Shabbat-style evening gathering10 Apr 2012
A group of three Christian families with children aged from 6 weeks to 3½ years get together most Fridays at 5 pm to celebrate Shabbat and kindly invited me to join them one Friday...
The encouraging thing to see is that it worked even with children so young. There is clearly a real sense of excitement as children greet one another at the door and adults relax among friends. We begin with adults and children saying a simple liturgy together, which includes the lighting of a candle (with safety lighter and adult supervision,) to give thanks for something, a time of hand washing to open our hearts to God, and sharing a one-liner prayer for someone or something.
All this in amongst a simple children's buffet of sausages, grapes, cheese and juice, which is enjoyed as they go. It might be busy, broken by the odd squabble, but that's fine. It actually feels more like the joy of family life meeting everyday faith in a real and accessible way.
Once the liturgy and children's food are finished, they are put to bed in the host's house. Adults then enjoy their food (each bringing a contribution) with time to catch up or talk about deeper things. At the end of the evening, children are transferred to their own bed in their own house until the time to meet together again.
Why not have a go in your home? And do let us know how you get on using the Contact Jane page.
A sample liturgy to celebrate Shabbat just with children can be found here.
A sample liturgy to celebrate Shabbat with adults and children can be found here.
To find out more about the traditions behind Shabbat click here.
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