Home Rituals

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SABBATH

Home Rituals for Christians

In observing and keeping holy the seventh day of the week, the Jewish people have a unique relationship with the day of the Sabbath (Shabbat in Hebrew), expressed through particular ritual traditions.

However, Jewish tradition also holds that the Sabbath was created as God's gift to all humanity, as recorded in the Book of Genesis in the first creation account. Thus, from a Jewish perspective, it is appropriate for non-Jews to mark the Sabbath, even if they are not bound to observe it according to the prescriptions of Jewish Law.

(Note that this situation differs to the sensitivities around Christians celebrating 'Christianised' versions of the Passover seder which are today discouraged by most Catholic Bishops out of respect for the integrity of both traditions. This does not preclude Catholics from responding to an invitation  to participate in a seder conducted by a Jewish household/community.)

The Genesis text that describes the holiness of the seventh day of the week and the command to keep it holy is, of course, also part of the Church's Scriptures. Pope John Paul II has reflected on the important relationship between Sabbath and Sunday, the latter being the Day of the Lord for Christians and the liturgical highpoint of their week.

Without compromising the priority of Sunday worship, some Christians are today rediscovering the joy of celebrating the Shabbat on Friday evening into Saturday in their own homes in ways which are meaningful for them. Two examples of such table rituals can be found here:

SUNDAY

Home Rituals for Christians

Inspired by the sanctity of the Jewish home as a place of Sabbath ritual, Light of Torah also offers ideas for Catholics to celebrate Sunday within their own homes through simple Sunday homes rituals, not replacing the Mass or public parish worship of course, but allowing the celebration of the day to permeate the domestic space. Three sample rituals are offered as creative ideas: Day of Light, Day of Fire, Day of the Church.

 

Each family, of course, finds its own way of celebrating Sunday at home.

© Teresa Pirola, 2013. lightoftorah.net.

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