Rosh Chodesh

And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying: This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.” –Exodus 12:1-2

ראש חודש Rosh Chodesh is Hebrew for “beginning of the Month,” literally meaning “the head of the month.” It is the term used for the minor Jewish holiday marking the first day of every month in the Hebrew calendar. The day is set by the birth of a new moon.

Traditional Practices

Rosh Chodesh was originally confirmed by the Levites, on the testimony of witnesses observing a new moon. Once it was officially declared, the news would spread throughout Israel and the surrounding areas. In the past, fires were lit to let the people know they were in the new month. The Rosh Chodesh in the first month is replaced by Rosh Hashanah, the date of the Hebrew New Year in Autumn.

In ancient Israel, this was a time of animal sacrifice and feasting. And, there are a variety of different traditional responses to this holy day based on the day of the week or year it falls. In addition, today it is seen as a special day of rest for women.

Rosh Chodesh and the Fellowship

The traditional sacrifice of animals for sins has been done away today, we do not sacrifice an animal as required in Numbers 10:10. We sacrifice a broken heart and contrite spirit. To celebrate the Rosh Chodesh in the Church of Jesus Christ in Christian Fellowship we offer the opportunity to fast the day before and offer testimony the night each holy day begins, breaking bread with the Saints to end the fast (for those fasting). We celebrate new members of the Church of Christ by welcoming them and offering them the opportunity to share their testimonies.

The service begins with a song of meditation; a hymn and opening prayer. This is followed by and invitation to worship; the welcome and announcements. Next a Psalm is read and a prayer of blessing is given. This is followed by the sacrament of Communion; this is blessed, wine or water first, and a hymn of meditation follows. Then, with the congregation washed clean, a blessing is placed upon the Saints. A Psalm is read, followed by the Declaration of the Witness testifying the New Moon has been observed. The individual conducting the meeting shares their testimony as moved by the Spirit and invites others to join in. After testimonies have been shared, a Prayer for Peace is given, followed by a two minute silent prayer and meditation. The service ends with a hymn and a closing prayer.

Current Practices

The dates used are currently selected by the Council of Elders, until the Levites provide the dates for us as required in the Torah. The services are run by the Apostles for the benefit of the Saints. There is no obligation to observe Rosh Chodesh. These services hold no saving power, but were done as a forerunner of Christ (see Colossians 2:16-17). They are done to worship the Lord and Fellowship as Saints. Anyone may join in these worship services with us.

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