Celebrating Holy Thursday

Each year, Jews around the world celebrate a festival called Passover. During the eight days of Passover, they remember their ancestors’ Exodus from Egypt and freedom from slavery. It is one of the oldest and most-loved holidays of the Jewish people. Included in the festival is a special family dinner called the Seder (SAY-der), a word that means “order.” The Seder, which is full of unusual foods and traditions, is customized for each family, although the basic order is the same for all Jewish people. Each family uses a Haggadah (ha-ga-DAH), a book that serves as a guide to conducting the Seder. Certain foods are eaten and rituals are performed to help recall the first Passover, which took place over 3,000 years ago and is recorded in the book of Exodus.

For Christians, the Passover takes on added meaning. We recall not only the Israelites’ Exodus from slavery but also our freedom in Christ. Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise—the Lamb of God who takes away our sins. It was during His last celebration of the Passover meal (the Last Supper) that Jesus instituted the Eucharist:

“When the hour arrived, He took His place at table, and the apostles with Him. He said to them: ‘I have greatly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. I tell you, I will not eat again until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.’
“Then taking a cup, He offered a blessing in thanks, and said: ‘Take this and divide it among you; I tell you, from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the coming of the reign of God.’

“Then, taking bread and giving thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying: ‘This is My Body to be given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.’ He did the same with the cup after eating, saying as He did so: ‘This cup is the new covenant of My Blood, which will be shed for you.’” Luke 22:14-20

Celebrating this special meal helps us appreciate God’s faithfulness throughout the centuries and His saving power at work in us today.

seder

My family has many fond memories of using this resource when our kids were younger.  We’ve done it at home with just our family and we’ve gotten together to celebrate it with another family.  The ritual doesn’t take that long and the foods are memorable.  There’s a little fun element built in, and the whole experience will definitely enhance your celebration of Holy Week!

We have always offered this resource for sale in the past, but this year we want to give it to you as a free gift.

You can print it in booklet form here (Seder Booklet to print) or view it on an electronic device here (Seder script to view).  You can also access the same options in Spanish for the first time this year.  (SPAN Seder Booklet to print,  SPAN Seder Script to view)

Explore posts in the same categories: Parent's Perspective, Sue's Suggestions

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