Holy Week is a reflective and spiritual time when we recall the Last Supper, and the Paschal Mystery of Christ; His suffering, death, and resurrection. For the last few years, it has been our tradition on Monday of Holy Week, to celebrate 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!!)
Cups of wine (we used sparkling grape juice) are poured to remember 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.
Our Seder Meal was very prayerful and a wonderful way to connect with the traditions of our Jewish brothers and sisters. One of our Residents, Rose Saret, who is Jewish, read the part of the Mother. She also helped explained the meaning of the foods and the Service.