This guide is a bit of a choose-your-own-adventure, and we want to empower you to use as much or as little of this guide as is life-giving (and feasible) for your family!
For example, want the simplest version possible? Grab some bread and a glass of water and jump to the Cup of Blessing.
We encourage you to frame this around whatever your family’s normal dinner time is, and to join us for a live communion Zoom call at fumcfw.org/zoom at 7pm on April 9th, 2020 (Maundy Thursday)
1. Make a normal family meal!
2. Make unleavened bread:
½ cup of flour
1/4 tsp (heaping) of baking soda
1 Tbsp of shortening (Crisco)
1 Tbsp of Honey (a little more doesn’t hurt)
2 Tbsp of water
Mix dry ingredients, cut in the shortening, add the honey and water. Mix thoroughly, dough shouldn’t be sticky, if it is, add a little flour. Pat flat into a circle 7.5-8 in in diameter. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Feel free to watch Kat’s video of making it to get some inspiration (or at least shared failure). If you opt-out of this step, grab some other kind of bread for the table.
3. Set the table: candles, cups, something to drink, unleavened bread wrapped in a napkin, Bibles. You may want to mark these passages in advance: Exodus 12, Numbers 6, Matthew 26, John 8
You’re also welcome to sit on the floor, that’s how Jesus and his disciples would have eaten this meal!
4. Assign roles: It is ok if one person has more than one role. The intent is for the whole family to be involved. Every able family member takes turns reading the Bible passages.
Leader (L) – traditionally the father
Parent (P) – traditionally the mother
Commentator (C ) SAY: This night is special, it is the celebration of Maundy Thursday, the night where we remember the last time Jesus gathered with his disciples before he was crucified, called the Last Supper, and the first celebration of Communion. This date on the calendar, however, isn’t just important in the Christian calendar. In the gospels, it says that the meal that Jesus was eating with his disciples was the “Passover feast” – an ancient Jewish religious festival that comes from when the Hebrews were brought out of slavery in Egypt.
Have someone read Matthew 26:17-19
C: The Passover feast that Jesus was celebrating is called a Seder (SAY-der) and is a very sacred Jewish ritual to this day. It is not celebrated in a temple, but at home, around a dinner table. Different members of the family have different parts to read, and one of the most important parts goes to the youngest child.
C: During this unique Maundy Thursday, we will take inspiration from this tradition, and will say some of the prayers, and follow some of the rituals of the Seder, and celebrate Maundy Thursday, the Last Supper, our faith’s sacred meal, around a table together, in our home, as a family.
Lighting of the Candles
Parent (P): We begin with the lighting of the candles & Reading of John 8:12
P lights the candles, and reads John 8:12
C: Light of the World is one way that Jesus describes Himself. What are some other phrases or names that are used to describe God?
P: God you are…as a family, list as many names/descriptions as you’d like…Thank you for claiming us as Your people and choosing to love us. Amen
C: The washing of hands during the Passover meal reminded participants of our need to be both physically clean and our need to be spiritually “washed” as we prepare to celebrate this feast.
P: We will pause for a moment to ask God for forgiveness.
Take a moment to pause at the table, and then send everyone to wash their hands.
The Haggadah (haa•guh•duh)
Telling of the account of the Exodus & the cup of Deliverance
Youngest child: Why is this night different from all other nights?
L: This is the night when we as Christians remember the Last Supper, when, through communion, Jesus offered us as a sign of his grace, forgiveness, and love to all people everywhere so that they can be free of their old ways. For the Jews however, this night represents a different kind of freedom from God; it is the anniversary of the night when their ancestors were freed from slavery in Egypt.
Read Exodus 12:21-42
C: To make clear how the deliverance from Egypt is symbolized in this meal the leader would traditionally lift each of the ceremonial foods, like the bitter herbs, the lamb, and the bread, in turn and explain their significance. Tonight, instead, after dinner, we’ll highlight the two foods of our sacred meal: bread and wine.
The leader breaks the unleavened bread into two pieces hiding the larger piece within the napkin to be used later
P: This “hidden” piece in the napkin is called the Afikoman (a•fuh•kow•muhn), and it will be eaten after dinner.
C: Some Jewish families have a tradition of hiding the Afikoman, then after eating dinner, the kids have the challenge of finding the hidden bread. It’s sort of like hide-and-seek, but with religious significance. We’ll explain it later.
L: I will now hide a portion of the unleavened bread which we will use as the Afikoman, the dessert of our meal. It is a symbol of the redemption we long for and we know will come, but yet we do not yet see.
L goes to hide the bread. P then breaks the unhidden piece into smaller pieces and distributes a piece to each person.
Say together, holding bread in hands: Blessed are You, O Lord our God, and bless this sacred food to our bodies.
All eat one piece of unleavened bread.
Eat Dinner Together.
The Cup of Blessing
This is when kids will seek out the hidden Afikoman.
* If you’re just joining us for communion together, start here!
C: For followers of Jesus, the Afikoman (a•fuh•kow•muhn) symbolically represents the Messiah, as Jesus’ body was broken, wrapped in linen, buried (hidden), and raised on the third day.
P: The remaining piece of bread is now uncovered and raised. It was probably this piece of bread that Jesus used when He took bread and broke it and gave it to His disciples…
Have someone read Matthew 26:26
L: Let us bless the Lord by thanking Him for all that He has provided for us. God, thank you for… List together as a family things for which you are grateful for that God has provided. Amen.
All eat the piece of bread. Make sure everyone has something to drink in their cup, this will be the “cup of wine.” P: Pour them more if need be.
Have someone read Matthew 26:27-28
C: It is likely the cup of wine at the end of a Seder meal that Jesus shared with His disciples, and where He offered them and us freedom from our bond of slavery to sin. Like God set the Israelites free from slavery in Egypt, Jesus’ love sets us free.
All take a drink out of their cups. Then, all stand.
Say together: You are blessed, the Lord our God, King of the universe, creator of all.
P: The leader will conclude the meal by speaking an ancient blessing over us, one that has been spoken over families for thousands of years.
L: Read Numbers 6:24-26
Based on “Simplified Family Seder” created by Woodbury Lutheran Church
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