From a reader:
If you have time this week, I was hoping you could post something about Seder meals and whether or not they are important for Catholics to have them. It seems that I’m hearing varying responses about it. A good friend of ours has one on Holy Thursday every year, and I’ve very much enjoyed it, seeing it as the institution of the Eucharist.
I will open this to the smart WDTPRSers who may have already dug into the issue.
Frankly, it is rather foreign to my thought to have a seder meal. Why would we do that? Just to get to know what Jews do for Passover?
That said, I am fully prepared to eat roasted lamb on Holy Thursday, and have wine and bread … and herbs. Horseradish would be fine.
I think authors are pretty divided over whether the Last Supper was like the Passover seder. Jeremias seems to think so. He identified some parallels between the description of the Last Supper and a seder. I respond that it is not unusual that they ate a meal that day, had wine, and sang for awhile. I don’t think the fact that the Lord explained what he was doing is compelling.
Many authors will say the First Eucharist was not a seder. Ratzinger thinks what Jesus and the disciples had was a toda meal, a thanksgiving meal of a sacrificial nature.
Also, the text that describes/prescribes the Passover seder didn’t develop until, if memory serves, the 8th c.
Furthermore, the Passover seder was to take place on Friday evening, when the Lord was in the tomb. The Last Supper was the day before. There was some possibility, again if memory serves, that a seder could be anticipated. But it doesn’t make sense in this case. Ratzinger is probably right.
Anyway… I am not sure what having a seder is about.
Would be be a "judaizing" gesture? Disrespectful?
Were I invited to Jewish family‘s home for their seder, and if our calendars did not conflict, I think I would accept the invitation.