Online Seder

Yes, our Seder will be held on Zoom. If you can, please celebrate with us before your evening meal. You will need a candle, a plate, a beverage, (Wine, juice, soda, etc), and bread (preferably unleavened).

Please contact me at pastor@thevillagemcc.org for details

 

In love

Rev. Michael


The Passover Seder

Passover is the oldest and most important of Jewish religious festivals and marks the beginning of the Jewish religious year. It is based on the rituals of ancient Israel preserved mostly in Exodus 12-14 in which Israelites celebrated their deliverance by God from slavery in Egypt. The term Passover refers to the 10th and final plague God brought upon the Egyptians to persuade Pharaoh to let the people go, the death of all the firstborn of Egypt. In obedience to God’s instructions, those who believed placed the blood of a lamb on the door posts of their homes, so that death would “pass over” those homes. The festival actually celebrates the entire sequence of events that led to the Israelites’ freedom from slavery. While thoroughly based in those biblical events, the celebration encompasses much more as it becomes a vehicle to celebrate the very nature of God and God’s gracious work in the world. It is in this larger dimension that Jesus adopted the Passover service as a sacramental remembrance of God’s new work of deliverance in Christ, and allows Christians to celebrate this ancient festival. And perhaps in these uncertain times, when our freedom is limited, our liberty curtailed, we need more than ever to remember the promises of God.

____________________________________________________________

Leader: Welcome to our Passover Seder. Let us ready our hearts to celebrate and tell the story of deliverance, freedom, and redemption. Tradition teaches us that we must all consider ourselves as slaves in Egypt, that we must all consider ourselves to have walked in darkness so that we might celebrate the deliverance of Exodus as our own deliverance. It is in that spirit of community that we enter this Passover celebration.

Mother: Now in the presence of loved ones and friends, and before us the symbols of our rejoicing, we gather for our sacred celebration. With the household of Israel, our elders and young ones, linking and bonding the past and the future, we once again hear and obey the divine call to service. Living a story that is told for all peoples, whose conclusion is yet to unfold, we gather to observe this Passover, as it is written:

All: You shall keep the feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this day I brought your companies out of the land of Egypt. You shall observe this day throughout the generations as a practice for all times. [Exodus 12:17]

Mother: We gather in fulfillment of the commandment:

All: Remember this day in which you came out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, for by the strength of God’s hand you were brought out from this place. [Exodus 13:3]

Mother: We praise our God, Creator of the universe, who has preserved our life so that we may again celebrate this festival. We pray for the light of God in our midst that we might see anew the meaning and significance of this celebration. May the light of our candles inspire us to use the strength which God so freely gives us to help and not to hinder, to love and not to hate, to bless and not to curse, to serve and worship you, O God of freedom!

Leader: Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheyno Melech Ha’Olam Asher Kidishanu B‘Mitzvotav

V’Tzivanu L’Hadlik Ner Shel Yom Tov.

All: Blessed is the One, Source of Light, sovereign of all worlds, who has made us holy

and commanded us to kindle the flames of our day of pride.

Our Passover candles are lit.

The First Toast – To Sanctification and Freedom

Leader: Our story tells us that in various ways, with different words, God gave promises of freedom to the people. With four toasts we celebrate and we recall God’s promises to Israel and to us.

All: I am your God; I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians, I will deliver you from slavery, I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, I will take you as my people and be your God. [Exodus 6:6-7]

Leader: In the four Toasts that we raise tonight we celebrate the “I will” promises of God. The promise of Freedom, the promise of deliverance, the promise of redemption, and the promises that call us to be God’s people. We take the cup and proclaim the holiness of this day of freedom. Blessed is God who fulfills all promises, who is ever faithful to the servants who trust in God. In every age oppressors rise against us to crush our spirits and bring us low. From the hands of all these tyrants and conquerors, from the power of anything that hinders us from being God’s people, we look to be rescued and restored. We praise you, O God, who makes holy your people.

All: I am the Lord your God, and I will free you from the yoke of the Egyptians. [Exodus 6:6]

Leader: Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha’Olam Borey P’ree Hagafen

All: Blessed are you, Our God, who creates the fruit of the vine.

(We all lift the cup in a toast, and take a drink.)

 

The Breaking of bread

Leader: We will now break bread together. Among people everywhere, the sharing of bread forms a bond of fellowship and community. For the sake of our deliverance, we will say together the ancient words that join us with our own people and the homeless in the street, for our redemption is bound up with the deliverance from bondage of all people everywhere. It is only the grace of Almighty God that sets us free!

All: We Praise you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the all, who brings forth bread from the earth, and offer a blessing to you for the bread we are to share.

Leader: Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz

All: Blessed are you, Our God who brings forth bread from the earth.

Leader: This is the bread of affliction which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.

All: All who are hungry come and eat. All who are needy come and celebrate Passover with us. Today we celebrate it in isolation, cut off from one another. Next year, may we celebrate it together in freedom. Now we are slaves. Next year may we be truly free.

The Story of Passover

Leader: The Torah tells us that our children will ask questions about who they are as God’s people. The Lord has instructed us that we should tell them the story so that they might know our story. It is both a duty and a privilege to answer the questions of Passover and to recount the gracious acts of God.

Youngest: Why is this night different than all other nights? Why on all other nights do we eat bread with leaven, but on this night we eat only unleavened bread?

All: Once we were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, but in goodness and mercy God brought us out of that land with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.

Leader: Had God not rescued us from the hand of the destroyer, surely we and our children would still be enslaved, deprived of freedom and human dignity.

All: Once we worshiped idols and were enslaved by our sins, but God in goodness and mercy forgave our transgressions and called us to be God’s people.

Leader: Therefore tonight is different than other nights because we have gathered to remember who we are and what God has done for us. We have gathered to tell to our loved ones the story of God’s grace and deliverance.

All: Praise be to God who is everywhere. Praise be to God who has brought us freedom and has delivered us from all that enslaves us!

Mother: God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would be a great people. This promise God renewed to Isaac and Jacob and to each generation. As time passed Jacob’s children came to live in the land of Egypt where his son Joseph was adviser to Pharaoh. But years passed and another Pharaoh came to power who did not remember Joseph and enslaved the Israelites. He forced them to work hard making bricks of clay and straw with which to build his cities. As the people increased in numbers, he feared that they might rebel against him, so he ordered every newborn boy drowned. They knew only toil, suffering, and tears.

Leader: They cried out from their cruel oppression, hoping that God would remember the promises made to their ancestors. And God heard their cry and remembered the covenant made with Abraham. Through a wise mother and sister, God saved the life of the boy Moses from the ruthless hands of Pharaoh, and after he had grown up God sent Moses to deliver the Israelites. God promised to deliver the people from the slavery of Egypt, and promised Moses to be with him.

Mother: And yet when Moses asked Pharaoh to free the Israelites he refused and made things worse for then. So God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh and the land of Egypt so they might know the God of Israel and let the people go. But, Alas, Pharaoh continued to refuse to let the people go until the last plague when all the firstborn of Egypt died. This convinced him to release the people and let them go. But even as the Israelites were leaving, Pharaoh changed his mind and sent his army after them. Trapped between Pharaoh’s army and the Sea of Reeds the Israelites had nowhere to go. But God told Moses to lift his staff over the sea and God parted the waters. They were able to pass through the midst of the sea. When the Egyptians tried to follow them the waters closed back over them. When the Israelites saw that they were free, Moses’ sister Miriam led them in rejoicing and praising God.

All: We Praise you our God, Ruler of the Universe, who hears the cries of the oppressed, who brings freedom to the captive, and who creates for yourself a people.

Leader: Tonight we eat Unleavened Bread because our ancestors in Egypt had to leave in such haste that they could not wait for their bread to rise, and so had bake it while it was still flat.

All: You shall eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you came out of the land of Egypt with great haste, so that all the days of your life you may remember the day of your departure from Egypt [Deuteronomy 16:3].

Leader: Tonight we eat with special ceremony because in each generation, every person should feel their redemption from Egypt. We tell the story because we are the redeemed of God, and we can sing a new song of praise because of God’s grace. And yet it is not a new song because it has been sung by countless people through the centuries. Generation after generation have experienced the deliverance and redemption brought by our God.

All: Once we were slaves, but now we are free!

The Second toast – To Deliverance

Leader: In a moment we will join together in a toast to deliverance, and we will celebrate in joy God’s deliverance from slavery. We are privileged to thank God, to praise God, to reverence God, and to rejoice in God’s grace. God has brought us forth from bondage to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from darkness to light, from slavery to redemption.

All: I am your God; I will deliver you from slavery [Exodus 6:6]. We praise you O Sovereign our God, who has freed your people.

Leader: Yet our joy is diminished because the Egyptians, who are also God’s children, suffered from Pharaoh’s evil ways. Lives were sacrificed to bring about the release of God’s people from the slavery of Egypt, and we do not rejoice at the death of any of God’s children. As we recount the plagues, we will spill a drop of wine from our cups for each plague to recall the cost of sin, and the consequences of evil in our world.

As each plague is recited a single drop of wine is removed from the cup with a finger and placed on a plate.

Traditionally, a finger is used to symbolize the finger of God’s Judgment.

Leader: We remember the plagues that were visited on Egypt; Blood. Frogs. Lice.

Swarms. Cattle Disease. Boils. Hail. Locusts. Darkness. And the death of the First Born.

Leader: Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha’Olam Borey P’ree Hagafen

All: Blessed are you, Our God, who creates the fruit of the vine.

(We all lift the cup in a toast, and take a drink.)

 

The Third Toast – To Redemption

Leader: This cup is for Elijah the Prophet. Elijah did not see death but was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire. It has been the hope of God’s people that Elijah would come at Passover to announce the coming of the Messiah, the offspring of David. As the prophet Malachi said: “See, I will send you Elijah the prophet before that great and dreadful day of our God comes.”[Malachi 4:5]. This cup has traditionally been left untouched awaiting the time when Elijah would appear to share the Passover, and to this day, Seders include space for Elijah at the table in anticipation that he will return to herald the Messiah in fulfillment of the prophet’s word. In honour of his word, the hope it brings, and the redemption it offers, we lift the cup in our third toast.

Leader: Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha’Olam Borey P’ree Hagafen

All: Blessed are you, Our God, who creates the fruit of the vine.

(We all lift the cup in a toast, and take a drink.)

 

The Fourth Toast: To Thanksgiving and Hope

Leader: We celebrate what God has done in our history, and what God has done for us, but at the same time we still await a new future. All creation still groans and longs for its final redemption. Israel believes that God will not leave the world the way it is, so awaits the day in which the Messiah will come and bring His Kingdom in fullness. We raise our glasses a fourth time in Thanksgiving for God’s enduring grace and love to us, thankful for the hope that the prophets brought us, a hope that God will enter this world and redeem it. Blessed are you, our God, Lord of all, who claims us as your children, and allows us to call you Beloved.

Leader: Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheynu Melech Ha’Olam Borey P’ree Hagafen

All: Blessed are you, Our God, who creates the fruit of the vine.

(We all lift the cup in a toast, and take a drink.)

It is traditional for the Seder to end here. But we continue, to celebrate that our long hoped for Messiah has come, bringing us a new freedom from a very old slavery. Jesus said, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. ” [John 8:31]

All: We celebrate the coming of the Messiah in our lives. Jesus, who loves us, and has freed us from that which would enslave us. God has made for us a kingdom and we are priests to God our Beloved. To God be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. [Revelation 1:5-6]

Leader: Jesus stood in the synagogue of his hometown of Nazareth and read from the scroll of Isaiah which promised a new work of God in the world. When he had finished reading Jesus said, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” [Luke 4:21]. We still live in the “today” of that fulfillment, and so we celebrate the coming of Jesus the Messiah, and the faithfulness of God in working throughout history to bring deliverance and freedom to all people.

Mother: Jesus has brought to us a new freedom from the chains of oppression that enslaved us. Jesus celebrated Passover with the disciples on the night before he was betrayed. He commanded that his disciples partake of the bread and wine in remembrance of his broken body and life poured out. We partake of these elements to participate in the new life that God in Jesus the Christ has provided for us.

Leader: I have taken Elijah’s cup because we no longer wait for Elijah. We celebrate in joy today not only because Elijah has come, but because The Messiah has come!

All: Blessed is the one who has come in the name of God!

Mother: We praise you O Sovereign our God, Ruler of the Universe, and Beloved of Jesus the Christ. We thank you, O God, for giving to us The Christ, who suffered and died and rose again, that we might be reconciled to you. How great a love you have bestowed upon us! As we now eat this bread and drink this cup, that you may fill us with your presence through the Holy Spirit, and remind us that we truly are your people.

Leader: This broken bread of redemption, and the cup of Grace, is a gift from God. It is for some a sacred communion with the divine, and for others a sacred communion one with each other. Whatever this is for you feel free to join us sharing one cup, on bread, as one people, one in our humanity, diverse in our individuality.

(We all eat some of the bread and drink from the cup)

Mother: Be healing for us Lord. We need a cure for the Corona Virus, for HIV, for Cancer, Dementia, MS, and for other illnesses that mar the joy of life. We look for an end to war, to hunger, to poverty. We look for a world where everyone has equal access to clean water, nutritious food, and health care. We look for an end to bigotry and hate, longing for peace and equal rights for all. We look to you to change hearts and minds, dispelling the fear and lies that create prejudice and shame.

Leader: Blessed are you, Oh God, Lord of all, who remembers the covenant and are ever faithful in keeping it. Just as you brought the children of Israel out of Egypt we now ask you to bring us out of any darkness that may enslave us. Bring truth into our lives so we may be set free from any lies that hold us captive. Bring light into our lives so we may see clearly the path you lay before us.

All: Holy One, whose home is heaven, we praise your sacred name. May your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us when we cause harm, just as we forgive those who have harmed us. Do not lead us into temptation but save us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. Amen.

Leader: As we now eat our main meal of the day I pray a blessing upon you, wherever you are and whatever is before you.

Leader: Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha-olam hamotzi lechem min ha-aretz

All: We praise you our God, Ruler of all, who in kindness, goodness, and grace gives food to the world. Your love for us endures forever. We praise you, our God, who provides food for all life. Amen.


Giving a gift to The Village MCC.

If you would like to give a gift to The Village then these are the details you’ll need:

From the UK:
Lloyds Bank
sort code 77-91-29
account number 40361660
account name The Village MCC

Please also email the treasurer at thevillagemcc@outlook.com to let them know to expect a payment.
From outside the UK:
There is a donate button on the Church Website here

Any gifts received over Easter, (except the regularly received monthly donations) will be donated from Views For Cash to The Global Justice Institute and The MCC Fellowship Office to help support the global outreach and justice work of the denomination.

PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY. 

Share and Enjoy !

0Shares
0 0

Comments are closed.