Audio Liturgy: Shabbat (the Sabbath)

The Nerd did not grow up keeping Shabbat (the Sabbath) and learned to love the ritual, decoration, and unity the Friday night prayers bring as an adult. The smell of challah, chicken soup, and the candles gives him a sweet feeling. He thought he would share with you a very simple tutorial on making Shabbat special.

It begins Wednesday or Thursday with the shopping. If you’re looking in a kosher store, the really good stuff is gone by Thursday night.

Next is the tablecloth, the fine glasses and plates, the candlesticks, maybe some flowers or other decorative items added to the table to make this Sabbath meal stand above all the other meals of the week.

As the family gathers around the table, it is usually the mother who stands over the candlesticks, head covered, closes her eyes, cups her hands making half circles over the flames of the just-lit candles and sings:

candle blessing for the Sabbath

Listen to it in audio:

The Nerd is keeping this ritual simple for new learners. So for an abridged and simple Shabbat, the father now stands and lifts his glass of wine in his left hand, singing:

blessing over wine for the Sabbath

Listen to it in audio:

Everyone drinks the wine, perhaps Manischewitz if your palate can handle the sophisticated bouquet of such a fine wine. And then:

blessing over bread for the Sabbath

Listen to it in audio:

And then everyone passes hand-torn pieces of warm challah around and enjoys this most blessed of all bread varieties on earth. This is followed by a race to get to the food first. And Shabbat is off to a great start.

3 thoughts on “Audio Liturgy: Shabbat (the Sabbath)”

  1. I love this. It’s a wonderful celebration of our Creator, but when you live alone and your family is grown with their own families and activities, it doesn’t seem like something to do by yourself; it’s family oriented. After finishing up the work week, I usually pick up dinner on the way home on Friday and eat alone. It’s a blessing when you are able to gather with family or friends and bring Shabbat in after this very special manner. Blessings, Derek.

  2. Thanks Derek! I’m looking forward to adding the melodies to the blessing, making them more beautiful. Add more songs for Shabbat when you have opportunity.


  3. Just catching up now with some older posts and wanted to share an observation . I had been a Shabbat keeper for several years…in NY and in Israel. It was a great blessing and a joy. After becoming a Jewish believer, as we were referred to in Israel, and returning to the US to live, I found that most Christians did not experience this joy and actually resisted having a time of total rest. I keep hearing many quote the phrase of “Jesus is our sabbath.”, as though the keeping of the sabbath is a religious and legalistic ritual which deprives people of having fun!

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