A couple of weeks ago, 18 women gathered in our home for a celebration dinner called the Seder Meal. This was the culmination of an offer my mother-in-law, Liz, gave to our Monday night bible study group two months ago—to come and preside over a beautiful time together, remembering our history as Christians through a Seder meal. The Seder is a traditional Jewish meal, eaten during the Passover Celebration which is one of the most important traditions of the Jewish religion. Seder means “order,” and the meal is such–done in a specific order, with meaning and symbolism connected to each bite.
Why celebrate as Christians? Because the Passover event is a significant piece of our history too, as is all the content of the Old Testament. To understand our history only magnifies the impact of Christ and his redeeming story. So, we can participate in the Seder, and then 6 days later celebrate Easter!
You can find a Seder Meal Script here. It will take you step by step through the entire ceremony. Here are some pictures of our time together with brief descriptions, however I have only scratched the surface with my notes–there is deep and rich symbolism and “order” to this time of fellowship and remembrance. I encourage you to look at the script and see if you would like to do one for a group of people in your life!
Our evening begins….
Before the guests arrive, Liz, my sister-in-law, Jennifer, and I finish preparing the table.
We have laid out the Haggadah book, or “Story of Passover” from which we will read during the meal, and some matzah, or unleavened bread. The parsley is something we dip in salt-water and then eat–it is bitter! This is to remind us of the bitterness and tears the Isrealites experienced during their time if slavery in Egypt.
The guests arrive and take a seat. Some of the women have been asked to do part of the “reading” during the meal, so they have place cards to spread them out around the table. The “Lighting of the Passover Candles” is one of the first parts of the ceremony–we are getting ready to do this. Also, notice the cups of wine–this is even a plan and ceremony with the wine–no sipping out of order!
Liz begins. As the leader, she has the main role of guiding us through the Seder. She did a wonderful job of teaching and leading us through the intricate parts of the Seder story.
This is the Haggadah. It depicts the story of Passover, and in the Christian version, ties the symbolism to our journey with Christ.
Liz models each step for us–this is the breaking of the bread.
See how hard we are trying to follow directions? It is a time of laughter and fun!
There are some significant elements of the dinner–this plate represents a few. The “lamb bone” represents the Passover Lamb that was sacrificed to save the first-born sons. The egg represents new life, the Charoset, the sweetness that God brings after a time of bitterness in our lives.
After we walked through the Haddagah, we ate a full meal filled with friendship, fellowship and remembrance. We finished back in the Haddagah to wrap up the night.
I think it’s fair to say we will all remember this special evening for a long time. The experience added another layer to the Easter tradition–one of remembrance, history, and foundation in who we are as believers in God and Jesus. I only hope you can enjoy the experience someday too! God Bless!