Since the 1970s, a growing number of Christians have begun celebrating the Seder, the traditional Jewish Passover night, often giving it a Christian meaning. Christians who celebrate the Seder relate to its meaning in a variety of manners. Liberal Protestants and Roman Catholics have been motivated by the spirit of interfaith dialogue that came about in the 1960s and 1970s, in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. They have organized Seder demonstrations, or have joined with Jewish congregations in celebrating the Seder. Many Unitarian congregations have adopted Passover in addition to other religious traditions' holidays as part of their pluralistic character. Conservative evangelical Christians have also shown interest in the Seder, but from a different perspective. Evangelical missionary organizations such as the Chosen People Ministries or Jews for Jesus have organized Seder demonstrations in conservative churches as a means of promoting interest in the Jewish people and their role in history, as well as gaining support for the missionaries' own work. Jews who believe in Jesus, both in separate messianic Jewish congregations and in evangelical churches, have been celebrating the Seder as well.
A number of Christian evangelical organizations and congregations, such as Jews for Jesus, have written their own Haggadot, the liturgical literature for Passover celebrations. Such evangelical Haggadot often omit the Midrashic passages that quote from the sayings of Mishnaic rabbis, instead incorporating the Christian faith in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God into the text. They view the three matzos on the Seder plate as representing the Trinity, with the disappearance of the broken middle matzo at the beginning of the Seder and its reappearance at the end as symbolizing Jesus' death and resurrection.
The Christian celebration of the Seder signifies a break with traditional Christian views of Judaism and a growing interest by Protestants and Catholics in the Jews and the Jewish religious heritage.
Cohen Nussbaum, Debra. "Christianizing the Passover Seder." Sh'ma 29, no. 560 (1999): 1–2.
Feher, Shoshanah. Passing Over Easter. 1998.
Fisher, Eugene J. "Seders in Catholic Parishes." Sh'ma 29, no. 560 (1999): 4–5.
Lipson, Eric Peter. Passover Haggadah: A Messianic Celebration. 1986.
Sevener, Harold A., ed. Passover Haggadah for BiblicalJews and Christians. 1987.
Somerville, Robert S. "Christians Celebrating the Passover Seder." Sh'ma 29, no. 560 (1999): 2–3.
Yaakov S. Ariel
"Seder, Christian." Contemporary American Religion. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/legal-and-political-magazines/seder-christian
"Seder, Christian." Contemporary American Religion. . Retrieved August 22, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/legal-and-political-magazines/seder-christian
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.