The order of a Jewish worship service, including in Messianic Jewish congregations, can vary widely and change from time to time. Still, there are some things that are nearly always included. I’ve grown to appreciate the beauty of the traditional liturgy, much of which comes straight out of the Scriptures.
To assist in maintaining an order of worship (1 Corinthians 14:40) The Messianic Light is pleased to make available a PowerPoint presentation that can be used in Messianic services.
In making this PowerPoint presentation I have consulted several sources, including but not limited to:
- Messianic Shabbat Siddur by Jeremiah Greenburg, Messianic Liturgical Resources
- Prayer Book and Life Cycle Guide for Messianic Believers in Yeshua
- Messianic Siddur for Shabbat by Daniel Perek
- The Complete Artscroll Siddur
- Mishkan T’filah for Shabbat
The presentation is designed for an English-speaking audience. One goal is to express the beauty of the Hebrew language in worship without making a foreign language burdensome to the participant. Minimal Hebrew is used, much of it is repetitive and tends to use words that are familiar (or will hopefully become familiar). Transliteration, or the Hebrew pronunciation written out in English sounds, as well as an English translation are always provided. Singing always makes it easier to remember.
Order of the Service
Here is a breakdown for the order of the Shabbat Service for Followers of Yeshua, along with suggestions for how to use it. Do what works best in your group to encourage the most meaningful offering of worship to the Father.
V’shamru is a reading from Exodus 31:16-17. It has been formatted in the order of a song commonly sung on Shabbat. You can hear an example of this song here.
Often the first piece that is recited after entering the place of worship, the complete Ma Tovu is a collection of five Scripture passages that focus on entering into the house of God – Numbers 24:5 and Psalms 5:5, 26:8, 95:6 and 69:14. Sometimes only the first passage from Numbers is recited. In this presentation the first two passages, Numbers 24:5 and Psalm 5:8 are formatted after the way Paul Wilbur sings it, though I like to do it a little faster and without the Old English. I like this one because it includes both Hebrew and English. There are also several other melodies.
Blessing of the Messiah
This is actually a prayer blessing Adonai (Yahweh) for the Messiah, Yeshua. It begins with a phrase that is common in many of the blessings used in liturgy: Blessed are you, O LORD our God, King of the universe. For additional study on this phrase, you may wish to read Blessing the King of the Universe by Irene Lipson. The Blessing of the Messiah is placed here immediately following the proclamation of Shabbat and the entering of the place of worship. It announces the preeminence of Yeshua the Messiah in our worship of the Father. The complete Blessing of the Messiah should be said first in Hebrew and then in English
Call To Worship
The Barchu is a traditional responsive call to worship based on 1 Chronicles 29:20. The worship leader begins the chant or recitation with the imperative (command) “Bless the Lord” followed by a congregational response “Blessed is the Lord.” The Call to Worship should be said first in Hebrew with a Hebrew response, then in English with an English response.
The Shema and V’ahavta
Before reciting the Shema, Jewish tradition sometimes includes various preparatory blessings. One of these ends with “Blessed are You, Adonai, who chooses His people Israel in love.” Another one ends with “Blessed are You, Adonai, Who loves His people Israel.” I have chosen to use the latter.
The Shema itself can be recited or chanted either standing or seated. If standing, it is traditional to face toward Jerusalem. Some will also bow at the name Adonai. It is traditional to cover the eyes while saying the Shema.
The first line is quoted from Deuteronomy 6:4. The second line is not directly from Scripture and is said either silently or in a very soft voice. There is no standard English translation. I have chosen an English translation based on similar Hebrew words found in Psalm 72:19.
Both parts of the Shema should be chanted first in Hebrew (or time allowed for the second part to be said silently), followed by both parts in English.
The v’ahavta is taken from Deuteronomy 6:5-9 and Leviticus 19:18. Yeshua stated that these are the greatest of all commandments and are the foundation of everything in the Torah and the Prophets (Matthew 22:40). Recite the first line in Hebrew, then the complete v’ahavta in English. Do the same for the second shorter v’ahavta.
The traditional Mi Kamocha is found in the first Song of Moses. There are different versions, some of which incorporate a longer passage of Scripture. This one is taken from Exodus 15:11. There are many variations of a melody, but I suggest you choose one that has both Hebrew and English, such as this one by Paul Wilbur. I’ve departed from his version in the second line to match the meaning of the Hebrew words nedar ba’qodesh.
The Amidah for Shabbat
The Tefillat haAmidah, or Standing Prayer, is a daily prayer consisting of eighteen parts, each ending with “Blessed are you, O Lord …” followed by a blessing appropriate to that section . (A nineteenth part was later added, usually believed to be a veiled condemnation of the Jewish believers in Yeshua.) On Shabbat the Amidah is a little different. The first three blessings and the last three blessings remain the same as on weekdays, but the middle prayers (#4 through 15) are replaced with blessings concerning the Shabbat. There are variations, and in this presentation I have included the Sanctification Prayer and Holiness of the Day.
The first blessing “Avot” (Fathers) begins with Hebrew, transliteration, and English. After this beginning, each part of the Amidah in this presentation has the text in English, followed by the final blessing in Hebrew, transliteration, and English.
Before reciting the Amidah, Psalm 51:17 is either chanted or sung (Psalm 51:15 in Christian Bibles). At the conclusion of the Amidah, Psalm 19:15 is either chanted or sung (Psalm 19:14 in Christian Bibles). There are many different tunes for these songs. Find one you like that includes the Hebrew words so you can learn and remember them.
The Torah Service
After the prayers of the Amidah are concluded, it is time to begin the Torah service.
The Torah Processional
Ki Mitzion recited, chanted, or sung in preparation for reading from the Scriptures. If a Torah scroll or printed Torah (or Bible) is available, it is tradition to march it through the assembly. Remember, though, that we do not worship the Torah! We worship the God who gave it, giving reverence and respect to the words contained in it.
The first part of the Torah Processional is taken from Isaiah 2:3. The second part is a traditional blessing. You can hear Ki Mitzion sung here.
Blessings for Readings
Traditional blessings are recited before reading the Torah and after reading the Torah. Blessings are also said before reading the Haftarah and after reading the Haftarah. In keeping with this tradition, Messianic believers say a blessing before reading from the New Covenant and after reading from the New Covenant.
For each these blessings, say the first line in Hebrew, repeat it in English followed by the middle part in English. Say the last line in Hebrew and then in English.
The Tree of Life blessing is said after the readings are complete and, if appropriate, after the Torah has been returned to its place. Say the first part in English. Say both of the last lines in Hebrew, then both lines in English.
This is also known as the Mourner’s Kaddish. It is traditional to remember the passing of loved ones at this time – those who have died in the last week, in the last month, and in the last year, and then also on the anniversary of their passing. If desired, their names can be spoken before reciting Kaddish.
Say the first line in Hebrew, then the entire Kaddish in English. The last part can be sung; again there are many different tunes. One of the more common tunes can be found here.
This is taken from Revelation 5:12-13 and Revelation 15:3-4
V’hashevota and V’ne’emar
These are the last lines of the traditional Hebrew prayer Aleinu. V’hashevota is from Deuteronomy 4:39. V’ne’emar is from Zechariah 14:9. This is chanted or sung. You can hear one (somewhat modern) version here.
Additional PowerPoint Presentations
V’shamru is just the text of Exodus 31:16-17 and not formatted to be sung.
The Amidah is not included.
Only the Torah Blessing is included for the readings.
For weekdays, the Daily Prayers for Followers of Yeshua is a complete personal worship liturgy that I do daily. It begins with the traditional prayer Upon Rising (Modeh Ani), a time of praise that includes the Shema, the complete eighteen-benediction Amidah, and the same concluding blessings that are found in the Sabbath services above.
In addition, there is a PowerPoint slide show of just the Amidah.
Each of these is available on The Messianic Light Liturgy Download page.
A Word On Copyrights
All of these PowerPoint presentations are made available free of charge for congregational, home fellowship or personal use. I don’t solicit donations and haven’t even set up any way to receive them. To support The Messianic Light, please follow any of the links on this site from Amazon or ChristianBook and purchase products (but not on Shabbat!). If you want to know more about Affiliate Marketing, go here.
These PowerPoint presentations are copyrighted material in order to protect the content and prevent The Messianic Light from being associated with things we do not endorse. They are in PowerPoint Show (.pps) format and are not to be modified. I am sure someone will find a way to change them. If you do, just know that you are stealing which is a clear violation of Torah, so I don’t really know why you want them to begin with.
If you do not have PowerPoint, Microsoft has a web-based viewer. Though they no longer offer the free PowerPoint Viewer for Windows, you can download an old version here.
If anyone finds mistakes in these, please contact me at Larry@MessianicLight.com so I can make the corrections and repost.