Sabbath Worship Service
Sabbath Blessings for Saturday, December 26th at Sundown
Recite this Blessing as you light the Advent candles
Blessed are You, God, Ruler of the universe, who sanctified us with the commandment of lighting Sabbath Candles.
Then if there are children in the home or family, recite this blessing over your children. If not, recite the blessing over our children in our church and mission field.
For the girls
May you be like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah. May you be like Mary the mother of Jesus, Elizabeth, and Mary Magdalene. Grow in Grace and Beauty. Live in Spirit and Truth. Love like Jesus.
For the boys
May you be like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. May you be like John, James, and Peter. Grow in Grace and Strength. Live in Spirit and Truth. Love like Jesus.
Finish with these words for all the children
May God bless you and protect you. May God show you favor and be gracious to you. May God show you kindness and grant you peace. Amen
Before eating your evening meal on Saturday, recite the following blessing. Traditionally either wine or grape juice is served. This blessing is taken from the Hebrew Bible which recounts the moment God completed creation and decided to rest.
Leader: The sixth day: And the Heavens and the Earth and all they contained were completed, and on the seventh day God desisted from all the work that he had done. And God rested on the seventh day from all the work he had done. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, for on that day he rested from all the work which he had done in creating the world.
Everyone together: Blessed are you, LORD our God, Ruler of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine and has brought forth bread from the earth. Blessed are you, LORD our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has sanctified us with his commandments and favored us, and given us in love and favor his holy Sabbath as an inheritance, as a remembrance of the act of creation. For this day is the beginning of all holy days, a remembrance of the Exodus from Egypt. For you have chosen us and you have blessed us. And you have bequeathed us your holy Sabbath in love and favor. Blessed are you, LORD, who sanctifies Sabbath.
After the meal, say another blessing of thanksgiving.
Leader: Let us praise God!
Everyone: Praised be the name of God, now and forever.
Leader: Praised be the name of God, now and forever. Praise be our God, of whose abundance we have eaten.
Everyone: Praised be our God, of whose abundance we have eaten, and by whose goodness we live.
Leader: Sovereign God of the universe, we praise you: Your goodness sustains the world. You are the God of grace, love, and compassion, the source of bread for all who live; for your love is everlasting. In your great goodness we need never lack for food; you provide food enough for all. We praise you, O God, source of food for all who live.
Everyone: As it is written: When you have eaten and are satisfied, give praise to your God who has given you this good earth. We praise you, O God, for the earth and for its sustenance. Merciful one, be our God forever. Merciful one, heaven and earth alike are blessed by your presence. Merciful one, bless this house, this table at which we have eaten. Merciful one, send us tidings of Messiah, glimpses of good to come, redemption and consolation. May the source of peace grant peace to us and to all the world. May the God of the universe grant strength to us and bless us with peace. Amen
Sabbath blessings for Sabbath Day
Leader: The people of God shall keep Sabbath, observing Sabbath throughout the ages as a covenant for all time. It shall be a sign for all time between Me and my people, for in six days Adonai made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day God ceased from work and was refreshed.
Everyone: Therefore Adonai blessed the day of Sabbath and hallowed it. Praise to you, Adonai our God, sovereign of the universe, creator of the fruit of the vine and the bread of the earth.
At the end of Sabbath, it’s tradition to have a final ritual called havdalah which means “separation.” The purpose is to separate Sabbath from the busy-ness of the rest of the week. There are four elements to mark the moment as we sadly say goodbye to the beauty of Sabbath. We also pledge to carry its gifts into the week to come.
The four elements are as follows. Everyone will take a sip of wine (or grape juice) from a single cup. This symbolizes the joy we experienced on Sabbath. We pass a spice box (filled with cinnamon or another sweet smelling spice) which symbolizes the lingering scent of the sweetness of Sabbath. We light a candle which symbolizes how our busy separate selves come together on Sabbath. The light, the wine, and the spices come together to help us carry Sabbath with us through the week until the next Sabbath. The final element is extinguishing the candle. We extinguish the candle into the wine to conclude the ceremony, as a final moment of “goodbye” to Sabbath.
As Sabbath ends, the Havdalah candle is lit. Take the cup of wine (or juice) and lift it up and proceed with the blessing.
Everyone: Behold, the God who gives me triumph! I am confident, unafraid; for Adonai is my strength and my might, and has been my deliverance. Joyfully shall you draw water from the fountains of triumph, deliverance is Adonai’s; Your blessing be upon your people. Selah.
Leader: May the sovereign answer us when we call. God’s people enjoyed light and gladness, happiness and honor. So may it be for us. I raise the cup of deliverance and invoke the name of Adonai.
Lift up the cup and say:
Leader: We praise you, Adonai our God, sovereign of all, creator of the fruit of the vine.
Lift up the box of spice and say:
Leader: We praise you, Adonai our God, sovereign of all, creator of varied spices.
(Pass the box around and everyone smell the spice.)
Lift up the lit candle and say:
Leader: We praise you, Adonai our God, creator of the lights of fire and the true light of the world. Praise to you Adonai our God, sovereign of all: who distinguishes between the holy and the ordinary, between light and dark, between sheep and goats, between the Sabbath day and the six days of work. Praise to you, Adonai who distinguishes the holy and the ordinary.
(Extinguish the candle in the remaining wine or juice.)
Leader: Everyone have a good week, a week of peace, may gladness reign and joy increase. Amen
Traditionally, there are 39 melakhah or deliberate activities that are not done on the Sabbath. These activities range from farming activities, to daily chores, to finishing projects. For our Aldersgate Sabbath, we recommend that our people don’t do any activity that is unpleasant for you. For example, if you enjoy gardening, by all means go outdoors and enjoy yourself. But if gardening is nothing more than yard work to you and needs to be done, then refrain from it on that day. Nothing you do on Sabbath should feel obligatory to you.
Instead of focusing on things you shouldn’t do, we have a list of recommended activities for people on Sabbath.