British synagogues offer prayers for Charles III on first Shabbat since accession

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British synagogues offer prayers for Charles III on first Shabbat since accession

Services around the country sounded a little different this weekend as congregations marked the changes in the Royal Family

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

Special prayers were said at synagogues across the UK over the weekend to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of Charles III to the throne.

A prayer for the Royal Family is traditionally recited every Saturday in all synagogues, but the wording differs according to a congregation’s denomination – Liberal Judaism, for instance, does not ascribe a gender when referring to God.

The prayers were said on Saturday during Shabbat morning services.

For the modern-Orthodox United Synagogues, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis announced a new prayer to be recited with the entire congregation standing while the Torah scroll is held.

Updated prayers were also used in Reform and Liberal congregations.

The updated prayer for the Royal Family recited in United Synagogues last weekend

The United Synagogue prayer asks for blessings upon “our sovereign Lord, King Charles, our gracious Queen Camilla, The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge, and all the Royal Family”.

Jewish News understands the prayer will soon be updated again to reflect William and Kate’s new titles as Prince and Princess of Wales.

The prayer also refers to the armed forces and calls for “a spirit of wisdom and understanding” so that Charles and his counsellors “deal kindly and justly with all the House of Israel”.

Earlier iterations of the prayer had named Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Diana, Princess of Wales.

The updated prayer for the Royal Family recited in Reform Judaism synagogues last weekend

In Liberal synagogues, the new prayer written by Finchley Progressive Synagogue rabbi Rebecca Birk asked “that King Charles should have the strength and humility to carry forward Elizabeth’s legacy and ensure his reign will prove to be a source of kindness and hope to all of differing faiths.”

Britain’s 43 Reform Judaism communities were also sent an updated prayer for the Royal Family:

“Our God, whose dominion is everlasting, we ask you to bless our Sovereign Lord, King Charles, and to guide the government of this country.”

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