We ended up with about 24 people, I originally was expecting only 9 so it came as quite a shock while trying to plan this crazy thing. But it all worked out beautifully! Beyond beautifully. We took turns reading from the leader's book, since there really weren't kids (just teens & "adults") we all participated in the family activities, & we just enjoyed.
Here's the rundown of the actual ceremony: get rid of the leavened bread hid all over the house, light the candles, 1st glass of wine (out of 4), wash hands. Then we went outside to the dinner table. Story of the exodus from Egypt & the plagues, the foods all told a part of the story: bitter herbs, matzoh, salt water, sweet apples, egg, etc. Another glass of wine, eat up the ritual foods, then time for real dinner. It was a fabulous potluck spread, I can't believe I worried we wouldn't have enough! Another glass of wine, but this time it served as communion along with the hidden piece of matzoh. And another glass of wine....
Some of us stayed at late as 1:30am, which was unexpected for just dinner, but we had SO much fun it was hard to leave! And there was still more wine that needed to be finished, of course.
You like that "Last Supper" reenactment? haha That was probably my favorite part of the whole night. That & talking bear. (don't ask)
But other than just having an amazing time, it was a meaningful night for me too. I feel like it helped me to understand a few things better
- If I knew tomorrow I'd die, this is EXACTLY how I'd want to spend my last night. Lots of friends, food & wine.
- Jesus' water-into-wine miracle... I totally get it now. I was so afraid we would run out of wine... almost panicked. "We'll run out & we need 4 glasses for the ceremony & everything will be ruined!" It would have been the worst thing that could have happened, so I respect Jesus looking out for even petty situations like that when they mean a lot to us.
- No wonder the disciples fell asleep in Gethsemane... have I mentioned how much wine you drink? Seriously.
- The people who arrested Jesus were Jews too, I believe, which means they'd be having the same meal time with their families. The whole ending of the Seder is hope for the coming Messiah... so basically they're going through the motions & hoping for a savior while at the same time plotting to kill him. Of course they didn't believe he was the same guy, but that's still pretty ironic & sad.
Anyway, those were just some of my thoughts on it. The Seder was the perfect start to a long Easter weekend that ended similarly: dinner with friends. And wine.