First Jewish-Christian service at Westminster Abbey

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Westminster Abbey will hold its first ever Jewish-Christian service next weekend with a joint celebration of the festivals of Advent and Hanukkah.

Rabbi Mark Solomon of the liberal St John's Wood Synagogue and the Abbey's Canon Robert Reiss will do readings that will be interspersed with songs and carols from both faiths, and the lighting of candles.

The service, organised with the help of the Council of Christians, takes place next Sunday evening and is open to all members of the public.

Canon Reiss said: "Hanukkah and Advent occur at the same time of the year and both involve the lighting of candles. Westminster Abbey is very happy to respond to a suggestion from the Council for Christians and Jews that this joint event should take place, which will give an opportunity of representatives from both faiths to learn and understand of one another’s practices and, it is hoped, to share in the celebration of the light that flows from God."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsJudaism

4 Comments
Posted November 28, 2007 at 6:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. justinmartyr wrote:

Actually this is not the first Jewish Christian service by a long shot. The early Christians were Jews and worshiped regularly at synagogues. This would have continued if the Jewish leaders had not added to the liturgy a creedal statement that negated belief in Y’shua (Jesus).

The early Christians saw no incompatibility between Jewishness and Christianity.

November 28, 1:06 pm | [comment link]
2. Br. Michael wrote:

In fact we need to do more to recover our Jewish roots.

November 28, 1:18 pm | [comment link]
3. Ross wrote:

By a strange coincidence, Br. Michael, I’m just finishing up a Christmas pageant script which begins with Moses.

November 28, 3:35 pm | [comment link]
4. Daniel Lozier wrote:

“The early Christians saw no incompatibility between Jewishness and Christianity.”

But Jews, led by Saul, were rather emphatic in their persecution of Christians.  And later, Paul was emphatic that there is an incompatibility between the Christian belief that salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s death and Resurrection alone…not by works.  And Jews today are in solidarity that salvation….if there is an after-life….comes exclusively by leading a moral life and doing good here on earth. 

There is nothing more diametrically opposite.

November 28, 6:57 pm | [comment link]
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