messianic sabbath rules

Messianic Sabbath Rules – What are They?

From the meticulous preparations on Preparation Day to the lighting of candles, each practice holds profound significance.

As the sun sets, tranquility descends, and the candles are lit by the woman of the house, symbolizing God’s sanctification and Jesus as the light of the world.

Join us on this profound journey as we uncover the Messianic Sabbath.

What is Messianic Judaism?

Messianic Judaism is a religious movement that emerged in the United States in the 1960s. 

It is a form of Christianity that incorporates Jewish traditions and beliefs. Messianic Jews believe in salvation through faith in Jesus as the Jewish Messiah and recognize the spiritual authority of both the Old and New Testaments. 

They identify themselves as both believers and Jews, opposing being labeled as Christians. 

The movement has seen significant growth, with hundreds of Messianic houses of worship in the United States and over 100 congregations in Israel. 

However, it is rejected by all denominations of Judaism, and there is ongoing debate about whether it should be considered a Jewish or Christian religious sect.

Sabbath Preparation

Preparing for the Sabbath involves completing various tasks on Friday, commonly known as Preparation Day. 

Meal planning is an essential part of Sabbath preparation, ensuring that all the necessary ingredients and dishes are ready for the special day. 

This includes making ahead and simplifying meals to stop cooking and cleaning on the Sabbath itself.

Cleaning rituals are also a significant aspect of preparation, as the Sabbath is a time of rest and sanctity. This involves tidying up the home, sweeping, dusting, and removing any clutter.

When Does the Sabbath Begin?

Understanding Sabbath observance is crucial, and one key aspect is the importance of sundown in determining the start of the Sabbath.

  1. The Sabbath starts from sundown on Friday evening: According to Leviticus 23:32, days begin at sundown. Therefore, the Sabbath officially begins at sundown on Friday and continues until Saturday evening.
  2. Continuation until Saturday evening: The Sabbath is observed for a full 24-hour period, ending at sundown on Saturday evening. This duration allows for a day of rest, reflection, and spiritual renewal.

Lighting the Candles

In Messianic Judaism, candle-lighting traditions hold great importance.

The responsibility of lighting the candles is usually given to the woman of the house, who lights two candles. 

It’s customary for women to cover their heads during the blessing.

The blessing for lighting the candles acknowledges God’s sanctification and Jesus as the light of the world. 

This act of lighting the candles is a symbolic representation of bringing light into the world and setting aside this sacred time for rest and worship.

It serves as a reminder of the spiritual significance of the Sabbath and the divine presence during this holy time.

Blessings Over the Children

When they prepare for the Messianic Sabbath, there is a custom to say blessings over the children. This custom holds great biblical significance and is deeply rooted in traditional customs.

Here are the key elements of this ritual:

  • Different blessings are said for boys and girls. This reflects the unique roles and blessings associated with each gender.
  • The father usually says these blessings, symbolizing his role as the spiritual leader of the family.
  • The blessing for boys is based on Genesis 48:20, where Jacob blesses Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.
  • The blessing for girls mentions biblical women like Sara, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, highlighting their virtues and qualities.

This tradition not only imparts blessings upon the children but also fosters a sense of spiritual connection and continuity within the family.

The Aaronic Blessing and Blessing Over the Wife

The Messianic Sabbath is continued by reciting the Aaronic Blessing over the wife.

The Aaronic Blessing, found in Numbers 6:24-26, is a powerful invocation of God’s favor and protection. 

It is the responsibility of the husband to pronounce this blessing upon his wife. 

This tradition emphasizes the role of the husband as the spiritual leader of the family, imparting God’s blessings and love to his wife.

Additionally, the blessing over the wife, derived from Proverbs 31:10-31, celebrates the qualities and actions of an excellent wife. 

By offering this blessing, they acknowledge and appreciate the invaluable role their wives plays in their life and in their home.

These blessing traditions serve to strengthen the bond between husband and wife, fostering love, respect, and gratitude within the sacred space of the Messianic Sabbath.

Is the Sabbath only for the Jewish people?

Contrary to popular belief that the Sabbath was made only for the Jewish people, the Bible says that it was made for everyone.

In Mark 2:27, we find:

And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 

Mark 2:27 KJV

Not only that but the Sabbath was established in the Garden of Eden when only Adam and Eve existed. 

The Jewish nation was not even in existence at that time.

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Genesis 2:2-3 KJV


In conclusion, the Messianic Sabbath offers a glimpse into a world of devotion and reverence. 

From the meticulous preparations to the blessings bestowed upon the family, each practice holds deep significance and meaning.

The Messianic Sabbath is truly a time to cherish the bonds of family and faith and to bask in the beauty and sanctity of this sacred day.

Taking it further, the Sabbath is not only for the Messianic Jews. God gave the Sabbath for mankind, as the fourth commandment and as a blessing.

It is the day when we stop our work, and our things, and when we spend quality time with our Creator. 

Reading the Bible, going to Church, walking in nature, and helping those in need from our community is a great way to spend the Sabbath.


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