Sabbath

July 28, 2007 at 6:05 pm 2 comments

Sabbath.

When I was younger, say up until I was twelve, Sabbath always meant pasta.

Our special Friday night meal was the same every week: homemade spaghetti noodles topped with yummy red sauce and mzithra cheese, accompanied by garlic toasts on the side.

spaghetti.jpgFriday nights, the beginning of Sabbath, were one of the only times my family ever consistently ate a meal together. So Mom made them special: She’d spend the whole of Friday afternoon working in the kitchen, making the spaghetti noodles from scratch, stooping over the counter so long she could barely stand up straight anymore.

Toward evening, by the time the sun was slipping into the trees in the front yard, the aromas in the house would be so tantalizing that my whole body would ache with hunger.

As Mom finished her noodle making, my job would be to set the table. I took the task seriously, bringing out our best placemats, the real silver, and the special stemware that we used only for Sabbath. I had an illustrated how-to book on napkin-folding, and each week I would try a different napkin design.

By the time that part of the day rolled around, the rest of the house would already have been spick and span and smelling of crisp, lemon-scented cleansers. For as long as I could remember, Friday mornings, before the cooking began, had been dedicated to cleaning the house. Mom would scrub the bathrooms, I would vacuum, and Tyler would dust.

The rest of the week, the kitchen counters might be cluttered and the living room scattered with schoolbooks, but on Fridays, our home reformed and all the clutter disappeared.

sunset.jpgShortly before sunset, with Mom finishing in the kitchen and the aromas becoming unbearable, the back door would swing open and Dad would walk in, briefcase in hand and tie askew, worn out from a long day at the office. He always kissed Mom first, then me.

While Tyler lit the candles for supper, Mom would bustle back and forth from the kitchen to the table, serving up steaming plates of pasta and a basket of hot bread. As she moved from one place to the next, Dad would sit down at the head of the table, open a bottle of chilled sparkling grape juice, and pour four glasses.

With the preparation finished and all the food ready, the rest of us would sit around the table. We would join hands in a circle, and Dad would pray. From that point until sundown the next evening, all the busyness ceased; it was the time for rest.

Sabbath.

::

This topic is to be continued tomorrow, but at the moment I am curious: I know my readers come from a wide array of religious backgrounds; is Sabbath practice part of your routine? If so, how?

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Stephen  |  July 28, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    If I had grown up in a home where Sabbath observance looked like that, I would probably still observe it! But my family never observed the Sabbath, and I never have either.

    Recently I’ve been thinking that the practice has more merit than I had given it credit for. I’m interested to see what you will say next.

    Reply
  • 2. Jamie  |  July 30, 2007 at 8:25 am

    Trust me, Sabbath observance has been far from perfect in my own practice of it. Still, the practice is something I value more the older I get and the more I understand of the theology surrounding it.

    I’ll be interested in your feedback on my next posts.

    Reply

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Profile

profile.jpgI am working on my M.A. in Religion at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Besides having a big interest in theology, history, ethics, and the deep stuff of life, I am also very fond of Mediterranean food, snow, and the color red.

Email me: jamie.kiley@gmail.com

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