Celebrating Sunday

When I lived in Jerusalem, I was really impressed with the way many people honored the Sabbath day. When we visited some neighbors to have a meal with them at the start of the Sabbath (which begins Friday evening in the Jewish tradition), I was amazed at how much preparation had gone into getting everything prepared for the holy Sabbath.

I remember as a child sometimes feeling like Sunday was a boring day. Now it’s a day I really delight in and want to celebrate. Here are some resources/ideas that might be helpful for you as you consider your Sabbath worship. Please keep in mind that everybody approaches the Sabbath differently–what works for some might not work for others. These are just ideas, not things anybody should feel obligated to do.

  • The talk, “The Sabbath is a Delight” by President Russell M. Nelson is powerful.
  • This Ensign article has several great suggestions.
  • Sometimes on Sunday I’m tired out, but I still want to do something to invite the Spirit–I love watching movies about Jesus Christ. Currently we’re watching The Chosen; I talk about several other movies focused on Jesus Christ here. We also love movies like “Jeremiah,” “I can only imagine,” “Jane and Emma,” or (a recent favorite of the kids) “Inspired Guns.”
  • We’ve gotten into the habit of blocking out a significant chunk of time and we call it “Gospel Study Time.” What we do varies (read from Preach My Gospel, General Conference talks, have the kids teach lessons, Come Follow Me) but having time blocked out that we know we’re going to spend in family worship is really important.
  • Inviting guests to come and teach us. We love having recently returned missionaries, people from other countries, family members and others come and tell us about their life stories and religious experiences. We learn a lot and it’s a great way to connect with other people.
  • Something we haven’t accomplished yet (but I still dream big) is to have the table set and all meals prepared by Saturday night so everything is much simpler on Sunday. I’m making a goal to set this table this Saturday night!
  • Lani and I made a short video about the Sabbath here.
  • While Lani herself wouldn’t come out and publicly recommend her book Celebrate Sunday, I will! It’s full of great nuggets (also available for half price here and as a cheap e-book here).

Our family (as well as me personally) still has a lot of room to grow in terms of Sabbath Day observance and we’d love some new ideas. What are some things you have found particularly helpful in your efforts to celebrate Sunday?

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