One thing I like about being Catholic is having a salvation history that dates back thousands of years. The history is not pretty. It is full of sin, death, torture and promiscuity. But without so much suffering we would not see the power of God and the power of His mercy as clear as we do. We owe a debt of gratitude to our Jewish brothers and sisters who have kept these traditions and rituals so we can all know and understand them today.
In one story in the Old Testament, the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt under the tyranny of one Pharoah after the other. Here we get to see Gods power and His love for His people...His chosen people. After 9 devastating plagues, Pharoah still refused to let the Israelites leave to the Promised Land that their God had prepared for them. On the last night, God gave Moses the directions that He was to pass on to His people to prepare for the final plague and their departure. On this particular night, the angel of death passed over every home that had the blood of the lamb on their doorposts and went into the homes that did not to smite the oldest son. The Israelites were already packed and ready to head to their land "flowing with milk and honey". Every year, this passing over is celebrated. Hence the name "Passover".
I had the pleasure of celebrating the Passover with two other families tonight. It was a wonderful experience and one I hope to repeat year after year.
|This is our Seder Meal. The Matzoh (cracker), Maror (bitter herbs...aka, horseradish sauce), Karpas (parsley...I already dipped it in my salt water and ate it before I took the picture), Haroset (apples/raisins), and wine.|
|The little kids get their own table. They sat on cushions which was also symbolic|
|Urkhatz, the washing of hands|
|Even the baby participates|
|This is too cute!|
|Kerrianne and Samantha at their own table|
|Let's hold up our first cup together and Bless the Lord! Now lets liquor up the children.|
|Blessed are you, O Lord Our God, who has set us apart by His word and commanded us to eat bitter herbs|
|Yep, it was bitter but I am so proud of my picky eater. So proud.|
|Dip a finger into your cup and let a drop fall onto your napkin, making the cup of joy a little less full as we remember the cost of our freedom|
|For extra fun, each child got a mask that represented one of each plague.|
|And this ends our ritual|