Can A Cantor Perform A Bar/Bat Mitzvah Or Any Other Religious Ceremony?
Yes. In fact, a Cantor with comprehensive knowledge about prayers and melodies, and someone with good moral character can perform religious ceremonies and lead prayer services in synagogues. Cantors undergo training for the same period of time as the Rabbis, and they can act both as a religious leader and a musician. In fact, in some cases, a Cantor takes the leading position in absence of a Rabbi.
Professional Cantors are a sort of ordained clergy and their most important duty is to lead the entire Shabbat service or a part of it, and to chant the Haftarah or Torah reading, which is the heart of the bat and bar mitzvah ceremony. A girl becomes a Bat Mitzvah at the age of 12 according to Conservative and Orthodox Jews, while a boy becomes a Bar Mitzvah at the age of 13.
Apart from the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies, Cantors can perform a number of pastoral duties that were once restricted to Rabbis. This includes educating and inspiring the congregation, conducting rituals at funerals as well as weddings and paying a visit to sick congregants.
A majority of non-Orthodox Jews rejoice the occasion of Bat Mitzvah in the same way as the boy’s Bar Mitzvah, however many Orthodox Jews reject the idea that a female Cantor can publicly lead ceremonies or read from Torah, whenever there is a quorum of 10 males available to do so.
Depending upon which branch of Judaism; the Orthodox, The Reform or The Conservative, you choose to become an official Cantor of, there may be certain limitations imposed on the sort of religious ceremonies that you can lead. Apart from preparing children for their Bat or Bar Mitzvah Events by teaching them how to chant and sing properly, a Cantor also works in association with a Rabbi to carry out vital duties.