Host a Seder Dinner
Three years ago, we hosted Easter with our family and when everyone had left we asked ourselves, "did we honor God today?". We celebrated Easter but we didn't really celebrate Jesus' resurrection! The whole point of the day! After that day, we started to reevaluate all of our holiday festivities and intentionally weave the Bible back into them. We started with Easter, which naturally led us into hosting a Seder dinner the following year. We purchased Martha Zimmerman's Celebrating Biblical Feasts, and got to work; paring down the script, researching traditional recipes, and planning a dinner that lingered enough to remember and celebrate the gravity of the resurrection. We are now on our third year and LOVE this new tradition. It's perfect for kids (ours are early elementary) and a symbolic way to enjoy a slow dinner together while teaching the Bible.
On the Baker Publishing Group's website of Martha Zimmerman's book, she posted her script for performing a Seder dinner. I would encourage you to download this resource (it's free!). We took the script and parred it down to fit the needs of our family. This is what we did:
We shortened the ceremony (which means we took out a few traditional parts that we felt were too lengthy for our littles to sit through).
We added supplemental food throughout the dinner that went along with the Seder plate traditional food items (ex. after eating bitter herbs, doing a full veggie platter with hummus and/or other dips). This allowed us to "beef" up the actual meal, so that I didn't have to cook another dinner afterward for my family.
We made Passover Seder vocab cards. As we go through the different sections of the Seder, we display the appropriate card so the kids understand what step we are on and can visually see the Hebrew words.
Instead of the traditional Seder Hallel (the Praise section consisting of singing Psalm 113-118), my husband gets out his guitar and we sing "Jesus Paid It All".
I added a supply and food list in the beginning, so I can remember how to prep each year!
I've also color coordinated the script, making notes of what needs to be prepped when, what Passover Seder cards to display when, and more specific instructions for Leader 1 and 2.
(If you would like a copy of our family's Seder ceremony, I'd be happy to share it. Email me at email@example.com)
I realize that we've deviated from the traditional ceremony and by omitting sections, we are not staying true to the service. However, I also think that anything that draws our family back together towards God, is a win. In her book, Celebrating Biblical Feasts, Martha sums it up perfectly, "The suggestions presented here for celebrating the feasts are not to be a legalistic set of rules to earn God’s favor but are to be used as teaching tools to help our families honor God". Hosting a Seder dinner has most definitely reshaped our family culture and is something our children look forward to each year.
I hope it blesses you, Happy Easter!
Below are the downloadable hand-painted Passover Seder Cards. Feel free to print and laminate them for your family's ceremony!