the last supper the last supper celebrate and remember the last supper celebration each year is one
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The Last Supper Celebrate and Remember
The Last Supper celebration each year is one our entire family looks forward to. We love the slow pace, the intentional time together, and most importantly we love seeing the way Jesus explained both the Passover and the new covenant to his disciples that night. We have found taking the time to truly walk through the Last Supper is the most impactful way to prepare for Good Friday and with it the joy of Easter Sunday. This night is the night my children look forward to as “their favorite holiday dinner.” They love the imagery, the symbolism, the upside down kingdom so evidently on display for those of us blessed to live this side of the crucifixion not to mention the parsley dipped in salt water (more on that in a moment.) My hope with this guide is that you feel equipped to begin to create a celebration like this among your friends and family. The first time you do this go slow, you don't have to do everything year one. It has richly blessed our family to continue to add layer upon layer to our celebration. Which is exactly what the last supper is. Layers and layers of meaning and majesty. As you become more and more familiar with the Last Supper my prayer is that you too will discover the great meaning of that night. It is worth celebrating and so very important that we remember.
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PREPARE To get ready to celebrate the Last Supper you need to first, prepare. Prepare your heart, prepare your home and prepare your table. Prepare Your Heart I recommend reading both the account of the first Passover in Exodus as well as the accounts of The Last Supper. That’s right Old Testament and New Testament. Jesus’ earthly ministry bridged the Old Testament to the New and it is super important that we see the whole picture. Exodus The account of the first Passover is Exodus Chapter 12 but go ahead and read Exodus chapters 1-12 to get the full picture of the Israelites enslavement and exodus out of Egypt. I also love The Bible Project Video as a summary (it is great to show kids as well) Having children familiar with the Exodus story before the Last Supper celebration is very helpful! There are many great resources out there to encourage this. A resource we love for kids is the Kids Read Exodus Story Cards by Kids Read Truth. Gospel Accounts It is wise to familiarize yourself with the gospel accounts of The Last Supper as well. Starting the evening having read through these will help you guide the friends and family around your table. You will find the accounts of The Last Supper in Matthew 26:17-35, Mark 14:12-31, Luke 22:7-38 and John 13:1-17:26. Pray Spend some time in prayer before you celebrate. Ask God to reveal Himself in new ways. Be prayerful about whom to include and what elements to include. Thank God for the delight it is to celebrate Him and to be His people.
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Prepare Your Home The night of the first Passover was focused on preparing the home. Marking the doorposts set the Israelites apart and was how they were identified to be the people of God. Within the Jewish tradition the home is cleansed prior to Passover to rid the home of any traces of leavened bread or leavening. Within the context of celebrating and remembering Christ at The Last Supper we are not called to do the same. However, a thorough clean up of the kitchen and dining area is certainly helpful. To prepare your home for The Last Supper celebration you will need the following: *Table to eat at (traditionally this would have been coffee table height but any table is fine) *Means of handwashing. This is usually a few warm washcloths *Means of footwashing. This can be a basin and a pitcher; washcloths or handtowels and a bowl; towel(s) to dry *Music as ambiance. I like this playlist on Spotify or play your favorite hymns or classical music *Bible
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Prepare Your Table The table, as you can imagine, is the focus of our celebration and therefore a good majority of preparing is found here. This section will cover both items for the table and food for the table. You will also find a grocery list and a secret family recipe in this section! Read through the whole section first to understand all the parts and then circle back to review the specific items. Items for the Table Please note none of these items are required. Just as candles lit for Advent and Sabbath add to the reverence and ambiance of the season I believe the following do the same. You will find the items listed are already in your house or can be picked up at a dollar store. *large plates (one for each guest) I actually use the plastic metallic looking chargers and pack them away in our bin of Easter decor and books each year so they are held for this one special meal *glass for juice/wine and glass for water(one for each guest) *silverware (traditionally this meal was eaten with hands but we set out forks and knives for the meat in particular) *candles for the table *basket or bowl for matzo *small bowls to hold dipping water (one between every two people at the table) *pitcher for the grape juice/wine (we pour four cups fro each person so it is helpful to keep the juice at the table for the celebration) *centerpiece or decor for the table-this can be anything! I like to take elements of the meal and use them as the centerpiece. Usually I lay down parsley as if it were a garland in the center and then tuck in fruits or whole nuts. The palm leaves from Palm Sunday service would make a beautiful centerpiece as well.
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Food For The Table The food of this celebration is super important and so yes, the following is required. The purpose for each and how they are used at the table to celebrate and remember will be explained throughout the next section. There is the symbolic elements of the meal and also the actual dinner, both are eaten. Again, the way this all works together will come in the next section, for now here is what you need for each plate: Salt Water Parsley Hard Boiled Eggs Haroset (recipe included below) Horseradish Romaine/Endive Matzo Grape Juice/Wine Main Course for Dinner: traditionally roasted lamb, can also be roast chicken I find no side dishes are necessary as we are eating and focusing on the other elements Dessert for after Dinner: traditionally Flourless chocolate cake or coconut macaroons A bit more about Haroset/Charoset Haroset is a fruit and nut dish made to represent the mortar used when the Israelites were forced laborers making bricks for Pharoah. It can be a dish of finely diced apples and walnuts similar to a dry chutney or it can be Sephardic style which is made from dried fruits. My family does not at all like chutney and LOVES dried fruit so the choice was an easy one for us. You can find many recipes online of either style. Here is our family’s own version of Haroset. We look forward to this tangy, spiced fruit spread all year!
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Haroset Recipe 1 ½ c. apple juice 1 ½ c. dried apricots, roughly chopped ⅓ c. water ½-1 tsp. Cinnamon, depending on preferred taste ¼ tsp. Ground cloves ½ tsp. Kosher salt 8oz. Slivered almonds In a medium saucepan bring juice to a light simmer, then stir in apricots, spices and water. Cook uncovered until apricots are hydrated and liquid is reduced to a syrup, about 15 min, stirring occasionally. Take off heat to cool slightly. In a food processor, add the almonds and pulse several times to chop. Looking for a mix of almond crumbs and larger pieces but no full slivers. Add the fruit mixture to the food processor and pulse several times until it comes together as a paste. Transfer to a bowl. Serve warm or at room temp. Store in the fridge. Can be used for 10 days and tastes delicious as dip or spread for many things!
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Set the Table Beyond the optional decor as described above there are elements required for each place setting as well as the table as a whole. Set all of these items out before you meet family and friends at the table. Passover Plate (we use our chargers for this, a piece of aluminum foil works in a pinch as well) 1 per person Place all of the following on the plate. These items are placed around the plate with plenty of space, small amounts are all you need to place. These items help tell the story of the Passover and are therefore important for everyone to see and interact with. Small bunch of parsley-traditionally called the karpas Hard boiled egg Haroset Horseradish, about a Tablespoon Endive or Romaine lettuce leaves Matzo (the traditional Passover Plate also includes a lamb shank bone-we do not include this here) Bowls of salt water for each place or for two people to share Basket of Matzo for table Extra Haroset for table to share Small bowls of nuts and dried fruit for table Pitcher of grape juice/wine Glass for wine/grape juice at each place Additional glass for water at each place Silverware won't be required until the main course and traditionally wasn't used at all. We do have small knives available to help spread the horseradish and haroset as needed. For our family dinner I have the roast chicken out and resting while we begin our celebration. If you haven't cooked a roast chicken before,