I found out today that some Jews object to Christians stealing their tradition and celebrating a much-modified “Passover” in the belief that the Messiah has already come.
I was always brought up to think of Jews as the closest thing to a physical Jesus here on earth, and it was a huge shock to me when, as a teenager, I found out that some Christians dislike Jews. (FYI, if you are one of them, you are deeply stupid.)
I’ll keep celebrating Passover, since I’ve always thought of it as honouring to Jewish people, not stealing their tradition. If you are offended, I am sorry. Ultimately, it’s a Christian ritual for me, not anyone else’s.
Here’s one possible script for Christians to use: http://www.wf-f.org/Seder.html. My family uses horseradish as the bitter herbs, and uses a blender to mix the harosis ingredients. We buy flat bread, and use parsley as the green herbs. I’ll post our own script below this post, so you can take it for yourself if you wish.
I love the ritual nature of passover, and the distinctive tastes that are so familiar to me although I only have them once a year: the taste of boiled eggs dipped in salt water, the mushy deliciousness of harosis, and the solid mass that is unleavened bread. I love the meanings, too – especially when the bread is broken and hidden, then brought out and unwrapped to be eaten. According to our ritual, this is the point at which Jesus said, “This is my body, broken for you.” The wine cup at that moment is the cup of redemption, and the bread beautifully represents Jesus’ own death and resurrection on Easter weekend.
The “youngest child” is a crucial part of the ritual, and my nephew (age four) was unexpectedly entertaining. We primed him heavily for his big line: “What is the meaning of the eggs?” and when his moment came he took a deep breath, shuffled the script in front of his face newsreader-style, and said loudly, “What is inside the toilet?” He then answered, “Dirty water, which goes down and down to the sea.”
Not so long earlier, he’d been raptly listening. So much for that!
The first part of the passover is the welcome, and the lighting of the candles. I have childhood memories of waiting HOURS AND HOURS until the main meal, with only ritualistic snippets of food to keep me going. That’s ritual for you – it must be difficult, and a little foolish, or it doesn’t feel like a ritual.
Play along at home: In Western culture, we have rituals for death and marriage, but very little for birth or coming of age (a party, which is a good start). Make an annual ritual for yourself, perhaps eating hot cross buns on Good Friday or painting pictures on boiled eggs – or a special birthday meal. Rituals bind people together, so choose family to do your ritual with you – or someone who you feel closer to than family.
Tomorrow: Go Fish!