baby during the ceremony)?
4, Is the mother Jewish?
5, Will a rabbi be co-officiating?
6, Will you or other guests be participating in the ceremony, and how?
7, Are there special things you would like me to say – or not say?
More Information: http://www.initiationsociety.net/services.html