Happy Triduum to all my Catholic friends, and to everyone else- Happy Almost Easter!! It’s a very exciting time of year, and we are thrilled to share with you our traditions, and attempts at creating new traditions! This year my teenagers are participating in the Living Stations of the Cross, so we are gearing up for a marathon today! Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for an Easter Giveaway!!
SO far we have had a Seder Meal, dyed eggs, and pieced together outfits for Easter Sunday. We were fairly successful at the Holy Thursday Mass which included a foot washing ceremony, and children (in my row) throwing oranges. It’s such a beautiful service and I’m so thankful to have these rich prayerful moments but then again seven pm with young children is never an ideal time of day for an outing that includes sitting still and being very quiet. But we did okay. It’s funny looking back, as a child I remember praying in front of a cross my neighbor constructed with two tree branches- which was at the back of his yard, and the front of ours. We would bring flowers, or little notes for Jesus and sit there crying because it was the day Jesus had died.
Here is what we ate for our Seder Meal-TheChristian observance of this ritual meal celebrates not only our tradition of Christ’s last supper but our own Jewish heritage which provided the context for Jesus’ institution at the last supper.
HAROSET: Combine: 1/2 cup chopped nuts 1/2 cup diced apple 1 Tbsp. cinnamon 1 Tbsp. sparkling grape juice (aka ‘kid wine’). This is symbolic of the mortar used by the Israelite slaves when they laid bricks for Pharaoh’s monuments. The word charoset is derived from the Hebrew word for clay, cheres.
KARPAS: parsley or another vegetable meant to represent spring and the initial flourishing of the Israelites- which will be dipped in salt water to remember the tears of the Hebrews as they suffered so many trials.
MARROR: a bitter herb such as horseradish- we used a tiny jar of Inglehoffer Horseradish sauce, and gave everyone a small amount on some pita….meant to represent the bitterness of slavery. During the Seder, a sandwich is eaten from matzah, charoset and maror. Known as “korech”, this ritual sandwich embodies the Israelites’ bitterness over their hard labor (masonry) and the spiritual affliction they suffered from being enslaved.
EGG: one slice of hard-cooked egg, (beitzah, in Hebrew) stands in for a holiday sacrifice once offered at the Holy Temple. The egg is also a universal symbol of springtime, new beginnings, and rebirth — all themes that are echoed in the story of the Exodus.
SALT WATER: a separate small dish next to the dinner plate. According to the Book of Genesis, Joseph and his family moved from the biblical land of Ca’anan down to Egypt during a drought. Once in Egypt, Joseph quickly rose to power as the Egyptian pharaoh’s second-in-command — a revered position that extended special protection to the Israelite people for many generations. However, when a new pharaoh came to power, he was threatened by the growing size of the Israelite community and enslaved them. This turn of events is commemorated during the Seder by dipping the karpas into bitter salt water, which represents the tears shed by the Israelites.
MATZAH: one piece per person plus some extra- we used store bought pita! Matza is unleavened because the Jews were in such a hurry to leave Egypt they didn’t have time to leaven their dough!
LAMB: The shank bone, or z’roa in Hebrew, represents the Paschal sacrifice offered by the Israelites on the eve of their exodus from Egypt.While a roasted lamb bone is traditionally used to represent the z’roa, any piece of roasted meat may be used. Some families used chicken or turkey neck, which they roast completely in the oven and then char over an open flame on their stoves. Unlike the other foods on the Seder plate, the shank bone is never eaten. Instead, it remains as a visual reminder of those monumental moments right before the Exodus. Vegetarians often use beets instead.
There are wonderful prayers and songs to go along with this rich and beautiful meal, also reading or retelling the story of Exodus is a good way to introduce this part of our history to the family. Check out Catholic Culture.org for a simple way to handle this in a Christian minded and lovely way. Prayers are included!
We typically bust out the hummus and tabouli as well for our Seder because it’s delicious and the whole point of these sit down and festive meals is to get everyone to enjoy themselves and create memories, as well as to pass on the faith.
I hope your Holy Week is going well and you feel blessed beyond measure.
Please share your ideas- do you do anything special for Easter?
The first picture here is psanky- the Ukrainian art of decorating eggs with the stylus and beeswax- in my dreams, it’s what I do with my children, and then the second picture is what we really do, because the kids love it and its fun.
painting by Rachel Lapinski 2000 “Lamb Led to the Slaughter”
Easter Giveaway Rules:
Every comment on my YOUTUBE latest Post is an entry that will be put into a randomizer next Thursday, prizes announced next Friday!4/6/18 Here are the three ways you can enter:
1. Leave a comment on my lastest JennyJennyGenesis YouTube Video.
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