On Thursday evening, March 20, 2008, some forty Summerlea folk celebrated the Seder supper,
an ancient Jewish tradition celebrating the exodus from Egypt and the Passover, as
celebrated by Jesus in the Last Supper. The ceremony begins with the lighting of candles and the
telling of the meaning of the seder symbols:|
Zeroah: the shank bone of a lamb, reminder of the lamb offered on Passover and that God struck the Egyptians but passed over the houses of the Hebrew people in Egypt.
Behtza: roasted egg offered at the Temple of Jerusalem at the Passover festival.
Maror: a piece of bitter herbs (or radish), reminder of the bitterness and hardship of slavery.
Haroset: a mixture of chopped apple, cinnamon, nuts and wine, reminder of the mortar used by the forced Hebrew labourers in Egypt.
Karpas: a piece of celery or parsley, is a reminder of springtime, the season of Passover. It is used as a sign of gratitude to God for the goodness of the earth, for our bread and food.
Salt Water: symbolic of the tears which Israel endured in its experience of slavery, used as a dip for the karpas.
Matzo: unleavened bread, symbol of the bread made by the Israelites while fleeing Egypt, when they did not have time to wait for yeast to rise.
The ceremony continues with washing of hands and eating the symbols with of four cups of wine or juice, accompanied by stories of how the symbols remind us of the past.
At this point the pot luck supper is consumed, followed by the eating of the Afikoman, reminder that what has been lost can be found.
After the seder ceremony, the assemblage proceeds to the sanctuary to strip it of all ornamentation, to be replaced Easter Sunday morning.
All in all, a moving reminder of the ancient history from which Christianity was born.
(The calendar may say it's spring, but the weather man is not listening!)