Friday, March 5, 2010

'Tis the Season for Shameless Self-Promotion

Come to the Table: A Catholic Passover Seder was first published in 2004 and I note how with every passing year, more churches contact me about including a Sedar as part of their Holy Week observances.

Some parishes view this as an opportunity to promote family faith formation, others focus on making the Seder an opportunity for specific groups to engage in deeper inquiry about their Jewish heritage.

I treasure the wonderful conversations I'm privileged to have with those in charge of organizing their parish's Seder ─ sometimes at the last possible moment, which then leads to frantic conversations about shipping books really really fast. Most of all, I appreciate spirited follow-up notes about how it went.

This year, I have a pretty good idea of how it'll go at a church in South Carolina, thanks to email received earlier today:
Our pastor told us he wanted a Last Supper Table...set up as Jesus and his disciples would have left it the night after they left Seder. He wanted it hidden behind a curtain and at the end of the Seder, we are to open the curtain showing the empty table and that would be the big ending to our Seder...

Then, the next day, we will place the Tabernacle in the middle of this table (we will still keep all the dishes there) and the Blessed Sacrament will be placed there during the Holy Thursday procession. Adoration will be held there...It will be beautiful! Think of the symbolism!

How could I not? I've requested pictures!!


  1. I have a quick question: our family has attempted Catholic Seder's over the past few years and I have slowly been acquiring some rather nice Judaica, including a pottery Seder plate and Elijah cup. This year I would like to have a real place to put the Matza but I am seeing two things online, a matza plate and a matza cover, usually satin. Could you speak a little to the difference in use to these two items?

    Many thanks.

  2. I think you're seeing a "Seder plate," not a matzoh plate, which is a plate with sections for the key five symbols of Passover. The matzoh cover is designed to hold three matzot which are broken, distributed and eaten during the Seder. Both the plate and the cloth cover are very nice to have and use but not essential.You may group the symbols on a regular plate and wrap the matzot in a white cloth napkin. You can find instructions for all of this plus more extensive commentary about the symbolism in COME TO THE TABLE.

  3. No, I am quite familiar with the Seder plate and what is being sold is not that! It seems to be a square platter with a handle on both sides. Perhaps just a decorative item which is nice to have for large Seder meals?

  4. Anna: Mea mongo culpa! Of course you know from seder plates. In that case, I am cluefree what about a matzoh plate might be. You're probably right about it being a decorative item. Like the table needs more stuff on it!

  5. Hah! Quite right...



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