Holy Angels Parish Hosts Second Seder

Mary Louise Helwig-Rodriguez Around the Province

LITTLE FALLS, N.J. — It was a true mix of old and new, as Our Lady of the Holy Angels Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Committee (JPIC) hosted its second annual Seder, “A Prophetic Passover Celebration of Messiah in the Passover.”

With 117 people in attendance, the March 29 event was an undoubtedly larger gathering than Jesus had at The Last Supper, but no less cozy, as the guests were seated no more than six to a table.

The rabbis who celebrated the Seder, David and Matthew Rosenberg, were from Congregation Shivah Yisrael in Westbury, N.Y., and are the brother-in-law and nephew, respectively of JPIC member Jean Haddad.  The rabbis Rosenberg are Messianic Jews, and so share a common belief with people of Holy Angels that Jesus is the Messiah.

The rabbis translated all of the Hebrew elements of the Seder, and Rabbi Matthew kept a PowerPoint presentation going with all the words throughout.  They explained the links between the Passover meal and the Eucharist.

“Just as the blood of the lamb was applied to the door posts (at Passover) saving our people from the final plague in Egypt, the blood of the Messiah saves us from sin and death,” said Rabbi David.

Passover has been observed by the Jewish people for more than 3,000 years, said Octavio Duran who added that “it occurs in the springtime and it is a time of renewal.  Taking part in the Passover celebration entails commemoration of two events — the deliverance of the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage and the time of the barley season, a remembrance of the relationship of Israel with the land. The political freedom that the Jewish people experienced, upon liberation, was a prelude to a more total form of freedom — spiritual freedom, the total freedom of God’s revelation. Passover is celebrated both at synagogues and at home.”

The live music, which was upbeat and had the guests clapping and singing along, included the talents of parishioners Rich Haddad on base guitar and Dennis Ametrano on drums, as well as the musical director of Congregation Shivah Yisrael, Ira Klepper on guitar.  Several Holy Angels parishioners participated as readers during the nearly three-hour event.

In addition to the traditional Seder plate which includes matzo, parsley dipped in salt water, a ground apple and nut mixture, horse radish and an egg, a meal of roasted chicken, beef brisket, mixed vegetables, and roasted potatoes was prepared by MaryJo D’Errico and a group of volunteers.

More information about the meaning of Passover and the Seder meal is available through the Web site of Chosen People Ministries.

Shown in photo above Robert Sandoz (green shirt) and Greg Gebbia (red hirt) toast with the rest of the community at the Seder in Little Falls, N.J.

— Mary Louise is a parishioner of Holy Angels Church.