The honorees their functions and significances
Carries baby from mother to bris room and, after the bris, back to mother. This is the one formal honor bestowed upon a woman at a bris. Often, the Kvatterin and Kvatterare a couple seeking to have a child, as this honor is deemed propitious for this purpose.
In some communities baby is passed from woman to woman, each bringing him closer to the bris room.
Kvatter (Colloquially- Godfather)
Carries baby from Kvatterin to bris area and, after the bris, back to the Kvatterin.
In some communities the baby is passed from man to man, each bringing the baby closer to the bris area.
Throne of Elijah
Places baby on the chair designated as Throne of Elijah.
Some place great emphasis on this honor.
From the Throne
Takes baby from the Throne of Elijah and gives him to father who places him onsandak’s lap.
Holds baby during bris. This is the highest honor at Bris, the sandak is equated to a kohen burning incense offering in the Bies HaMikdash. Holds baby during bris. This is the highest honor at Bris, the sandak is equated to a kohen burning incense offering in the Bies HaMikdash.
Many single out the Rabbi or the Grandfather for this honor.
From the Sandak’s lap
Takes the baby from sandak at conclusion of the circumcision and gives him to the standing sandak.
Holds baby while blessings and prayer are recited, during which baby is given his Hebrew name.
Arizal considered this an important honor.
Reader of the blessings
Recites two blessings said following the bris. Recites two blessings said following the bris.
This honor is often bestowed on a Rabbi, Mohel or Sandak.
Giving the Name
Recites Prayer during which baby is given his Hebrew name.
This honor is often bestowed on a Rabbi, Mohel or Sandak. This honor is often combined with that of the blessings.
Leader of Birchas HaMazon
Recites the invitation to the Grace after meal – following the festive meal; RecitesHarachamon prayers.
In some communities the Mohel is accorded this honor. In others, a different person recites each Harachamon prayer.
The mother gives the child to the Kvatterin, who passes him to the Kvatter, who then passes him to the person who will place him on the Chair of Elijah. He is then taken from the chair and given to the father, who places the child in the lap of the Sandek. The Mohel then performs the Bris. Afterwards the child is taken from the Sandek’s lap and given to the standing Sandek, the blessings are recited, and the name is given. Then the child is returned to the mother through the Kvatter and Kvatterin.
For a Printable blank list of honorees click here