Jewish Holidays and Festivals in 2015

Jewish Holidays and Festivals in 2015

A list of six Sundays in the church year where prayers for the Jewish holidays may be inserted into the Prayers of the People.

 

The short explanatory paragraph puts the prayer in context for the one who leads the Prayers of the People, not necessarily to be included in the prayer.

 

Sunday, 1 March -- Purim - March 4/5

The festival of Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from a plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.”

Suggested insert for the Prayers of the People:

Oh God, we ask your blessing on our Jewish neighbors who celebrate the festival of Purim this week.  Purim commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from a plot “to destroy all the Jews in a single day.”  May we come to see all people as precious in your sight.

Sunday, 29 March  -  Passover - April 3 - 11

The eight-day festival of Passover commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt.

Suggested insert for the Prayers of the People:

Gracious God, we thank you for our Jewish neighbors who will celebrate the festival of Passover in this coming week; let it remind us that your will for us is always freedom from any form of slavery.

Sunday, 24 May  -  Shavuot - May 23 - 25

God gave the Torah to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai more than 3300 years ago. Every year on the holiday of Shavuot Jews renew their acceptance of God’s gift, and God “re-gives” the Torah.  Shavuot means “oaths,” for on this day God swore eternal devotion to them, and they in turn pledged everlasting loyalty to Him.

Suggested insert for the Prayers of the People:

God ever-faithful, we thank you for our roots in the Jewish faith and for the gift of your Commandments, which will be celebrated by Jews throughout the world in the festival of Shavuot this coming week.

Sunday, 13 September  -  Rosh Hashanah - September 13 - 15

The festival of Rosh Hashanah, meaning, Head of the Year, is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve.  It emphasizes the special relationship between God and humanity: our dependence upon God as our creator and sustainer, and God’s dependence upon us as the ones who make His presence known and felt in His world. 

Suggested insert for the Prayers of the People:

Oh Lord, bless our Jewish neighbors as they celebrate the festival of Rosh Hashanah, their New Year, this week.  Let their festival remind us, as it does them, of the special relationship between God and humankind.

Sunday 20 September - Yom Kippur - September 22/23

Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish year, the day Jews are closest to God and to the quintessence of their own souls. It is the Day of Atonement, for as it says in Leviticus, “For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before God” 

Suggested insert for the Prayers of the People:

We thank you, gracious God, for the faith of the Jews.  Bless them this week as they celebrate Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement; and instill in our hearts also true repentance and amendment of life that we, too, may know your unfailing mercy.

Sunday, 6 December  -  Chanukah - December 6 - 14

Chanukah is the eight-day festival of lights that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness.  It commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying Greek armies.

Suggested insert for the Prayers of the People:

Bless, Oh Lord, our neighbors the Jews this week as they celebrate Chanukah, the Festival of Lights, the triumph of light over darkness.  May people everywhere find inspiration in their faith.

 

Information on the Jewish Holidays comes from Chabad.org