Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kid-friendly Passover (Seder) Meal

I couldn't find a child-friendly Seder Meal in our area, so I decided to get brave and do one myself. I've only been to two Seder meals and it has been a long time since I went. Although we are not Jewish, I really enjoyed them and thought they were very meaningful. I wanted my kids to have the same experience and see if my family would want to make this an annual tradition. I also thought it would be a good homeschooling experience as we learned about the Jewish culture. We just finished up studying about the Hebrew Exodus in our family devotions so I thought it would help make the story come alive for them.We decided to make the meal just for our family (since I didn't know what I was doing), but before the meal started we had some friends over for a play date. All the kids had fun making matzo ball soup. Riley (pink shirt) helped me set up the meal and make the haroseth (apple/nut mixture). I went on-line and found a relatively simple Seder meal ceremony with the traditional recipes. It was a lot of prep work, but it was worth it. I definitely made some mistakes, but you live and learn. I definitely need to find a ceremony with more modern English. 

Here is the plate that goes at each person's place setting. It has parsley, horseradish and haroseth, along with a bowl of salt water.

Here is our completed table just before we started.  Technically you are only supposed to have 1 egg on the platter, but everybody wanted one, so I just went with it. Josiah wanted to dress up, so I let him wear his bathrobe.
Ceremonial platter with lettuce, horseradish and haroseth and boiled eggs.

The mother is supposed to wear a white head covering and begins the ceremony by lighting the candle praying. The kids and I drank grape juice while Michael had wine. I need to get a prettier pitcher or carafe for both next year.

The father is to read the ceremony. The kids did very well! The whole thing took us about 2 hours.

Michael ceremonially washes his hands.

Hailey dipping her green herb (parsley) in the salt water.

Hailey waits for Michael to uncover the unleavened bread (matzah). Then she asks the four questions as to the meaning of the Passover.

Michael lifts the lamb and tells us about the paschal lamb.

Josiah's face after tasting the bitter herb (horseradish). I was proud of him for trying it.

After a several glass of wine/grape juice, matzah and more ceremony, we were able to eat the Passover meal. I started us out with matzo ball soup and then served herb rice with a green salad and of course lamb! Our family loves lamb and I'm so thrilled we were able to have some leftover for the year to use in this Seder meal.

Hailey decided she wanted to wear a white head covering.

Michael really started to get into it, too, and went and got his old army stocking cap to act as a skull cap. Michael is explaining to Josiah the meaning of the different parts of the ceremony in this picture. 

Hailey is finishing up the Seder meal with some homemade matzah. I made it out of whole grain graham flour and it was awful. I think I'll buy matzoh meal next time.Josiah, holding his cup up for the final blessings.

We definitely learned a lot. There are some things I would do differently next time to make it go a little smoother. Even though it too 2 hours, my family all said they wanted to make it an annual tradition. I'm so glad we were able to teach the kids about the Jewish culture in such an interactive way. I felt we were able to honor God's chosen people. We were able to explain that because of Jesus, God "passed over" all of us who have chosen Him as our Savior. We have eternal life with Him because we believe in Son and by His GRACE we are saved! If you haven't ever participated in a Seder meal, I would highly recommend it. You will be blessed! Now  we are looking forward to Good Friday and Easter. 

God Bless,


Kimberly said...

Wow! That's alot of prep! What a neat experience! We've had so many people sick this season that we aren't doing much at all in the way of preparing our hearts for Easter, it's all about resting and healing.

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

So cool! Once you get this down to a science, maybe we can do it together.

Robin said...

Very special. We did it a couple of times when the kids were younger. It is a big commitment.
We had a Hagaddah (I think that's what the printed ceremony is called) that was very kid-friendly. I wish I knew where it was and I'd just send it to you. If I find it - I will. :)

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

If you can find it, I'd love a copy, Robin. Thanks!

Camille said...

Very interesting and ambitious of you Jackie! What a blessing that you are taking the time to teach your children about these special ceremonies. What a blessing that the LORD chose us too!! Have a wonderful Easter as you celebrate the LORD's death and resurrection.

In His Love,

OurLilFullFam said...

Very neat! We have studied the Jewish customs and it is a lot of work and a lot of time to celebrate them. We did the feast days back in the fall, and wow!

I have never had lamb like that - only gyros, but it looks good!


Jenn said...

We had our Passover seder this year on April 19. We invited my parents this time. I'm hoping to invite more family next year, but it is quite an undertaking. I have a really great haggadah that I wrote myself using a few different Messianic resources. I give a copy to each participant and I have highlighted where they are to read. I love our Passover seder. So glad to see that you enjoyed yours too.


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