Home Features Calendar - Lent Passover By The Editors April 8, 2009 Return to the Lent calendar. Lenten Fact Passover is the first of three major festivals that have historical and agricultural significance. It is the beginning of the harvest season in Israel although nobody really pays any mind to this. The Hebrew word Pesach means to pass through or exempt. The Passover recalls the biblical story from the book of Exodus. God passed over the houses of the Jews that were marked with the blood of the lamb when he was slaying all the first born sons in Egypt. Jews remove all leavened bread from their homes for Passover to symbolize that they were once nomadic and always in a hurry — so much so that they couldn’t let their bread rise. On the first night of Passover, there is a special family meal called a Seder. Many scholars believe the Christian Last Supper was a seder meal although this is disputed by others. The word seder means “order” — there is a specific set of information that must be discussed in a specific order throughout the meal. Jews retell the story of the Exodus, often in song, and many blessings and symbols of the bitterness of slavery (eating bitter herbs) are sprinkled throughout the meal. Children play a major role in the meal, asking how this night differs from the usual weekly Shabbat meal and finding the hidden matzoh. This serves a practical purpose as well as a religious one — the meal is long and children may fall asleep if they are not engaged. The closing prayer expressed the hope of celebrating next year’s Passover in Jerusalem (meaning that the Messiah will appear.) Fast from solitude. Make plans to share a meal today. Pray for our Jewish brothers and sisters this Passover. We are all spiritual Semites. Give by reaching out to a family member or friend. Slipped up? Don’t give up. Start again and share yourstruggles at our “Slip Support Station” on Facebook. Today’s Prize is: a copy of the March issue of Magnificat with the Lenten Companion To see a list of the winners so far, click here. To win today’s prize: Give us your name and email address along with the email address of one friend you’d like to introduce to BustedHalo.com® (or now, you can put your name in both spaces) using the form below by 3 a.m. EST tonight. (We will, in turn, send them one email asking them to register for our Busted Halo® weekly email updates. We do not SPAM people nor do we share our email lists with any third parties. Read contest rules here.) Return to the Lent calendar.