This year Yom Kippur falls on September 25-26, 2012
Before sundown, the day before the Day of Atonement, have a special light meal to prepare for the fast. After dinner, light the candles and say a blessing to begin the festival.
Bless Your Family
Many families bless their children (parents, spouse) after the meal. Say a prayer over each of your children praying specifically for their needs, gifts, and talents.
Traditionally the fast lasts for twenty-five hours. Children, pregnant women, and the elderly may want to try a “Daniel Fast” and only eat vegetables (Dan. 1:12-15) and water for the twenty-five hours. Spend time in prayer asking for forgiveness and praising God.
Study the Tabernacle and Temple
The Holy of Holies was so sacred that only the high priest could enter in, and only one day of the year, The Day of Atonement. To explain the dimensions and design of the temple would take another book. Sir Isaac Newton wrote volumes about Solomon’s Temple. There are several good, illustrated books available from Christian bookstores about the symbolism of the Tabernacle and Temple and how each item relates to Christ.
Find Psalms that you may have sung or sing other songs about forgiveness. Spend some time in personal prayer. A Bible concordance may be helpful in collecting verses related to forgiveness and atonement (a clue to the meaning is “at-one-ment”).
Pray for Jerusalem
Another interesting idea to incorporate is a time of prayer for the nation of Israel (Rom. 10:1). This is once in the year when Jews the world over are packed into synagogues. Pray for light to come and the reality of Yeshua the Messiah to enter their hearts. The fasting and prayer are sure to make your gathering special.
- Burn a Candle
- Burn a large, white twenty-four-hour candle all day.
Play a music tape such as Arise, O Lord by Israel’s Hope, which also contains other selections like “Shalom, Jerusalem,” and “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Or play a Scripture-based song collection by Marty Goetz or other similar artists.
Reading In His Steps is an excellent choice to stimulate family discussions. It comes in original and abbreviated (pictorial) versions, and a children’s adaptation.
Richard Booker’s The Miracle of the Scarlet Thread is an excellent choice for adult or older teen reading. You may need all the Days of Awe to complete the longer book choices. Begin now in anticipation of discussions on Day of Atonement.