HOW CHRISTIANS CAN CELEBRATE The Feast of Esther, called “PURIM”

(pronounced poor-REEM)

TUESDAY, MARCH 10, 09

This programme is for a group. You can adapt it for your family as well. This is only a sample way, and not necessarily the ONLY way.

If a group, you can ask folks to dress up in costumes of Queen Esther, King Ahasuerus, Mordecai, and if you have enough nerve – Haman! (the bad guy!) Even kids – and ESPECIALLY kids - love to dress up! It's always difficult to get adults to do this – they've got a real thing about this, so if some are poor sports, don't close your doors – they just MAY like the rest of the agenda! .............Small prize for best costume?

We start with the blowing of the “shofar” (ram's horn) , and then we all sing “Shema Yisrael” (Hear O Israel!)

We welcome the folks who have come, and give a brief synopsis of Purim. (You can look up Merv's article on this!)

A woman lights the Purim “m'norrah:” (7-sticked candelabra) and recites: “Baruch ata adonai eloheynu melech ha olam, asherr kidshanu b'mitsvotav vitzivanu l'hadlik ner shel Chag Purim”.

“Blessed art Thou. King of the universe, Who has commanded us to light the candles for Purim.”

Lead a few songs of worship with the themes of spiritual warfare, trust, adoration, in His holy chambers etc.

Purim Blessings to recite together:

Before we read the Megilla (Esther story) we say 3 blessings:

FIRST BLESSING: (for the reading of the Megilla)

“Baruch ata adonai eloheynu, melech ha olam, asherr kidshanu b’mitzvotav, v’tsivanu al mikra megilla.” “ Blessèd art Thou, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has sanctified us by Thy laws, and commanded us to read the story of Esther.”

SECOND BLESSING: (to give thanks unto the Lord for all the times He saved the Jews from wicked people who wanted to destroy them) “Baruch ata adonai eloyhenu, melech ha olam, shey asa nissim la’avotenu ba tamim ha hem ba’zman ha zeh!” “Blessèd be Thou, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has inspired great deeds in our fathers in days of old at this season!”

THIRD BLESSING: (to give thanks that our families and friends can be together to celebrate Purim) “Baruch ata adonai eloheynu, melech ha olam, she hecheyanu v’kimanu, v’higi’enu la zmahn ha zeh.” Blessèd be the Lord our God, Ruler of the universe, Who kept us in life, sustained us, and enabled us to celebrate this happy day!

GROUP READING OF THE “MEGILLAH” (Take turns reading excerpts from the story of Esther from the Bible)

WHEN THE WICKED "HAMAN" IS MENTIONED = shake & bang

"GRAGGERS" (noise makers, pots and pans - anything!) and shout "BOOOOOO!"

WHEN ESTHER & MORDECHAI ARE MENTIONED = shout "HURRAY!"

Sing together phonetically the Hebrew traditional Purim songs, such as “Chag Purim”, “Ozney Hamaan”, and the English: “A Wicked, Wicked Man”. (Google them and find them on the Internet)

Intercession for:

the current perilous situation in Israel, and the desire of terrorists to wipe her out!

the deplorable international anti-Semitic current acts

Message: re some aspect about Purim. One could do a prophetic parallelism between the characters in Esther and their contemporary counterparts.

Closing Song:

Israeli Folk Dancing (led by someone who knows about it!)