On Thursday night, March 28th, 50 members and guests of St. John Vianney Parish in Bath, NY gathered in O’Malley Hall to celebrate a Catholic version of the Jewish Passover Seder.
Passover is the great Jewish feast of redemption and liberation, the memorial of the Israelites’ deliverance from their bondage in Egypt as related in the Old Testament book of Exodus.
In the Christian tradition, the Passover Seder is also believed to be when Jesus instituted the Eucharist. Gathered around the supper table with his disciples, Jesus told them, “I have longed to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; because, I tell you, I shall not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”
The celebration started with the lighting of the candles and the blessing. The youngest present read the five traditional questions:
- Why is this night different from all other nights?
- Why on this night do we eat only unleavened bread?
- Why on this night do we eat bitter herbs?
- Why on this night do we dip them in water with salt?
- On all other nights we eat without special ceremony. Why on this night do we hold this Passover service?
The questions are then answered by the reading of the Jews’ departure from Egypt ‚Äì Exodus, Chapter 12.
Members present feasted on lamb, chicken, haroses, matzah, vegetables and rice. Four glasses of wine were also served.