As we prepare for Easter, another way you can deepen your experience and grow together in Christian community is by hosting a Christian Passover Seder meal. We encourage you to gather your small group, some friends or neighbors, or your family an invite them to join you for this unique meal. The recommended date for hosting a 2023 Seder Meal is April 5 after nightfall, but you do this anytime during Holy Week or the weekend before.
What is a Seder Meal?
This is a symbolic meal that marks the passage of the Jewish people from a time of bondage to a time of freedom. This traditional meal typifies different parts of the Passover story using various foods. During the Seder, the haggadah is read to tell the story of the exodus from Egypt. This is typically done in Jewish homes but as Christians we can participate to gain a stronger understanding of many symbolic elements that are also present within the Jesus’ journey to the cross.
The traditional ceremony involves many complex elements, usually lasts three to four hours, and can feel overwhelming. We encourage you to participate even in a simple way.
Here’s the basic shopping list to help you prepare:
• Horseradish (grated horseradish root)
• Romaine Lettuce
• Unleavened Bread (crackers)
• Egg (to make hardboiled eggs)
• Kosher 100% Grape Juice (or red wine)
• Lamb Meat (with bone or without)
• Charoset ingredients (here are some recipe links for this)
> Apples & Pears
> Walnut Nuts
>Cinnamon & Brown Sugar
> optional Sweet Red Wine
HOW TO SERVE THE MEAL
Yes, there is a specific order for the meal. “The Seder plate is a key component of the Passover celebration. It has five or six (depending on the host’s custom) ceremonial foods that represent different themes in the Passover story.” Here’s a more in-depth article about the order of serving and the meaning, that you may find helpful as you host.
Here is another article that provides more info about serving and hosting a Seder meal.
THE MEANING BEHIND THE PLATE:
On the Seder plate, customarily presented on a beautiful silver dish, you’ll find six spaces, each with its own unique meaning.
- PARSLEY symbolizes the hyssop dipped for sprinkling on the doorposts of Hebrew dwellings in preparation for the Exodus. Instruct your guests to dip the parsley in the saltwater, taste it, and remember the tears shed in Egypt as well as the sorrow of Jesus dying on the cross. The green color also reminds us of the new life we have in Christ.
- HORSERADISH symbolizes the bitterness and harshness of Egyptian slavery. Invite guests to taste it, recalling how bitter their lives were when they were slaves to sin.
- CHAROSET is a sweet mixture, made by grinding apples, nuts, and honey together that symbolizes the mud and straw the Israelites used in Egyptian construction. As everyone eats is, remember that Jesus is sweeter than honey.
- UNLEAVENED BREAD symbolizes the hurry in which the Israelites left Egypt—there wasn’t enough time for the bread to rise. The yeast represents sin, and as you eat, meditate on Jesus as our Bread of life. The unleavened bread depicts how Jesus was sinless.
- GRAPE JUICE (or wine) symbolizes Jesus’ blood shed for us on the cross. Drink it in remembrance of Him.
- LAMB symbolizes the Passover lamb that was killed, so its blood could be sprinkled on the doorposts of the Israelites’ houses. That way, the angel of death would pass over them. As you eat it, remember that Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
- HARD-BOILED EGG symbolizes the cycle of life and endurance for the future.
Schweitzer Church’s mission is to transform lives by making disciples of Jesus Christ. Matthew 28:19-20 We live out our mission by being a church that is Christ Centered and Community Focused. We Worship Together. We Care for One Another. We Are Engaged in Formation. We Engage in Evangelism. We Serve Out Community. We Pursue Healing.