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What Day Do Sikhs Worship?

Do Sikhs Have a Sabbath?

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The Golden Temple in Amritsar

The Golden Temple is a prominent Sikh Gurdwara located in Amritsar, Punjab, India.

T.C. Malhotra/Hulton Archive/Getty Images Sikh Worship Service San Leandro Ashram

Sikh Worship Service San Leandro Ashram

Photo © [S Khalsa] Sikh Worship Service

Sikh Worship Service

Photo © [S Khalsa]

Some faiths set aside a particular day set for worship, or meet on a significant day.

  • Islam observes prayers five times daily and Muslims generally congregate in the mosque on Friday.
  • Judaism observes Saturday as the Sabbath, or day of rest mentioned in the Ten Commandments.
  • Christianity generally practices meeting in church for worship on Sunday.
  • Sikhs do not observe a Sabbath, day of rest, or set aside any special day for worship.

    Worship for Sikhs takes place every morning and evening in the form of meditation, prayer, singing of hymns and reading scripture of the Guru Granth Sahib. Daily worship services make take place communally, or individually, whether in a gurdwara, communal living ashram, or private home. Probably all gurdwaras have Sunday services, not because of any particular significance, but because it is a time when most members are free from work and other obligations. Gurdwaras with a resident attendant to care for the Guru Granth Sahib hold worship services every day.

    Worship services begin at Amritvela between midnight and dawn and last until mid morning. Evening services begin at sunset and conclude between sunset and midnight. Daily worship services held in the gurdwara include:

  • Naam simran – Morning meditation and recitation of Waheguru.
  • Nitnem – Reading or recitation of five morning prayers at dawn.
  • Prakash – Ceremonial opening of the Guru Granth Sahib.
  • Asa di Var – A set of 24 hymns taken from Guru Granth Sahib, which are traditionally sung in the early morning around dawn.
  • Kirtan – Singing of hymns by Ragis, musicians trained in the classical measure of raag.
  • Hukam – Reading of a random verse from Guru Granth sahib considered to be the divine order.
  • Langar – A free meal cooked and served in the gurudwara kitchen and dining hall.
  • Rehras – Evening prayers read at sunset, followed by more kirtan and a reading of hukam.
  • Sukhasan – Ceremonial closing of the Guru Granth Sahib between sunset and midnight.

    Guru Arjun Dev, Sikhism's fifth guru, wrote:
    "Jhaalaaghae outh naam jap nis baasur aaraadh||
    Rise in the early morn, recite the name, day and night worship in adoration." SGGS||255

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