Suggestions for Lay-Led Services

Lay members of the congregation lead Shabbat services when the Rabbi is not with us–usually three weeks each month and throughout the summer. Members of the congregation are happy to work with new leaders with leading part or all of a service and/or to help you brush up on Hebrew-language prayers.

When preparing to lead services, we suggest you bring home a copy of Mishkan Tefilah (service leaders are welcome to have a copy at home on long-term loan), and put post-it flags/notes in the pages, both to mark the prayers you’ll be saying, and to make notes to yourself about what page to go to next.  This can be easier than having a list of pages on a separate sheet of paper. Also, by holding onto the same copy of the book, you can leave the post-its in, and just move them around as you want to make changes.

You can see a suggested schema for a typical Shabbat service here. But other choices are definitely possible!  Leaders are encouraged to explore the prayerbook and try out other things. You can also omit some things as you wish.

We also welcome a wide variety of divrei torah, whether drawing from traditional or contemporary interpretation, sharing your own interpretation, or posing questions for reflection and discussion. You can find some tips for planning a d’var torah as well as some helpful links here.