Shabbat is a taste of eternity every week...
It begins just before sundown Friday (or Saturday), which marks the beginning of Sabbath.
- Candles are lit and the woman of the house offers a prayer welcoming in the Sabbath.
- Blessings over the children are led by the parents.
- The Father reads a blessing over his wife and portions of Proverbs 31.
- Blessings are then said over the wine (or grape juice) served with the meal, and over the challah (a special, braided sweet bread served only on Sabbath).
- Then the best meal of the week is served. (If you are a gentile, think Sunday dinners at Grandma’s house.)
- After dinner there is a discussion usually from the portion of scripture that would be taught the next morning in synagogue. That could be applied as well to the text for a Sunday morning sermon. It is a time to pass on the faith from parents to children. (Read Deuteronomy 6 together).
- Prayers of thanks for the meal are said.
- The Aaronic blessing is prayed over all those gathered around the table.
- The evening traditionally ends with singing around the table.
Here are some resources to help you get started (click on the title to download the document):
And additional reading resources:
"Which Day Should We Observe Sabbath?" by the Rev. Philip Bottomley (downloadable here in PDF format).
"Just in Case" by Marcia Lebhar (Gulf Atlantic Diocese: Wilderness Series, Article #4).
Keeping the Sabbath Wholly by Marva Dawn
Sabbath as Resistance by Walter Brueggemann
The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan
The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel
The Journal of Biblical Integration in Business published a special issue with articles and book reviews on the Sabbath, including reviews of Brueggeman's and Heschel's books listed above (downloadable here: JBIB, Volume 18, #1, Spring 2015).
"Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe,
Who has sanctified us with his commandments,
and commanded us to be a light to the nations."