Things to have ready in the house
This list is designed for a bris held in a home. You may wish to print it out and use it as your checklist. If you are doing the bris in your synagogue or temple, many of these items will already be available without you having to get them:
1.A small table for set-up of the circumcision materials
2.Two comfortable chairs (preferably arm-chairs)
3.A low foot-stool, about 8-9 inches (or a couple of phone books)
4.One cloth diaper, two receiving blankets, disposable diapers
5.Kiddush cup and kosher sweet wine (Kedem, Manischewitz, Carmel)
6.Two tallitot (prayer shawls), and kippot (skull-caps) for guests
7.A firm pillow
8.One box 3 X 3 gauze pads
9.Triple antibiotic ointment (Neosporin, Polysporin, etc.)
10.One hand towel
11.Infant Tylenol (optional)
Please note that if you are having difficulty procuring any of these items, just call me in advance and I'll be happy to bring them with me.
Honors to give your guests
You may want to make a list of friends and family whom you'd like to honor with a kibud, or honor, at the ceremony. Here is a list of some of the kibudim available.
1. Kvater - this is a couple - usually married - who bring the baby into the room where the bris will take place (It is customary that the woman kvater is not pregnant).
2. Kisay Shel Eliyahu - The Seat of Elijah the Prophet - an honored guest will take the baby from the kvater and place the baby on the Seat of Elijah, the prophet who attends every bris.
3. May-al HaKisay - this guest takes the baby from the Seat of Elijah and gives him to the Sandak.
4. Sandak - this is the biggest honor. The sandak holds the baby during the actual circumcision. The sandak is usually the grandfather, great-grandfather, or some other very close relative.
5. May-al HaSandak - after the circumcision is completed, this guest takes the baby from the sandak and presents him to the next honored guest.
6. Brachot - usually the officiating Rabbi or someone else well-versed in Hebrew recites the blessing over wine and the special blessing for the bris.
7. Amidah L'Brachot - this guest holds the baby during the recital of the Brachot.
8. Kriat Hashem - either the same person who recited the Brachot, or another guest well-versed in Hebrew recites the special naming prayer where your son's Hebrew name is declared.
9. Amidah L'Kriat Hashem - the person who holds the baby during the naming.