Holy Week is a reflective and spiritual time at St. Joseph’s Home. This is the time we recall the Last Supper, and the Paschal Mystery of Christ; His suffering, death, and resurrection.
On Monday of Holy Week, we celebrated a Christian form of the Seder Meal. The Seder Meal is the Passover Meal Jews have celebrated
for centuries and it is full of Old Testament stories and meaning. The Last Supper that Jesus ate with His apostles was the Seder Meal.
The foods of the Seder meal are:
Karpas: A green vegetable such as parsley, celery or lettuce dipped in salt water. It reminds us of the tears of the Jewish people while enslaved in Egypt.
Maror: Bitter herbs or horseradish symbolizing the bitterness of slavery.
Charoset: An apple, nut and spice mixture to symbolize the mortar used to build structures in Egypt.
Roasted Egg: Presented as a festival sacrifice.
Matzah: Unleavened bread to symbolize that on Passover night the Jews had no time to allow their bread to rise. Three pieces of matzah bread are folded in a napkin representing Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The last piece of matzah, called Afikoman, is hidden (for a child to find). It is the final piece of food eaten at the Seder meal.
Zeroa: The lamb representing the lamb that was eaten at the meal and its blood sprinkled on the doorpost so the Angel of Death would pass over the household. (We ate a lamb cake!!)
There are cups of wine poured remembered the four promises of God, “I will bring out; I will deliver; I will redeem; I will take.” There is always one cup of wine poured that is reserved for the prophet Elijah. (Since our wine was non-alcoholic, Elijah didn’t show!)
Our Seder Meal was very prayerful and a wonderful way to connect with the traditions of the Jews. Our resident Rose Saret, who is Jewish, read the part of the Mother. She also helped explained the meaning of the foods and the Service.
On Wednesday of Holy Week, our residents were able to experience the Living Stations of the Cross. We were honored to have Homeschool children and parents participate in our Living Stations. As a prelude to the Stations, the song, Watch the Lamb by Ray Boltz was played while the children and parents acted out the words, The prelude was very prayerful and moving. Following the Stations, a large crucifix was brought out and held by three of our soldiers for adoration. Each person present, including each resident, was able to take as much time as they wanted to pray before the cross. We thank the Holy Family Homeschoolers who worked with us to make our Stations of the Cross so meaningful and prepared us for the Easter Triduum.
The Easter Triduum is a special time at St. Joseph’s Home. Following the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, residents prayed in the chapel recalling the time Jesus spent in the Garden. We were happy to have Bishop George Rassas, from the Archdiocese of Chicago, celebrate the Passion of our Lord on Good Friday and the Easter Vigil with us. He is risen, Alleluia!
The lamb has redeemed the sheep: Innocent Christ has reconciled the sinners to the Father.
Death and life contended in a miraculous battle: the Prince of life, who died, reigns alive.
Tell us, Mary, what did you see on the road?
“I saw the tomb of the living Christ and the glory of his rising,
The angelic witnesses, the clothes and the shroud.”
“Christ my hope is arisen; into Galilee, he will go before his own.”
We know Christ is truly risen from the dead! To us, victorious King, have mercy! Amen. Alleluia.