A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Feast - children at

Concerning the declaration of young people under the age of 18, ... we can accept a child of the age of 15 and over as a Bahá’í even if his parents do not consent and this remains true even though according to the law of Finland they cannot be officially transferred to the Bahá’í register. You should not, therefore, exclude such believers from the Nineteen Day Feasts. However, although such believers should not be swayed from their belief by their parents’ objections, they should, in view of the stress that the Teachings place upon the respect due to parents and in view of the law in Finland, obey their parents as far as taking part in Bahá’í activities is concerned. Their aim should be to gradually awaken in their parents’ hearts the same love for Bahá’u’lláh that has fired their own and not to antagonize their parents needlessly or contribute in any way to disharmony in their families at this crucial point in their development.
(Universal House of Justice, Compilation of Compilations, v. 1, p. 447)


Concerning your inquiry asking if children under fifteen of non-Bahá’í parents could attend Nineteen Day Feasts or other events held exclusively for Bahá’ís when the children consider themselves as Bahá’ís, such children may be permitted to attend Bahá’í functions provided that their parents have given their consent. This applies only, of course, to children under the age of fifteen years.
(Universal House of Justice, Compilation of Compilations, v. 1, p. 447)


In any case, the House of Justice points out that parents are responsible for their children and should make them behave when they attend Bahá’í meetings. If children persist in creating a disturbance they should be taken out of the meeting. This is not merely necessary to ensure the properly dignified conduct of Bahá’í meetings but is an aspect of the training of children in courtesy, consideration for others, reverence, and obedience to their parents.
(Universal House of Justice, Compilation of Compilations, v. 1, p. 447)


In response to the question you have raised in your letter of 18 October 1984 concerning the place of children in the community, especially with regard to Nineteen Day Feasts, we are asked to share with you the following quotation from a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to a National Assembly on the subject. Since children of Bahá’í parents are considered to be Bahá’ís, they are to be encouraged to attend all Feasts, there to share the reading of the Writings and prayers and be bathed in the spirit of the community. It is the hope of the House of Justice that every Feast will be a feast of love when the children will give and receive the tangible affection of the community and its individual members. The House of Justice noted the suggestion you have made about holding Feasts on a weekend close to the first day of the Bahá’í month to facilitate the attendance of children and their parents. This is a matter for the Local Assembly to discuss and decide upon ...
(Universal House of Justice, Compilation of Compilations, v. 1, p. 447)


It would not be administratively proper for a Bahá’í youth under 21 years of age to act as Chairman of the Nineteen Day Feast. However, no great issue should be made of this as it is a purely private matter.
(Universal House of Justice, Compilation of Compilations, v. 1, p. 447)


The House of Justice has instructed us to say that children should be trained to understand the spiritual significance of the gatherings of the followers of the Blessed Beauty, and to appreciate the honour and bounty of being able to take part in them, whatever their outward form may be. It is realized that some Bahá’í observances are lengthy and it is difficult for very small children to remain quiet for so long. In such cases one or other of the parents may have to miss part of the meeting in order to care for the child. The Spiritual Assembly can also perhaps help the parents by providing for a children’s observance, suited to their capacities, in a separate room during part of the community’s observance. Attendance at the whole of the adult celebration thus becomes a sign of growing maturity and a distinction to be earned by good behaviour.
(Universal House of Justice, Compilation of Compilations, v. 1, p. 447)


The Universal House of Justice has received your letter of 11 October 1976 inquiring whether children placed in the home of Bahá’ís for temporary or prolonged care are permitted to attend Bahá’í functions, and we have been asked to inform you that such children may be permitted to attend the Nineteen Day Feasts and other Bahá’í functions, and that no distinction should be made between them and the children of Bahá’ís in this regard.
(Universal House of Justice, Compilation of Compilations, v. 1, p. 447)