Thursday, March 28, 2013

Passover Seder Meal Celebration 2013

This is the third year we've celebrated Passover and every year it gets better as I'm starting to figure out more about what I'm doing and the significance behind all the symbolism. This is fast becoming one of my favorite holidays. Let me first say, that we are not Jewish, but very much appreciate Judaism as Christianity is a sect branching off from Judaism and Jesus was a Jew. Most of the first Christians were Jews. The day after Passover I ran into a couple verses in a Beth Moore bible study about John's life called "Beloved Disciple" that really spoke to me afresh.

"Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened  For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the leavened bread of sincerity and truth" - 1 Corinthians 5:7-8 ESV

"And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise." Galatians 4:5

The Passover is the celebrating and commemoration of God's deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, but it also points to the Messiah, whom Christians believe is Jesus and was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (the Passover Lamb) through his death on the cross and his resurrection three days later, leading to the salvation of all who believe He is the son of God. 

This year the women decided to dress up with head coverings and all the boys wore skull caps and some of the men even had prayer shawls. Dressing up, always makes everything more fun! The beautiful dress I'm wearing in the above picture was given to me by a new friend and I love it. It was made in Jordan. I found Hailey's dress at a yard sale.

Last year we had wiggling kids who were getting high on grape juice, so I got smart this year and started off our celebration with a Mediterranean-style finger food feast. This was a big hit and really helped the kids settle at the table for the Seder.
You can see the food better in this pic. From front to back: Matzah and honey-sesame crackers, cheese bites, date quarters stuffed with a whole almond, dried Mediterranean apricots, whole dried figs, whole almonds, grape leaves stuffed with rice, green and black olives, cucumbers, humus to spread on the matzah, kosher dill pickles, tangerine quarters and black and green grapes. This was a big hit and I will do this from now on. It was easy and fun to gather all the items.

Our dear friends, Kay and Billy. Billy was our patriarch for the afternoon. He bought this beautiful Messianic Jewish prayer shawl for the occasion. His Messianic Jewish skull cap blends in with his hair in this pic.

We can always count on Tony and Cora and their lovely children to be good sports and go along with whatever crazy thing our family is planning. We love these guys and appreciate their desire to learn by immersion, just like us. We always have a lot of fun together.

After the finger food feast, before we started the meal, our family modeled what Jesus did at the last supper and washed the feet of our guests. Michael washed the men's feet, I washed the women's and my kids washed the children's feet. This turned out to be one of the most memorable moments of the day. We will make this a permanent part of the celebration from now on.

Michael washing Billy's feet.

We use the 30 Minute Seder - The Haggadah that Blends Brevity with Tradition. As the Seder began, Kay lit the candles for us. A friend gave me this brass menorah. I love it so much.

 Ceremonial hand washing.
A lot of wine, or in our case, organic grape juice, is consumed in our alcohol-free Seder. Each glass has significance. We learned from last year, not to fill the glasses to full or you had kids really needing to use the bathroom a lot. The only bathroom incident we had this year was when Josiah accidentally dropped his skull cap in the toilet. Oops! One reason why it is probably against the rules to wear a skull cap while you go to the bathroom. ;o)

 Dipping of the vegetable (we used parsley) in salt water, representing the arrival of spring. 
 After the breaking of the matzah (matzah is a symbol of the affliction and poverty of the Israelites), the youngest child who can read asked the four questions about why we celebrate Passover. Billy then tells the story of how God brought the Israelites out of Egypt. 
Each person has a Seder plate.

 We dipped our fingers into our juice and added 10 drops of it onto our plates for every one of the 10 plagues God brought on the Egyptians.
The Pesach (roasted bone) represents the mighty arm of God that convinced the Egyptians to free the slaves. It also represents the Paschal lamb whom we believe to be Jesus, the Son of God.

 Blessing over the Bread or Matzah, which is an unleavened bread used during Passover. It symbolizes the unleavened bread the Israelites ate when they fled Egypt in haste.

The Korech: make a sandwich out of the matzah, maror, and charoset. Maror represents the bitter life of slavery and the charoset represents the mortar used in the bricks the Israelites made for Pharaoh.

Passover Feast begins! We started out with some delicious homemade matzoh ball soup. 

Roasted lamb with herbed potatoes. Click here for my braised garlic and thyme sauce with roasted lamb recipe. People who don't like lamb, love it prepared this way.

Kay made this delicious walnut and chocolate cake from eggs, sugar, chocolate and walnuts. It reminded me of a chocolate angel food cake.

It was so such a relaxing meal. It isn't often that we take two hours to eat a meal. It is so nice to really slow down and enjoy the food as well as the company.

The kids got this Old Testament Days - An Activity Guide as a Passover gift. They are going to have fun with this!
I forgot to mention that we started our day with these wonderful and super easy "Passover Popovers" taken out of a Passover Cookbook I bought last year. I'm planning on posting the recipe for them at some point. The chocolate cake, matzoh balls and horaseth were all taken out of that cookbook. These popovers were so easy and will also be added to the list of "keeper" traditions involving Passover.

If you've never experienced a Seder meal, I would highly recommend that you do so. Many churches put them on, but you can also do it at home. It is a lot of work, but it is worth it. Each of the families I asked to come brought two dishes a piece, which really helped out. The kids enjoy learning how to set a table properly and use all the fine china, crystal and fancy serving dishes. Celebrating Passover has helped make the bible become more alive us as we are able to put into context the lives and traditions of the Jewish people in relation to the precious Word of God.

"Next Year in Jerusalem!"


Robin said...

We celebrated our first passover this year - just us four! My kids loved it, and I loved the way it brought new meaning to holy week. Yours looks much better put-together than ours, but I imagine we'll get better as time passes :)

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

That is great, Robin! The first year we did it with just our family and kept it very basic. Then last year we got brave and invited Cora's family to join us, then this year we added our friends, Billy and Kay. I wouldn't want to make it any bigger than that. I thought this year's group was really fun. And Billy brought a lot to the table as our patriarch.

His bondservant said...

We have done Passover twice. Wish we were closer so we could enjoy it together. Love all the pictures. You guys did a fantastic job and everything looks so beautiful and the food especially yummy. I always get a little choked up when we say, "Next year in Jerusalem!" My grandmother was Jewish and that is one place I have always wanted to visit. Thanks for sharing.

Jeannine said...

Lamb roast is in the oven!! Our Seder won't be as elaborate, but I'm looking forward to it. My oldest daughter and husband have prepared everything!

Jill said...

Love this! Hope you and your family had a wonderful day!!

Many blessings,

Orlando Anne said...

I found your post while looking for interesting things to share in teaching a lesson on the Passover in Exodus to my women's group. I found it both informative and engaging. Your family and friends are blessed to share in your creativity!
I will share your post with the ladies in my Bible study group.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Orlando Anne,
I'm so glad you found this post helpful. May God bless you and your bible study group as you continue to see after His awesome Word!



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