It has been our tradition for many years now to hold an Easter Seder with friends. Script Below.
This year, we didn’t even think about it until the very last minute and then threw it all together with whatever we had in the house. Martha made “fig” jam out of strawberries, food coloring and chia seeds. The kids also asked to use Junior Mints instead of olives, but didn’t get that wish. Fluffs and I had a good time putting together the table with blankets, couch cushions, throw pillows, fabric, and of course, the boys train table spread with candles and Easter Seder stuff.
We’ve graduated to a longer, fuller version of the readings. This was the best Seder ever as well now that there are no babies. The minute of silence was actually silent. It was just nice.
And the kids are getting really into it now, tearing napkins, throwing leaves and pennies, washing each others feet. It’s fun.
I will also note that separating the Seder from the Easter dinner went a million miles toward making it less stressful and more enjoyable. We just had the Seder in the evening after the kids had eaten. Peasy.
The main lesson learned, is we can do this with no preparation. It doesn’t have to be a burden.
Items for each Seder participant
- palm leaf (or other leaves/branches)
- Fig Newton
- several pennies
- oil for dipping
- 3 bite size pieces of pita
- Matso wafer with horseradish and haroset
- grape juice
- 2 wet wipes
- cranberry juice
- chicken nugget
- salt water for dipping
- vinegar for dipping
- cinnamon roll
- tearable paper napkin
Sunday: Palm leaves
On Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. “A very great multitude of people spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.”
Everyone throws a palm leaf on the ground
The people walking along before and after Jesus cried together:
Everyone says: “Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.”
Monday: Figs and Coins
The next morning Jesus being hungry went up to a fig tree but found no fruit on the tree. He said, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.” Jesus taught that we must bring forth good fruit–good works and repentance–so we will not wither.
Everyone eats a fig cookie.
The temple grounds had been corrupted by priestcraft and usury, so “Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
Everyone throws coins to the floor.
Tuesday: Olives and Oil
Jesus taught the people in the temple and also returned to teach on the Mount of Olives where he had given one of his greatest sermons. He taught us to love God and our neighbors, to forgive each other and to prepare ourselves and the world for His second coming.
Everyone eats an olive.
“When Jesus was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head.” The disciples scoffed at this waste and said the ointment ought to have been sold and the money given to the poor. Jesus answered, “Why trouble ye the woman? For she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
Everyone dips a piece of bread in oil and eats it.
Thursday: Bread and Juice, Foot Washing
Jesus ate the Passover in Jerusalem. At that ceremonial meal, Jesus and his people ate special foods that symbolize the deliverance of the Hebrews out of bondage in Egypt. One food eaten at a Seder is haroset with bitter herbs and unleavened bread. The haroset symbolized the bricks and mortar that the Hebrews made as slaves in Egypt. The bitter herbs and unleavened bread were two of the foods the Lord told his people to eat on the night that the destroying angel slew all the firstborn in Egypt.
Everyone eats haroset with horseradish and unleavened bread.
As Jesus and his disciples were eating the Passover, Jesus initiated the administration of the sacrament. “Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.”
Everyone eats a piece of bread.
Then “he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Everyone drinks grape juice.
After dinner Jesus took a basin and a towel and washed all of the apostles’ feet. “After he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord; and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. ”
Everyone washes each other’s feet.
Before they left the house, Jesus and his disciples sang a hymn.
Everyone sings a hymn.
Abide with me; ‘tis eventide. The day is past and gone.
The shadows of the evening fall. The night is coming on.
Within my heart a welcome guest, Within my home abide.
O Savior, stay this night with me. Behold, ‘tis eventide.
O Savior, stay this night with me. Behold, ‘tis eventide.
That night, Jesus went to Gethsemane to pray. He was very sorrowful and fell upon the ground. He prayed “Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Jesus began to work the atonement, taking upon him the punishment for all the sins of mankind. “And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”
Everyone drinks the bitter cup of cranberry juice.
Friday Morning: Chicken and Salt Water, Hand Washing
Later that night, Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot and taken prisoner by the chief priests. Peter saw the priests beating and spitting upon Jesus and was afraid of what might happen if they discovered he was one of Jesus’s disciples. Three times, people accused Peter of being a follower of Christ and three times, Peter denied it. The third time, “Immediately, while [Peter] yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.”
Everyone dips a piece of chicken in salt water and eats it.
The priests turned Jesus over to Pontius Pilate. Pilate questioned Jesus and found him innocent. He was going to release Jesus, but the Jewish people cried for Barabbas to be released instead, and for Jesus to be crucified. “When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.”
Everyone washes their hands.
Friday Afternoon and Evening: Vinegar, A Piece of Cloth
The guards scourged Jesus, placed a crown of thorns on his head and mocked him. They took him to Golgotha and crucified him between two thieves. Darkness came over the land for three hours. Then Jesus cried out “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me.” A guard dipped a sponge in vinegar and gave it to Jesus to drink, but Jesus said “It is finished” and gave up the ghost.
Everyone dips a piece of bread in vinegar and eats it.
When Jesus died, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
Everyone tears a napkin in two from the top to the bottom.
Jesus was taken down and buried in a tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathaea. Pilate had the tomb secured with a great stone. All of Saturday, Jesus lay in the tomb.
Everyone keeps silence for a minute.
Sunday Morning: Risen Bread with Sweet Spices
On Sunday morning, “Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Salome, bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint [the body of Jesus]. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulcher at the rising of the sun. And when they looked they saw that the stone was rolled away, for it was very great. And entering into the sepulcher, they saw a young man sitting on the right side.” He said, “Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.”
“But Mary stood without at the sepulcher weeping.” Two angels asked, “Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou? She supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.”
Everyone eats a piece of risen bread with sweet spices.