A Christian Passover Seder Meal for the Family

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Passover Seder Meal

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The Passover Seder Meal is the same meal Jesus shared with His disciples at the Last Supper before His crucifixion.  The Seder Meal is a yearly reminder of all the great things God has done for us and continues to do for us.  It is a time to remember and to celebrate!

Our family celebrates this meal each year, and I encourage you to start this tradition in your family too.  We don’t usually have this meal on the Passover, but choose a day (often the Sunday before Easter) when it is convenient to get people together.

We usually split the prayers between the different people at the meal, with the youngest boy asking the question:  Why is this night different from all other nights?

We add songs to our Seder celebration and make it a time of joy and coming together.  My favourite part is when we list all God did for His people and answer:  It would have been enough for us.

Even though this is not the format we use, I really like the simplicity of the one from Godventure to use with families.  They have a printable pdf  for you to use.

Make the meal special by including a tablecloth and flowers, special dishes and some wine (or sparkling grape juice), and of course candlelight.

Make sure your meal is prepared before the celebration.  Keep warm until ready to serve.  A couple of reminders when preparing the meal:  no leavening is used at the Passover, so no bread and desserts will have no leavening (ice cream, cheese cake, pie…), and pork is never eaten by Jewish people and should not be served.

As shown in the above picture, you will need a few ceremonial foods placed on a platter:

charoset – a salad made of apples, walnuts (opt.), grape juice and cinnamon to represent the mortar used by the Jewish slaves in Egypt.  It can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated.  Check out THIS RECIPE or find one of your own online.

unleavened bread – there was no time for leavening the bread when the slaves escaped from Egypt.  This is best served fresh.  Check out THIS RECIPE or find one of your own online.

You will also need a lamb bone (you may cook lamb for the meal or ask your butcher for one), prepared horseradish, parsley or lettuce, an egg, and salt water.  A Cup of Elijah will be a glass of wine/grape juice set aside and not used for the meal or the ceremony.  A couple of candles will also be needed as well as a wine glass to fill and pass around the table.

Besides the salt water and parsley on the ceremonial platter, place a few on the table to be shared during the ceremony.  Make enough charoset, unleavened bread and hard boiled eggs to serve with the meal.

And how about a colouring page for the kids?  It will help them remember the meal.

seder meal colouring page 2

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Other posts that may interest you:

Resurrection Eggs – A Fun Easter Tradition

 

 

Resurrection Eggs – a Fun Easter Tradition

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photo source and how-to’s from the Real Housewife

What is more fun about Easter than hiding and finding eggs?  Kids who feel they are too old to hunt team up to hide the eggs outside in the yard.  The younger kids gather and wait for the count.  A wild dispersing at the word “go!”  Kids run around with a basket and fill them with little chocolate treasures.  Older kids help younger kids fill their baskets.  Kids race to find the most eggs because the one with the most eggs wins a prize.  One of daughters says that finding eggs for weeks after Easter is the most fun.

Easter is about families getting together.  It is about having fun.  It is about traditions.

One tradition in our family is sitting and opening our resurrection eggs.  We have twelve.  At our Easter meal, we will each take a turn opening the egg on our plate, examining our treasure inside, and reading the scripture.  In the past we have opened our eggs after family rosary, or hidden the eggs and opened them together afterwards, always sharing the scriptures and story of Jesus death and resurrection.

I got my idea from Monica McConkey in her book A Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families.  You can also follow Monica at Equipping Catholic Families.

Heidi from Our Out-of-Sync Life has 20 Resurrection Eggs that she’s made with her family.  She has scriptures on her webpage too.  These are her eggs:

Resurrection Eggs - 20

Personally I prefer the 12 eggs, because little people get tired of listening to the story even when it is such a good story!

It is what Holy Week is all about, and we take time during Holy Week to remember.  Again and again.  So that we can really appreciate what Jesus did for us.  He suffered for us.  He died for us.  He rose from the dead for us.  He did this while we were still sinners.  He did it because He loves us and wants us to spend eternity with Him and His Father in heaven.  He also did it so we can truly live now.

This is what I try to teach my children.  Over and over.  Following Jesus is about truly living now.  You can search your whole life for meaning and unless you live wholeheartedly for Jesus you won’t find it.  Is it hard?  Not really.  The hardest part is taking the first step when we think about what we have to give up.  The reality is the things we give up really mean nothing after we are gone, and only complicate our lives now.  Living for Jesus may set perimeters, buy they set perimeters for freedom, peace and joy.

He is risen!  Truly He is risen!  As He said He would.

*** PLEASE NOTE HALF OF A PLASTIC EGG CAN BECOME LODGED IN A CHILD’S MOUTH.  We’ve had the heart-stopping adventure of extracting a plastic egg stuck behind the teeth in a child’s mouth not once, but twice.  PLEASE BE CAREFUL.

The Mysteries of the Rosary

The mysteries of the rosary can be prayed daily in their entirety or broken down into days.

  • Joyful Mysteries (Mondays)
  • Luminous Mysteries (Thursdays)
  • Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesdays and Fridays)
  • Glorious Mysteries (Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays)

THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES

1)  The Annunciation

2) The Visitation

3) The Nativity

4) The Presentation

5) The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

THE LUMINOUS MYSTERIES

1)  The Baptism in the River Jordan

2)  The Wedding at Cana

3)  Proclamation of the Kingdom of God

4)  The Transfiguration

5)  The Institution of the Eucharist

THE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES

1)  The Agony in the Garden

2)  The Scourging at the Pillar

3)  The Crowning with Thorns

4)  The Carrying of the Cross

5)  The Crucifixion

THE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES

1)  The Resurrection

2)  The Ascension of Jesus

3)  The Descent of the Holy Spirit

4)  The Assumption of Mary

5)  The Coronation of Mary

You can find the prayers for praying the rosary HERE.

Prayers Used in Praying the Rosary

Sign of the Cross – In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Apostles’ Creed – I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried;  he descended into hell;  on the third day he rose again from the dead;  he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;  from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.     I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.  Amen.

Our Father – Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name;  thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us;  and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen.

Hail Mary – Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

Glory Be – Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.  As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

The Fatima Prayer – O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell.  Lead all souls to heaven especially those in most need of your mercy.  Amen.

Hail Holy Queen – Hail!  Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope.  To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.  To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.  Turn then, most gracious Advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus.  O Clement!  O loving!  O sweet virgin Mary!  Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Prayer after the Rosary –   O God, whose only begotten Son, by his life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life;  grant, we beseech You, that, meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Follow this link to print a copy of HOW TO PRAY THE ROSARY.

Challah Bread and the Lord’s Day

1215 REAL SIMPLE COM HOLIDAY DRINKS WENDY GRANGER

CHALLAH LOAF

Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

Challah bread is one of my fondest memories of growing up.  We would make it on Saturdays and serve it up at our supper meal which we called the Lord’s Day Supper.  We had prayers to open the Lord’s Day at supper on Saturday, and another set of prayer to close the Lord’s Day on Sunday.  Challah is the traditional bread served in Jewish homes for the Sabbath.  Similarly, in our own home,  no Lord’s Day Supper was complete without Challah bread.

There’s nothing quite as homey as the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven.  The aroma fills the house and brings with it memories of yesteryear.  Before long my mother was also teaching me the art of bread making.  Learning how to bloom the yeast, knead the bread and, in the case of Challah, to braid the bread.  It was something I took for granted at the time, but now it is relegated to fond memories.  It is an art I’d like to pass on to my girls.

Those meals were often shared with others – family or friends.  We belonged to a Community of believers who all shared the same Lord’s Day Prayers.  Sometimes we met communally as a big gathering, or we met in our individual homes and shared this treasure with others. Besides the meal which was delicious, there was always much laughter and sharing. Sometimes we played games or watched skits.

More recently, my siblings and I would gather at our mom’s house with spouses and kids and friends to continue this tradition.  One of my kids recently shared that this was one of their best memories – Lord’s Day Supper at Nanny’s with the cousins.  Even though we live close to each other, our lives are busy and we don’t get together unless we schedule it.  In nicer weather, Mom would always have a bonfire too.

We continue this tradition of prayers in our own home and more often than not we open and close the Lord’s Day with those same prayers, but I don’t often go out of my way to make the meal extra special.  I would like to change that.  I’d like to put extra thought and care into those weekend meals.  Sundays this time of year are made special with football season.  My husband enjoys watching the games with the kids.  We always serve up some fun food with the game – pizza, nachos, wings….  But our Saturday meal could use a little creativity.

This week, I am making the effort to include Challah bread in the menu for our Lord’s Day Supper.  I will also include my girls in the bread making experience and make some new memories for tomorrow.  I recently found a cool and mess-less way to make bread using a freezer bag!  Try it yourself.

Of course, I have to make more than 1 loaf at a time.

If you have any special Lord’s Day memories or traditions, I would love to hear them!

CHALLAH BREAD

Makes 1 loaf.

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. quick rising yeast
  • 3+1/4 (plus a little extra) cups of flour
  • 1 large freezer bag

Add all the ingredients (but only the 3 cups of flour) to a LARGE FREEZER BAG.  Seal the bag and squish the mixture with your hands (and against a hard surface) until it is completely mixed. Place the sealed freezer bag with the dough into a bowl of warm water and let rise for 30 minutes.

Remove the bag from the water, open the bag and add another 1/4 cup of flour.  Re-seal the bag and again knead that flour into the dough by squishing the bag with your hands until all the flour is mixed in.  Place the bag in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour.  The bag will get quite filled with air during that hour.

At the end of the hour, turn your oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Open the bag and remove the dough.  Squish the dough in your hands to remove any air bubbles.

Separate the dough into 3 balls.  Take each ball and roll it on a flour dusted table (use that extra flour!) into a long snake length.

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Take all three lengths of dough, attach them together at one end by squishing them together with your hand and braid them as shown above.  Seal the other end again by squishing with your hand.

Place the braided loaf onto a well oiled (or parchment paper covered) cookie sheet.  Place the loaf on the cookie sheet in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes.

Let cool and enjoy!

Sitting at the Feet of Jesus

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Hi, I’m Melina, mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

While praying this morning, I had the distinct impression of me sitting at the feet of Jesus.  I pictured those who sat at the feet of Jesus before me:  His parents, the teachers in the synagogue when He was only 12, His disciples, and of course Mary, sister of Martha.

Mary and Martha Bible quote

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I pictured myself sitting at the feet of Jesus:  when I go to church, when I read scripture, when I sit before the Blessed Sacrament, when I pray a rosary, when I walk in nature, when I laugh….

Not just when I do these things, but when I quiet my mind and listen with my soul…that’s when I sit at the feet of Jesus.

That’s when I can hear Jesus’ soft whisper encouraging me, guiding me, leading me:  when I let go, and let God.

Often I have a rosary in my hands when I sit at the feet of Jesus.  Actually, when my kids were little and I would sit to pray, I would fall asleep.  So while “sitting” at the feet of Jesus, I was actually doing activity.  When I couldn’t take time away from my family to pray, I would pray while washing the dishes, while folding the laundry, while driving, while nursing the baby in the middle of the night.  Now my favourite time to pray (and it is usually the rosary while coming before my God with a humble, teachable heart and meditating on the mysteries) is while walking.

The mindless repetition of walking is perfect for praying.  It is a double gift from God because, not only do I have the chance to pray, but I also get a chance to step away from the business of life for 20 minutes (one set of mysteries) to 1 1/2 hours (all 4 mysteries prayed consecutively, at once) and get a chance to get a bit of exercise and breathe in some fresh air – alone.

Alone time is a precious thing in our busy society.  I take this time as a busy mother to focus my life on the Lord.  I ask for the graces needed to live out my vocation to the fullest, as God would want.  While I am a busy mother of 11, everyone needs time to quiet their mind and thoughts before the Lord.

So go ahead, take some Mary time at the feet of Jesus, and step away from your Martha life for a minute, or an hour – asking Jesus to refocus you so that you can return to your busy life better than you were before.

Personal Prayer with a Baby and Littles

Hi!  I’m Melina, homeschooling mother of 11 and Grandmelina to 2!

I recently encountered the question in a Catholic Mothers’ Facebook group, “What kind of shape does your prayer time take when you have your baby & littles around?”

I didn’t have to think long to come up with my answer.

We’ve always prayed a rosary with our kids – right from the beginning. Daily mass was important to me too – for the graces I needed for my day, but also it was a shorter mass to teach my kids to be good, so that come Sunday they were better behaved at mass. I was always part of a bible study that “forced” me to schedule the reading of scripture and meditate on it. Middle of the night feedings gave me time for scripture reading or Mercy Chaplet. That was my “alone” time with the Lord even though the baby was present. I tried adoration but I would always fall asleep from lack of sleep. Then I read the book The Apostolate of Holy Motherhood where Mary is speaking to a young mother encouraging mothers to pray all 15 (now 20) mysteries of the rosary daily. I would start the morning praying a decade, and squeeze in as many decades each day as I could – while driving, folding clothes, washing dishes, nursing the baby, watching the kids play at the park, before falling asleep at night, during middle of the night feedings. Even if I didn’t finish all 20 mysteries, I would continue the next day where I had left off and then start all over again. This is the number 1 best thing I have ever done. I had 11 kids in 13 years and homeschool, and now that there are no babies in the house any more, I still continue this rosary praying and have reaped immeasurable graces from it. So it is true, one day you also will have no more babies in the house and the perseverance you have now with prayer will have a chance to blossom even more later on. Now, the days where I can pray all 20 mysteries all at once (during my morning walk) are my mini-retreat where God teaches me something new each time and builds my desire for adoration, scripture and sharing Jesus with those I meet during my day, especially my family.