Welcome! This Sunday has been set aside as a Sabbath Day for all to rest - including Church employees and volunteers. Below, you will find some resources for practicing Sabbath at home. You'll find:
1) Opening And Closing Rituals for intentionally honoring the Sabbath
2) A video reflection from Rev. Elizabeth about Sabbath (at the bottom of this page)
3) Rev. Elizabeth's written reflection on Sabbath (if you prefer to read rather than watch the video).
4) Letter from The Very Reverend M. Ansley Tucker inviting all to make December 27, 2020 a day of intentional Sabbath rest.
Wishing you a peaceful Sabbath!
Welcoming the Sabbath
The following Opening Ritual comes from Celtic Daily Prayer Book One: The Journey Begins (with modifications made for gender inclusive language).
*Before beginning the ritual all share out loud or write down the burdens they plan to intentionally lay down during the Sabbath.
mighty wind of god,
you brood over our lives,
and speak new life into our chaos.
Blessed is the Holy One, our God,
who kindles light in the darkness,
and who sanctifies the Sabbath
Sabbath Candle is lit
Celebrates the flower of creation,
the wedding of our hopes
to Your divine yearning.
In the light of Your holy Sabbath
each day is holy:
in the overflowing of Sabbath joy,
each moment is sacred.
Blessed be God
who gives us the Sabbath
and leads us to the waters of stillness.
The day is not a day but an attitude a disposition,
A rest in the human heart.
So carry no burdens on this Sabbath day,
rather, when God rests in you,
So you also rest in God.
And when God does God’s work in you,
so you also do your work in God.
Welcome the day,
Receive the gift.
Remember the Sabbath and keep it.
It is made for you:
Blessed be God,
Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer.
Who restores our soul
and commands us to rest.
This ritual I wrote myself based on various resources
Here I usually read a poem. Here’s a perfect one to use!
“The Sabbath” by Christine Valtners Paintner
“Even as the subway car hurtles
into the tunnel and calendars heave
under growing weight of entries,
even under the familiar lament
for more hours to do
a bell rings somewhere
and a man lays down
his hammer, as if to say
the world can build without me,
a woman sets down
her pen as if to say,
the world will carry on
without my words.
The project left undone,
dust on the shelves,
dishes crusted with morning
egg, the vase of drooping
flowers, and so much work
still to complete,
I journey across the long field
where trees cling to the edges
free to not do anything but
stand their ground,
and bluebells sway
and in this taste of paradise
where rest becomes luminous
and play a prayer of gratitude,
even the stones sing
of a different time,
where burden is lifted
and eternity endures.”
Share with one another, or articulate for yourself, what was the best thing about the period of Sabbath?
Each person writes down on a slip of paper, one thing they feel proud of or good about or thankful for from the past week. We place these in a jar which we then open on New Year’s Eve so we can remember the blessings of the year.
Cup of Blessing
Wine or juice is poured into small glass (we use one the size of a shot glass) until it begins to overflow, while saying the following:
May the joy and peace of this moment flow into the days to come.
Blessing of Children/Youth
In Contemporary Jewish practice of Sabbath, the close of Shabbat often includes the blessing of children by the Father of the household. I’ve written a two-part blessing that my wife and I use to bless our daughter. In short we pray that she might know she is deeply loved and that her week might bring her much joy.
Sharing of Sweet Fragrance
We have a small container in which we keep cloves or other sweet-smelling spices. It is passed around with these words:
May the sweetness of rest and peace be with us through this week.
Extinguishing the Sabbath Light
We came to the Sabbath to be restored. The light reminded us to let anxious thoughts go, to let busyness recede, to lay our burden down, to let in love and connection. As we extinguish the Sabbath light, we pray that gentleness, stillness and trust may burn in our hearts in the week to come.
Candle is extinguished.
The Giving of Sweets
Some type of small sweet treat is shared around with the following words:
May the sweetness of this time stay with you.