Small Hall Alternative Service
Each month, as Director of Spiritual Development at FRS, Rabbi Howard Cooper leads an informal Shabbat morning service which combines traditional and contemporary forms of prayer, as well as opportunities for conversation as a form of prayer, study and song - and quiet time. Other services are led by guest rabbis on themes of their own choosing or by skilled lay leaders who wish to offer differing ways of coming together for prayer and celebration. What is distinctive about these minyanim is that they encourage participation but also respect each congregant's own ideas, emotional realities and spiritual needs which they bring with them to the service. No prior knowledge or expertise is assumed or required.
Small Hall Alternative Service - Shira style
About four times a year, after select Shira musical study sessions, we remain in the small hall for an all-sung Shira-style service examining certain prayers along the way. This service allows time for melodies and harmonies to develop, and is open to everyone. Enthusiasm for singing is the only pre-requisite for participation.
FRS’s ‘Alternative’ services are a fresh approach to Shabbat morning services. Led by the Director of Spiritual Development, Rabbi Howard Cooper, and a team of skilled service-takers, they combine discussion, study, song and silence with traditional and contemporary liturgy. They take their inspiration from Martin Buber’s saying that “All real living is meeting”. Over the last few years the ‘Alternative’ service has developed a distinctive and innovative approach to ‘conversation as a form of prayer’, as well as being a space for personal reflection, meditation and community tefilla. This weaving together of ancient and modern texts with personal insights. music, poetry and story creates a space for spiritual renewal within a communal setting and is open to all.