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Bits and bobs about my life in my lovely home, Thatchwick Cottage, Pretoria, South Africa.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday, 11 March '09: Holy Thursday Seder Meal


" I just had a look at your blog and the picture is rather old!" emailed my friend, Lydia from Australia.
Oophs! My excuse is that this past week has been a short one in South Africa. South Africans still have a long Easter week:Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays. And I was busy all week with the preparations for the traditional Holy Thursday Seder meal held annually at Thatchwick. This year the guest list, like Topsy, grew and grew ending with sixteen friends. So furniture had to be moved and tables joined so that we could all sit down to a three course dinner: chicken soup and matzos dumplings; roast lamb and trimmings; sweet Greek desserts of custard, nuts and honey. Above is our lovely Seder plate.



Isabella, the youngest guest, asked the question: "Why is this night different fron all other nights?" At that special moment, a little prompting was needed from brother Daniel. I wrote a special liturgy for our meal in which everyone had a part: a scripture, a prayer, a blessing. Together we remembered the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt; the last Passover which Jesus ate with his disciples on the night He was betrayed; His passion and resurrection. Suddenly everyone had another metaphor or symbols linked to this ancient Jewish meal, which they wanted to share.
Unfortunately I only had time for a photo of the table before the guests arrived. The intention to take loads of shots was lost amidst the scurrying around serving.


At midpoint in our meal, we broke bread together as a Christian fellowship. The three children were entranced by the solemnity of the moment as we passed the cup around the table and broke pieces from the Kifka loaf.

The Easter lights were lit at the beginning of the meal. The Holy Thursday meal is a special event at Thatchwick and each year the guests leave touched and transformed by this little ritual. On Good Friday I was on duty at church. We are currently holding an Easter conference and the church was overflowing with about 2 000 people of every cultural background you can imagine. My friends who attend other congregations also reported a bumper turnout for the Good Friday morning service. Leone commented, "I had couldn't get parking at church this morning. I had to drive round and round the block to find a spot!"

13 comments:

TheWritersPorch said...

Eleanor......how wonderful! What a lovely celebration of the ressurection!First I see Robyn's and now yours and I am left wondering
WHY in America it is reduced to a new dress on
one day ? I don't want to be envious but I can't help it!
Carol

Smilingsal said...

What a beautiful tradition you share with your family. I wish for you a Blessed Easter as you celebrate our risen Lord.

willow said...

What a lovely celebration, Eleanor. Your Seder plate is just beautiful. Happy Easter to you and yours!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Edward and I wish you and yours a lovely Easter day!! May you have lots of joy and lots of chocolate!!

Carrie said...

This was such a lovely celebration. Thanks for sharing. Happy Easter!

Adel and Robyn Kadis said...

Christos Anisti... Alisoos Anisti.
He is risen, he is risen indeed.
Thanks for your lovely post... Please tell me what the Seder meal consists of...
I would love to hold one here for my Egyptian family.
Have a wonderful and Blessed Easter Sunday.

Sreddy Yen said...

It's very interesting to learn about other religions and cultures. Being a Buddhist and a Taiwanese, I don't really know what Easter is all about, but by reading your blogpost, I have gained much insight. HAppy Easter to you~!

Pam said...

You set a beautiful table! Thank you for sharing this - I'm sure it was the most special of times and a memorable occasion, a warm and loving time for the children to remember.

claudie said...

Eleanor what a beautiful dinner with such caring friends & family. I loved learning of your "traditions" on such a blessed day. I can see why the children were fascinated.
We also have Good Friday and Easter Monday off.
Hope your week is beautiful.
Love Claudie
oxox

Barbara Martin said...

I found this post interesting. Thanks, Eleanor.

Anonymous said...

What joyous evening - pointing to the Ressurrection- Adel & Robyn Kadis say it all.
A great thrill and memory fot Dan & Isabella.
Great love,
Genet

徵信社 said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.
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