Seminary Passover Seder Script


HAPPY (PESACH) PASSOVER!

Write Pesach and Seder on board

Pesach is a national holiday of the Jewish people.  Pesach means life, liberty, pursuit of justice and inalienable rights at the hand of the Creator. This is not a real Seder. That can only be given by a Jewish male who is over 13 or 14 years old and has been declared an adult by his synagogue. This is only a demonstration.

Passover, called Pesach in Hebrew, lasts eight days and seven nights. It commemorates the Exodus of Israelites from Egypt in 1250 b.c. That’s about 3200 years ago, and the formation of a Jewish nation. is quite complex and almost as old as the Exodus, which happened in 1250 b.c.

The Hebrew word “Seder” means order. The Seder is a service made up of ordered parts structured around the sharing of four cups of wine and a symbolic meal. Each cup conveys a theme of the Seder: WRITE ON BOARD: Sanctification (HOLINESS), History, Thanksgiving, and Hope and HAGADDAH.

Passover is a very happy event, but also a serious one, even a sacred holiday for the Jews. At the center of the Seder service — its very purpose — is the story of the Exodus. (See your handout). It is followed by the “Hagaddah portion, meaning a “story-telling.” At the Seder table, Jews tell the story in all its excitement, using symbolic props, dialogue, songs, and poetry. Today we will present only the first portion and also tell some of the Christian symbolism in this Jewish celebration.

For generations, Jewish families have shared the ancient story of the Exodus at the Seder table. They found in this story a special understanding of their own history and experience and beliefs. This remarkable story forms the core of Jewish identity as a people, and their philosophy of life.

It is also called the Festival of Liberation.  In the fall, we have Rosh Hashonah, the head of the year, the Jewish New Year. In spring, there is Pesach.

Passover is also called the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is described in Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23 of the Old Testament, the stick of Judah, because on this holiday only unleavened bread can be eaten. Who knows what unleavened bread is?  WRITE ON BOARD. MATZOH.

Bread without any forms of yeast. How many of us know the rising agents in food?  Yeast, soda, baking powder, beans, peas. All leavening agents are sent out of the house, special china and cups are set aside for this event.

Why does all leaven have to be absent on the Passover? Matthew 16:16 refers to leaven as sin in the form of changes to truth. What if someone told you that Jesus was no one in particular but a very nice person who helped others. Would you know that person was partly mistaken?  Essentially, it is false doctrine that mixes with pure principles. Many people cannot tell the difference.

The Israelites were brought to Egypt to escape famine. (Gen 45:4-7) Passover also refers to the Paschal or Passover lamb because a roasted lamb shankbone is the main dish. it is a symbol of the time just before the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt when the 10th plague, the death of the first born males, was about to take place. The Israelites were instructed to put lambs blood on the doorposts of their homes so the plague would pass over them. They did not know at the time that lamb’s blood represented the saving atonement of the Lord in their behalf. We’ll talk more about that later.

No Seder can be genuine without a Jewish male presiding, because Passover is a sacred ancient Jewish ordinance as well as a celebration signifying that Israel is a chosen nation, chosen by God and by those who chose to serve Him. Passover, or Pesach, was also an ordinance given to the children of Israel to remind them of the coming of Christ who would be the sacrificial lamb, but most Jews have never recognized it as such.

BASIC STORY OF EXODUS:   YESHUA

Our Savior is very involved with the Passover. Jesus, whose Hebrew name was Yeshua, meaning deliverer, one who frees others, and savior, attended the feast of Passover with his mother and Joseph. Near the end of his mission, after the Passover with his disciples in the Upper Room of a house on Mount Zion (Mark 14:15), Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane, or BOARD: Gat Shemen=oil press, a symbol for the heavy burden of sins of world Jesus carried pressed blood from his body.  There, on that night he began his atonement. At the time Jesus rose from his grave he became the Passover. After he was crucified his apostles observed the law by putting the sacrament in its place, which we now observe with a broken heart and a contrite spirit each Sabbath. The Passover is now represented by our sacrament service.

Why don’t we as Saints observe Passover?  Because Passover is only for Jews.  Gentiles have the sacrament. Jewish people do not accept Jesus as their Messiah, so they celebrate the Exodus from Egypt instead.

On the evenings preceding the first and second nights of Pesach, a great family Seder is held, a combination banquet and religious service.

WELCOME TO OUR SEDER!  First, we provide the leader with a cushioned armchair or pillow to symbolize our freedom from slavery. WE can now enjoy a leisurely meal.

We begin our Seder with the lighting of Holiday Candles. Women always do this honor, because we are considered the hope of the world, as the Jews still believe the coming Messiah will be born through a Jewish woman but they refuse to believe that Mashiach is Jesus the Christ.

The first word in the creation of the universe out of the unformed void and dark earth was God’s “Let there be light.” Therein lies the hope and faith of Judaism and the obligation of our people. We,co-creators with God, pray — “Let there be light.”     

 LIGHT THE CANDLES NOW. Praised are You, Lord, our God, whose Presence fills the universe, who has sanctified our lives through Your commandments and commanded us to kindle the lights of the festival, who has given us life and strength and enabled us to reach this moment of joy.

THE FIRST CUP: KIDDUSH–THE CUP OF SANCTIFICATION: god will bring the Israelites out of bondage.

The Hebrew word “Kiddush” means sanctification, or holiness. the wine is a symbol of the holiness, the preciousness, and the sweetness of this moment. Held together by sacred bonds of family, friendship, peoplehood, we share this table tonight with one another and with all the generations who have come before us. We recite the blessing over wine –squeezed, fermented through human skill.

POUR lots of juice into cup, RAISE CUP, DO NOT DRINK. Praised are You, Lord, our God, whose Presence fills the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine, who has given us the gifts of life and strength and enabled us to reach this moment of joy.

DRINK juice,

URHATZ – WASHING Slaves eat quickly, stopping neither to wash nor to reflect. Tonight, we are free. We wash and we express our reverence for the blessings that are ours.

Pass a bowl of warm water, a small cup and a towel around the table. Everyone pours three cupfuls over their fingers. There is no blessing over this washing.

The Seder table reflects the festivity of this holiday! This place setting represents each person at the table.  At the center of the table is the “Seder Plate” containing the actual and symbolic foods we will use for “props” as we tell the Seder story. Two will not be eaten. These include:

HOLD UP SHANKBONE: ZEROA roasted shankbone. Or any bone, to represent the Passover offering that was made at the ancient Temple of Jerusalem. The lamb itself must be roasted but first cleansed of its blood. The lamb, undivided and whole, with not a bone broken symbolized unity and fellowship between those participants in the Seder and the Lord. What does it mean to us as Christians? Fulfillment of prophecy that Jesus would not have any bones broken while he was on the cross.

SHOW EGG. A ROASTED EGG. This is presented hardboiled and whole. It was an offering by Israelite pilgrims, and is a symbol of fertility. It is not eaten, not eternal life. It is not eaten.

KARPAS — REBIRTH AND RENEWAL A green vegetable. Parsley is commonly used, although any is acceptable .As Spring re-awakens all that is green, let us re-awaken our ties to the natural world and our bonds to the earth. We dip greens into salt water and acknowledge through our blessing that there is a Creator and a purpose to the universe; that we are partners in the work of Creation.

SHOW DISH OF SALT WATER. This is Salt water or it can be vinegar. We will be dipping the greens in salt water. You might guess this represents the tears of the slaves as they toiled and mourned the loss of their freedoms under tyranny.

DIP PARSLEY INTO SALT WATER AND HOLD IT.Praised are You, Lord, our God, whose Presence fills the universe, who creates the fruit of the earth.  

NOW EAT PARSLEY.

YAHATZ — BREAKING THE MATZAH On another plate, there are three matzahs covered with a napkin or matzah-cover. The Matzah — so flat and tasteless — is the bread our ancestors ate in their rush to reach freedom.

Take the middle matzah and break it in two.  Matzo is baked for 18 minutes because in the Hebrew language, the number for life is 18. We are free, but we remember when we were slaves. We are whole, but we bring to mind those who are broken. The middle matzah is broken, but it is the larger part which is hidden because the future will be greater than the past, and tomorrow’s Passover nobler than yesterday’s exodus. So it is in silence, without blessing, that we break and hide the matzah and long for its recovery and our redemption.

BOARD: AFIKOMEN. The smaller piece is replaced between the other two on the matzah plate.This large piece is called the “afikoman” or dessert. It is a tradition that children search for this hidden matzah, and finding it, bring it back at Seder’s end. The Seder cannot end without this Afikoman, and so kids can ask for anything  they want when they bring it back to the table.

STOP AND GET CHILD TO HIDE dessert. TELL HIM TO GO OUTSIDE AND WAIT UNTIL WE CALL HIM BACK. To a member of this Church “afikomen” is a symbol of the death and resurrection of Christ, the pure and true “dessert” of life. It is an obvious symbol of the burial of Jesus in the tomb.

TELLING THE STORY We open the seder to those who are hungry. This is the bread of affliction, which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.  Let all who are in need, come and celebrate Passover.

HAVE SOMEONE OPEN  THE DOOR.

THE FOUR QUESTIONS-
Free people ask questions. We begin our Seder with questions. Although the custom is that the youngest at the table asks, tradition instructs that all must ask:

CALL THE CHILD TO SIT AT TABLE, ANSWER QUESTIONS.

1. Why is this night of Passover different from all other nights of the year?

1. Our history moves from slavery toward freedom. Had not the Holy One liberated our people from Egypt, then we, our children and our children’s children would still be enslaved.

2a. This matzah for the Seder is baked out of wheat or rye or oats or barley or spelt. Even before our ancestor’s dough had time to rise, God was revealed to them and saved them. they baked the dough which they had brought from Egypt; it did not rise since they hurried out of Egypt.

2b. On all other nights, we eat vegetables of all kinds, why on this night must we eat bitter herbs?

Torah teaches, “The Egyptians made the lives of their slaves very bitter. They had to endure great misery and backbreaking work. The bitter herbs reminds us of that and we are so grateful that we are no longer slaves, thanks to the Lord leading us out of Egypt.

3. When the marror is eaten, it is mixed with the cinnamoned charoset, to teach us that we must not dwell on unhappy past. The sweet mixture is dipped in the charoset. This mixing of sweet and bitter reminds us that there is goodness in the world, and hope in the future.

4. The experience of the Exodus made us a free people forever. No matter how oppressed we are, deep inside we remain free.

THE TEN PLAGUES As we recite each of the Ten Plagues, we dip out a drop of wine from our wine cup. When human beings suffer, even evil human beings, our joy cannot be complete.

BOARD. PUT THE PLAGUES LIST UP. POUR JUICE INTO DISH, DROP AT A TIME. Let us recite the plagues together. God brought Ten Plagues upon the Egyptians, and they were:
Blood
Frogs
Lice
Beasts
Blight
Hail
Locusts
Darkness
Death of the Firstborn  Up to this  time, theEgyptians had nine very bad events happen to their country. The Pharoah still wouldn’t let the Israelites leave Egypt. Through his prophet, Moses, the Lord had every Israelite put lamb’s blood on the doorposts of the home, and the Angel of Destruction would pass over those homes. In this way the Lord saved the first born of Israel So the final punishment to the Egyptians was the visit of the Angel of Destruction upon the firstborn of the Egyptians.

Why was it given? Jesus was the first born son of God. His death AND RESURRECTION were needed to free all of humanity from dying and never being able to have further life with our loved ones. When he caused the death of all first born sons of the Egyptians he was trying to give the message that through his atoning blood all people can be saved. He knew the Pharoah would let the Jews have their freedom after his own first born son died.

HALLEL. Therefore, let us rejoice at the miracle of our liberation, and sing unto God who brought us from slavery to freedom, from despair to joy, from mourning to celebration from darkness to light, from enslavement to redemption. Let us sing before God a new song, Halleluyah! You should all have your music.

SONG LEADER practices and plays.   DAYENU – SONG OF GRATITUDE. SING TWICE.

The words in Hebrew express gratitude for being freed from Egypt. Ee’lu hotzee, hotzee’anu, hotzee’anu me’mitzraim, da’yenu.

DAYENU. DAYENU, DAY, DAYENU, DAY, DAYENU, DAYENU, DAYENU.

THE SECOND CUP — THE CUP OF HISTORY: The promise of god to deliver us.

POUR JUICE INTO MY CUP..

Praised are You, Lord, our God, whose Presence fills the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

HOLD IT UP We raise the Cup of History, and recite:

Praised are You, Lord, our God, whose Presence fills the universe, who has redeemed us and our ancestors from Egypt, who has brought us to this night when we eat matzah and marror. Praised are You, Lord, redeemer of the people Israel.

SIP JUICE.

ROCHTZA — WASHING THE HANDS  In the ancient temples, only the priests were commanded to wash, and only before they ate the sacrificial meal. Today, Jews believe there is no priesthood or temple. Instead they try to make their homes like a Temple where everyone loves and serves another and worships God every day.

I WASH with three cupfuls of water. The blessing is recited while drying the hands.

DRY MY HANDS. Praised are You, Lord, our God, whose Presence fills the universe, who has sanctified our lives through Your commandments and commanded us to perform this washing of the hands.


MOTZI (Bread) MATZAH.  Recite the blessing on the bread.

Praised are You, Lord, our God, whose Presence fills the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth, who has sanctified our lives through Your commandments and commanded us to partake of matzah.

CHAROSET. This is a sweet “relish” made up of chopped apples, nuts, and sweet wine. Symbolizes making clay into bricks to build the towers of the Egyptians.

Mix some of the bitter herb with the sweet charoset, recite the blessing, then eat.

Praised are You, Lord, our God, whose Presence fills the universe, who has sanctified our lives through Your commandments and commanded us to partake of marror. NOW EAT IT.

KOREKH — THE HILLEL “SANDWICH”

Pieces of the bottom matzah are distributed to everyone at the table.

Sandwich some marror between two pieces of matzah, and recite. This symbolizes The bread of poverty which became the bread of freedom and should be tasted together with the bitter marror, so that one should know the bitterness of slavery and the joy of freedom.

EAT THE STUFF

SHARING THE AFIKOMAN DESSERT

ASK THE CHILD TO RETURN THE AFIKOMEN. ASK FOR DOOR TO BE SHUT AGAIN.

ASK WHAT THE PRICE IS TO RECEIVE IT. TAKE IT BACK AND PUT IT ON  THE OTHER TWO.

 What does this mean? From the empty tomb arises the Christ, as the seed is buried, so the bread comes forth, pure and without leaven it becomes the things we know are true, our testimonies, our deep knowledge that Jesus is our Redeemer, and the taking of that knowledge into our bodies so that it becomes an integral part of us. 

THE THIRD CUP : God will redeem his people.

POUR THIRD CUP OF JUICE INTO MY CUP. RAISE IT. We raise the Cup of Thanksgiving, and recite:

Praised are You, Lord, our God, whose Presence fills the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine. May God’s name be blessed for all eternity. Let us praise God of Whose bounty we have partaken, and by Whose goodness we live, who feeds the entire world with goodness, with grace, with kindness and mercy.

NOW DRINK THE JUICE.  .

To this point, the Cup of Elijah has sat empty on our table.

RAISE THE CUP.

This cup is Elijah’s cup. In setting this cup at our table, Jews invite Elijah to join them, and bring his passion for justice into their lives. They expect him to appear and usher in a time when Messiah can come and when all the world will celebrate universal freedom. The Jewish people do not know about saving their dead in the temples so that families can be together forever.

The cup is empty. According to Hasidic custom, Jews pass Elijah’s cup from person to person at the table, each person pouring a little wine into Elijah’s cup from their own cups, until it is filled. In this way they recognize that they must act together to bring Elijah’s promise to the world.

What does the prophet Elijah mean to the Jewish people? He symbolizes their dreams. His return will be followed by a descendant of King David who will be chosen by God and will be the Messiah. He will put an end to evil in the world, rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and rule one thousand years in peace. Jews will be gathered into Israel. These are prophecies, not just dreams of the Jewish people.

We know that Elijah the prophet did come to Joseph Smith to restore the authority to do work for the dead in our temples and he delivered the responsibilities of the priesthood. 

 Because Elijah came to the Prophet Joseph Smith we can all connect ourselves with our ancestors and seal up our dead to ourselves and they to us. He has returned before the Second Coming of our Lord and when he does the prophecies we have just mentioned will all come to pass.

Pass the cup around the table.

THE FOURTH CUP — THE CUP OF HOPE : God will bring us home to him again.We have completed the telling of our ancient story. Why do we tell this story, again and again, for hundreds of generations? Because it is the foundation of our hope, and the basis of all Jewish dreams. What gives us this kind of strength? Only one thing: this story. Because we saw the sea split, because we were freed from slavery, we can dream. We know that God has purposes in human history. Power is not history’s last word. There is always hope.

Pour juice into the cup. RAISE THE CUP:

We raise this Cup of Hope, with all our dreams for ourselves, for those we love, and for the world, and we recite:

Praised are You, Lord, our God, whose Presence fills the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

DRINK THE JUICE.

HOW DOES PASSOVER RELATE TO EACH OF US? What does this Passover experience mean to us as Latter-day Saints? Each of us will learn and hopefully be able to live as our Church teaches us, to live close to the Spirit so we can pass over the bad times and find the best within ourselves so we can be with Jesus and our Heavenly Father and our families forever.

THE SEDER COMES TO A CLOSE, WE RECITE THE FINAL PRAYER

NEXT YEAR, MAY WE CELEBRATE IN A JERUSALEM AT PEACE, NEXT YEAR, MAY WE CELEBRATE IN A WORLD HEALED AND FREE.

LEADER OF MUSIC REHEARSES WITH AUDIENCE AND PLAYS

SING HAVENU SHOLOM ALEICHEM.

 

Click on http://mormonsandjews.net for more great posts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: