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Keeping the Sabbath?

(15 Posts)
EdithSimcox Sun 01-May-16 19:39:20

Eugene Peterson tweeted "If you keep the Sabbath, you start to see creation not as somewhere to get away from."

Which got me thinking. What does keeping the Sabbath look like for most Christians? I know there are those who would insist on not going to work on a Sunday but I've always assumed that that was a minority view - is it? After all priests are in effect doing paid work on a Sunday so it must be more complicated that not going out to work. It could be taking time for worship, and gratitude, and rest, perhaps? What does it mean to you?

gabsdot Sun 01-May-16 20:27:41

We try hard in our family to keep the Sabbath day holy.
We fill the day with activities we can all do together as a family. We go to church obviously. We have a nice Sunday dinner. We turn off the TV and radio. We will sometimes watch a family movie. We go and visit friends and family. We study the scriptures and

I look on the Sabbath day as the day to rest from the usual things I do during the week. (I probably shouldn't be in mumsnet lol). It's a day to feed my spirituality and build myself up for the week to come.

I've recently been studying the Old Testament and there are lots of examples of societies who fell into disbelief and sin and ended up being destroyed not observing the Sabbath day was a huge factor. I think that our society would be so much better off if people observed the Sabbath Day. But that's an aside.

Ginmakesitallok Sun 01-May-16 20:30:34

What makes a nice Sunday dinner holy??

GoldenWondering Sun 01-May-16 21:44:23

No hot food.
No going for a walk.
No TV.
No radio.
No reading other than the bible.
No board games.
No computer.
No going out in the car.
No children playing outside.
No laundry.
No gardening.

These are the things that keep the Sabbath special.

gabsdot Sun 01-May-16 21:45:11

What makes a nice Sunday dinner holy??

That's not the point. It's not a holy pot roast. It's just an opportunity to have a nice meal with family and friends. It's something we choose to do as part of our Sabbath observance.

pearlylum Mon 02-May-16 08:29:14


A dangerous myth.

EdithSimcox Mon 02-May-16 10:57:00

GoldenW, that sounds oppressive, especially 'no going for a walk'. I wouldn't want to follow your church's rules.

gabsdot a day to feed your spirituality... Yes.

My new oven will keep Sabbath for me if I want it to, which is nice, if somewhat wasteful of energy.

specialsubject Mon 02-May-16 16:21:46

Which sabbath should we observe to improve our society? Fri, sat, sun? Any others?

pearlylum Mon 02-May-16 16:29:46

I observe sabbaths- we had one this weekend.

See also: Sabbat, Esbat, and Witches' Sabbath
The annual cycle of the Earth's seasons is called the Wheel of the Year in Wicca and neopaganism. Eight sabbats (occasionally "sabbaths", or "Sun sabbats") are spaced at approximately even intervals throughout the year. Samhain, which coincides with Halloween, is considered the first sabbat of the year.
An esbat is a ritual observance of the full moon in Wicca and neopaganism. Some groups extend the esbat to include the dark moon and the first and last quarters. "Esbat" and "sabbat" are distinct and are probably not cognate terms, although an esbat is also called "moon sabbat".
European records from the Middle Ages to the 17th century or later also place Witches' Sabbaths on similar dates to sabbats in modern Wicca, but with some disagreement; medieval reports of sabbat activity are generally not firsthand and may be imaginative, but many persons were accused of, or tried for, taking part in sabbats.

niminypiminy Mon 02-May-16 17:35:15

Edith that's a really good question. I've been reading Abraham Heschel's The Sabbath recently and it's made me really think about keeping the sabbath and what it means.

Heschel talks about it as a time of joy and peace, in which you put away the world and its cares for a small space - it's forbidden, for example, to spend money on the sabbath. He talks about it as an 'architecture of time' in which we meet God, and writes eloquently as the sabbath waiting for us as a blessing at the end of the week.

Now, I'm now a Jew, and I can't keep shabbat in the Jewish way. But reading this has made me question myself about how it might be to really stop working, buying, busying, for a whole day - and instead rest. I don't think that means doing nothing. It probably wouldn't mean not cooking or driving. But it might mean absolutely stopping working, stopping thinking about work; and taking the time to be instead of to do.

I'm going to be in a situation in a couple of months where I will be working on Sundays and my weekly day off will be Saturday. Maybe it's a good time to be thinking about keeping a sabbath. Thank you, Edith, for giving me the opportunity to think it through a bit.

I've had to reassess what sabbath means to me as Sunday is a working day and my day off is midweek. What I try and do is to ignore work completely on my day off. It is hard as my office is in the house but as much as I can I let the answer phone pick up the calls and don't open email. With only one day a week off I do sometimes just have a duvet day as I'm too knackered to do much else but I do plan days of re-creation where I do stuff that gives me joy such as gardening or writing or craft or cooking. Sabbath is important in my life as it gives me space and recharging time.

annandale Wed 04-May-16 23:03:05

I used to try to keep a kind of shabbat when ds was small. It meant that I stopped doing housework and errands and concentrated on being a good parent to ds - playing with him, letting him take the lead, interacting with him. I did cook but tried to go for simple meals that wouldn't take much time, or did some cooking with him. IT WAS SO HARD. I found it culturally quite difficult as I am from a Christian background and Saturday was always the day when the house got cleaned with fresh beds, everyone went to town, even the only day that my parents could get money out of the bank [old days emoticon]. I found it quite hard to change that pattern. It was also very hard to just-be-a-parent and nothing else. It was genuinely rewarding though.

TheGoldenApplesOfTheSun Mon 13-Jun-16 11:36:46

I'm a Reform Jew. Things I don't do on Shabbat:
Go on the internet
Read news stories
Spend money unless to directly facilitate something pleasant eg entry into a garden for a walk
Use my tablet or laptop
Work - including checking emails
Do laundry

I and my family do:
Cook for pleasure eg make ice cream or desserts we enjoy
Spend time together
Play board games
Go to synagogue
Take walks in nature
Read books (I often start books I've been meaning to get round to)
Eat together
Drink wine
And, ahem Friday night is considered in Jewish tradition to be the best for a couple to enjoy one another.

I highly recommend it, whatever your faith! People aren't meant to just keep going indefinitely, we need time to be human. It's one of the very best things about Judaism I reckon. Second the recommendation of Heschel's The Sabbath.

printmeanicephoto Thu 16-Jun-16 23:57:25

I'm a practising Christian and tend to follow this pattern on Sundays:
Church in the morning
Sunday roast for lunch (usually done in slow cooker for ease)
Afternoon of chilling, no screens, family time, walks, playing with friends or visiting family. Def. no shopping or paid kids sports activities like football. Maybe a short Bible study with kids.
Kids do some school homework after tea (am debating whether they should do this on a different day).
Tv for an hour as a family.

Some Christians are stricter than us, others less so. We try to make Sunday different from the rest of the week. It's good for one's mental health to rest!

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