A Christian Seder Meal
First of all, what is a Seder Meal?
Simply put, it is a meal celebrated every year by the Jewish people which symbolically, through food, prayers and actions, retells the night of liberation of the Jews from Pharaoh in Egypt. This meal retells the night the Angel of Death "passed-over" the houses marked with the blood of the lamb. It was this meal that Jesus and his disciples were eating the night Jesus was arrested, the day referred to by Christians as Holy Thursday.
Why is there a Seder Meal every year?
This meal is repeated every year, in the same way, because God told the people to repeat it every year. The custom of retelling the deliverance from Egypt through a meal comes straight from Scripture: "Tell your children of that day, saying 'It is because of what the Lord did that I came forth from Egypt." (Exodus 13:8) But in retelling their story of liberation, the Jewish people were to do more than just enjoy a good meal and hear an old story. Through participating in this very special ritual of eating and praying together, each person at the meal was to "look on it as though he or she themselves had come forth from Egypt."(The Passover Haggadah, by N.Glatzer) This meal, very literally, was to extend that liberation from Egypt to each person who ate, each year, even if they lived generations later.
What happens at a typical Seder Meal?
A Christian Seder Meal
If you watched the video, you would have noticed many similarities between a Seder Meal and our Catholic Mass. In order to help us understand the Mass more completely, as well as to remind ourselves that our faith comes from Judaism, we often celebrate Christian Seder Meals during Holy Week, usually on Tuesday or Wednesday evening.
What Do We Need?
As the video showed, Seder Meals can be as elaborate or as simple as the family desires. Here's what you'll need for a Christian Seder Meal:
On the Seder Plate place:
What Do We Do?
Download the guide below to have a Christian Seder Meal in your home. Set your table festively and place all of the items above on it. Make sure everyone has a plate and a glass. Give yourself about 45 minutes to an hour to complete it together. There is a place in the Seder Meal that calls for a retelling of the story of Exodus. Decide beforehand if you will read this from Scripture, watch a movie clip or a YouTube video. There are a few options for you below. Also, below is a YouTube clip of The Dayenu Litany, a song of praise within the Seder Meal. If possible, have dinner ready to eat after, so that this meal becomes a celebration of the saving work of God!