Our family has enjoyed creating a Shabbat time each week as a restful, quiet family time to share our spiritual sides with each other. At first we thought that it might be hard to pull off a fancy dinner by candlelight that includes a worship service every week, but we actually found the opposite, that honoring our family by giving each other our best was easier than we expected. We all look forward to picking some special food or decoration to make the moment exciting. When we light the candles, everyone just naturally slows down and rests in the moment without any need of reminders. Our son particularly becomes amazingly focused when we are gathered around the candlelit table. On a regular day, it’s a challenge to get him to think about anything except video games, but at Shabbat dinner he is suddenly present and listening and absorbing the things we have to share about our values and beliefs and experiences. It truly is a sacred shared space for us.
We’ve used many resources to create a general order of service for ourselves that we modify weekly as the moment seems fit. Our son loves to find new meanings in the routine and find new things to add, like blessing the dogs or praying for the animals at his school. We use this as a flexible framework to create a lovely meaningful time that always unique and changing.
Preparation Prayer: Blessed are you, Oh Lord our God, Creator of the Universe. In your name we choose to honor the Sabbath in our home this night. May the light of the candles drive out from among us the spirit of anger, frustration, and fear that we may walk in Your light.
Lighting the candles:
#1- Creation – Blessed are You our Creator who brings forth light out of the darkness. Light in the beginning of the world, light in the beginning of each day.
#2 – Redemption – Blessed are You our Creator who acts now through us and brings light to the world through our lives. Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify God in Heaven.”
We set these candles to bring light into the lives of all who are in this house.
Song: Bless Our Home sung to the tune of Edelweiss
Bless our home. Bless our food. Come oh Lord and sit with us. May our talk glow with peace. May your love surround us. Friendship and love may they bloom and grow. Bloom and grow forever. Bless our home. Bless our food. Come oh Lord and sit with us.
Blessing of the children: Place hands on the child and say a prayer or song to bless each child
Blessing of the parents: Child leads prayer of their choice
Covering the Knives: The prophet Isaiah wrote, of a future time when he said, “And they will hammer their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” We are children of peace. Tonight we make this table into our alter and pray for peace in the world to begin here.
Blessing over the wine: Blessed are you, oh Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe who brings forth the fruit of the earth. Take a full cup and drink, for wine symbolizes joy!
Blessing over the bread: Blessed are you, oh Lord our God, Sovereign of the Universe who brings bread from the earth. Sprinkling salt on the bread: We remember that our bread is gained by the sweat of many other’s brows. For every farmer or laborer who has worked to sustain us, we give thanks and pray that they also be well fed. Giving to charity: For this reason we share our feast with others by setting aside some riches to give back (and we put some money in a special piggy bank). And now we eat and rejoice. For the scripture says, “Eat your bread with joy!”
Song: Come Share the Lord
We gather here. We praise His name. His love is glowing in our hearts like living flame. The One we love the most is now our gracious host. Come taste the bread, come drink the wine, come share the Lord. No one is a stranger here. Everyone belongs. Finding our forgiveness here. We in turn forgive all wrongs. We’ll gather soon. Where angles sing. We’ll see the glory of our Lord and coming King. Now we anticipate, the feast for which we wait. Come taste the bread, come drink the wine, come share the Lord.