Jefferson students experience Passover Seder meal Print
Thursday, Apr. 16, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

St. John the Baptist, Jefferson, Seder Meal
Students at St. John School in Jefferson gained better understanding of the Last Supper and the Jewish tradition of Passover during an re-enactment of a Seder meal at the school recently. (Contributed photo)

JEFFERSON -- Classes at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Jefferson often participate in "buddy" activities with one another.

One such example happened on Thursday, March 26, one week before Holy Thursday.

This day commemorates the Last Supper that Jesus shared with His disciples before His crucifixion the next day. Since Jesus and His followers were Jewish, this last meal they shared was the Passover Seder.

Better understanding

Teachers Margie Schels (eighth grade) and Laura Leary (second grade) worked together to plan activities so their students would gain a better understanding of the Last Supper and the Jewish tradition of Passover.

In preparation for their receiving Holy Communion for the first time on April 12, the second graders had already learned that Jesus began what would be the heart of the Catholic faith in the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper.

In preparation, the school library had been transformed into a collection of tables at which the younger and older students would play the role of family members that included fathers, mothers, younger and older children.

Each table had the traditional Seder plate with food items that symbolized the significant components of the Jewish Passover and story of the Israelites' flight from bondage to freedom.

Family involvement

The mothers at each table began the tradition of prayer, followed by a series of blessings and prayers recited by the fathers.

The rituals included the blessing and sharing of grape juice (wine) and matzos (unleavened bread).

The young children at each table recited the questions about Passover, which the fathers answered, telling the story of their ancestors.

The Seder tradition concluded with a final blessing and everyone rejoicing with "amen, amen, amen."

A follow-up discussion was held so students could offer comments and ask questions about the Seder service.

Participating students shared what they learned about both the Passover Seder and the Last Supper, and recognized many connections with the rituals of the Catholic Mass.


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