Skip to comments.Celebration of a Family Seder Meal
Posted on 03/23/2005 9:00:35 PM PST by Salvation
Celebration of a Family
Enable the family to experience the relationship between our Jewish and Christian ritual heritage by celebrating a Family Passover meal. Passover usually coincides with Holy Week, which would be a good time to have a family Passover. You may also wish to invite another family to celebrate with you.
Sometime during Lent, gather the family to hear the story of the Israelites' exile, slavery, and liberation, with an explanation of the celebration of Passover as a thanksgiving feast celebrated annually by the Jewish people in honor of their freedom. (The Passover story is found in the Book of Exodus, Chapter 12.) Both Passover for Jewish people and Easter for Christians recognize that all things come from God: light, bread, wine, freedom -- all good things. The Jewish prayers are prayed in a spirit of thanksgiving and blessing, just as the Eucharistic Prayers are. The Exodus celebrates the chosen people's freedom from oppression. Each Jewish person is to become aware of this at each Passover. For the Christian, the Paschal season celebrates redemption from the effects of sin by Christ's passion and resurrection, and God's gift of grace, especially through Holy Communion. Both are rooted in history and Scripture to show God's fulfillment of God's plan of salvation.
The Passover Foods: The Menu
Roast Lamb -- to symbolize the sacrificial lamb offered by the Israelites and eaten on the eve of their departure from Egypt. In the Christian tradition, the Lamb of God is a symbol of Jesus Christ.
Matzos -- to symbolize the unleavened bread the Jews ate when they were freed from Egypt. Available at the market.
Bitter Herbs -- to symbolize the bitterness of slavery and oppression. Use horseradish or spring radishes.
Salt Water -- A dip for the greens and bitter herbs.
Greens -- As a token of gratitude to God for the products of the earth. Use parsley and watercress or endive.
Haroset -- to symbolize the mortar which the Hebrew slaves used in their servitude. A mixture of chopped apples, chopped nuts, cinnamon and wine (this may be prepared like a fruit salad or chopped in a blender).
Wine -- to symbolize the blood marking the doorposts of the Jews so that the avenging angel would pass over them. In Christian tradition, we commemorate the blood of Christ shed in his passion. Use preferably a red wine and/or grape juice.
Today we remember that Jesus and his friends celebrated a Jewish Passover, a Seder, a solemn meal carried out according to ancient Jewish ritual. Let us pretend we are in the upper room of a house. We are celebrating the passover of God's people from slavery to freedom.
Lighting the Festival Lights
We, (name of family), light candles to remind ourselves that Jesus, the light of the world, is coming.
Leader (Mother) (Lights the candles)
Blessed are you, God, Creator of the Universe, who has commanded us to light the festival lights. Blessed are you, God, for you have made us alive and keep us alive through all seasons. During this spring season may our home be filled with peace and joy.
Food is always blessed before it is eaten. A long time ago, the Jews blessed their bread and wine at their Jewish Passover. Just as they did, we bless ours tonight (today).
All Thank you, God, for choosing us to be your people.
We celebrate all you have given us.
The Elijah Cup
Leader (Opens the front door)
There is an extra cup on this table. We would give this cup of honor to any stranger who should come and ask to keep the Passover with us. We call this cup the Elijah cup because Elijah is known to have helped the poor. We have opened the door to welcome anyone who may stand outside. We pray for the hungry and the poor and wish they could celebrate this Passover meal with us.
Leader (Pouring and drinking the wine)
Four times during the Seder meal, wine is passed. We will pass the wine only twice. Usually the wine is poured from one bowl to show oneness.
The leader pours wine or grape juice into each person's cup.
At the Last Supper, Christ poured wine for his friends and said, Take this and drink it. I tell you that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine again until I drink it with you in my Father's Kingdom.
All Blessed are you, God, for making this fruit of the vine.
The participants drink their wine.
Washing of Hands
We must clean not only our hands but also our hearts and minds. The presider washes his hands just as Christ washed the feet of his friends at the Last Supper. This gesture shows how much he loves us; it calls us to serve others.
The leader washes his or her hands and then washes the hands of all the participants as a sign of willingness to serve.
All Thank you, God, Creator of the Universe, for showing us how to
Eating of Greens
We eat these greens as a symbol that nature comes to life in spring-time. Following the Jewish custom, we dip the greens in salt and pray:
All Blessed are you, God, Creator of the Universe, creator of the fruit
of the earth.
Participants dip the greens in salt and eat them.
Perhaps your parish has a Seder Meal. Please share what you do.
We hahd our Seder Meal last weekend.
I was amazed at the number of
"Blessed are you, God," prayers.
Amazingly familiar to prayers in the Mass.
If we prayed like this six times a day (I think that is the custom in Israel.) how would our days change?
FIRST PART: THE OFFERTORY
"The last valid sacrifice under the Old Law was offered by Jesus Christ on Holy Thursday."
Correct - this trend of "playing at Passover" betrays a serious ignorance of the Catholic faith and liturgy.
From the Exsultet: "THIS IS OUR PASSOVER FEAST...."
"I was amazed at the number of
"Blessed are you, God," prayers.
Amazingly familiar to prayers in the Mass.
If we prayed like this six times a day (I think that is the custom in Israel.) how would our days change?"
Judaism has 3 prayer services a day.
They energize and ground the one praying to God and values. With God's help, Jewish productivity does not suffer ;) Don't observant Catholics attend mass more than one time a day?
Yes, "Blessed are you, Lord, our God, king of the universe, who xxxx " are the beginning words of all formal Jewish blessings - there are separate blessings over a wide variety of things for which Jews recognize their gratitude and connection to God or over which they see the hand of God - from the blessing over bread before commencing a meal, to blessing on foods eaten separately during the way, to blessing on wine used to usher in the Sabbath, even a blessing said when one sees the wonder of a rainbow, the first fruits of the harvest season, and blessings that recognize God's wisdom and his role in giving wisdom, comfort, his ability to save individuals from persecution, to rescue the weak, free captives, heal the sick, keep one's lips from speaking ill of anyone, to God as creator of the world, etc. There are scores and scores of such blessings in Jewish prayer services and others are recited during the course of the day as they become relevant. Specific blessings begin or end various paragraphs of the prayer service.
It's amazing that you are amazed that Christians kept the Jewish words. They are core to the shared values and traditions.
BTTT on Holy Thursday.
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