To help the kids understand what the Last Supper might have been like and open up a fun opportunity to talk about events in the scriptures, we decided to have our own little version of a Passover Seder. To get the kids prepped for the event, we watched The Prince of Egypt
to learn the story of Moses and how the Israelites were freed from slavery.
Then we set up our special Passover dinner, complete with fancy china to eat on and glass goblets to drink our grape juice from.
That is actually the first time I have ever used that china even though I have had it for years. See the pretty napkin? And the lovely cut work flower on it? That is a one of a kind piece hand stitched, along with the table cloth by my great-grandmother, Grandma Sims.
We even ate by candlelight to make it more like what it would have been like in the old days. The kids really liked that.
It was really fun researching about how the Passover is traditionally celebrated. It was interesting to see how different sects of Judaism celebrate it and even how some of the traditions vary from family to family. Some things were of course common throughout, such as only serving unleavened bread, or Matzah. In fact nothing that you cook for the meal can having leavening in it. We actually really loved our homemade Matzah. You are supposed to cook it in less than 18 minutes – and that includes the time to mix the ingredients, roll it out, and then bake it. Needless to say, since I had never made it before, I didn’t quite make the 18 minutes – but it worked for our purposes. The short time and unleavened bread represents the speed at which the Israelites had to travel out of Eqypt – so quickly that they could not even let their bread rise.
We found it especially tasty topped with this brie cheese dip. It is covered in garlic, almond slices, and mushrooms and is FABULOUS. This is definitely something that we’ll be making again and again!
Another important part of the event is the Seder plate which contains different things that symbolize events surrounding the exodus from Egypt. This is what we had on our plate:
Bitter herbs to symbolize the bitterness of their lives as slaves. Charoset (a mixture of apples, honey, nuts, cinnamon, and grape juice) to symbolize the mortar that they used to build the Egyptian pyramids and temples. A spring vegetable (we used cucumber even though it is not very traditional, but it is a vegetable the kids like), to symbolize the hope springing forth that they would be delivered. The cucumber was dipped in salt water that symbolized the tears that they shed unto God pleading for their freedom. Red beet to symbolize the blood that they painted above their doors that the destroying angel might pass over them. An egg to symbolize new life – their new lives of freedom once they were delivered from bondage.
After we discussed these things with the kids, we talked with them about how Christ celebrated the Passover during the last days of his life. We talked to them of how it was at this special dinner that Christ introduced the sacrament to his apostles. As we took our bites of matzah, we talked of how it symbolizes the body of Christ. As we sipped our grape juice, we talked of how it symbolizes the blood of Christ. We talked of the covenants that we make each week when we have the bread and water at church. How we promise to take upon us His name, keep His commandments, and always remember Him. And in return, how we are promised that if we do those things we will have the Holy Ghost with us always. We followed up by watching this bible video of the Last Supper:
It was definitely one of our most memorable and I think effective discussions of the sacrament and repentance that we have ever had with our children. In particular, I think Dallin really took it all in and understood it deeply.
I absolutely loved the experience and I have a very good feeling that we will probably make this an annual event in our home.
I also loved what we had for dessert :) Since it couldn’t have any leavening in it (like yeast, baking powder, or baking soda), I had to go searching for a recipe that didn’t contain any. Luckily I happened across this flourless chocolate cake and we were in heaven. It was like eating the silkiest richest chocolate ever. I made it in cupcake tins to have the perfect size little individual portions. This is most DEFINITELY something that I’ll be making again!
Obviously we are not Jewish, nor did we have a complete seder with all of the prayers and other traditions that go along with it. But I don’t think our version will offend anyone, at least I hope not. I loved this article about the Passover written by Rabbi Hirschfield in which he said:
Who doesn't need to be reminded that however dark and cold the winter has been, the promise of spring -- of rebirth and renewal is always there? Whether discovered in the story of a nation that goes from freedom to slavery and back to freedom again, or in the story of one who lives, dies and is born again, we must all locate how to celebrate that life holds more possibility and potential than we first imagine -- that there is reason for hope, and that in celebrating triumphs of hope from the past, we can unleash new stories of hope in the present and in the future.
Happy Passover Week to everyone and thanks Mama for joining our special celebration!