I am a Gentile and a practicing Christian and would like to know how the Jewish community considers some Christians celebrating their own particular forms of a Christian Seder?
There has been increasing interest among Christians in this ancient festival. There are various reasons for this renewed interest: an increasing sensitivity to cultural and societal problems and a corresponding desire to learn about others; a renewed awareness of the importance of the Old Testament Scriptures as Christian Scripture; a desire or even a need in our modern world to recover a sense of the sacred through liturgy and sacrament; the willingness to find new and innovative ways to worship; and perhaps even the enjoyment that comes from acknowledging the continuity with a 3,000 year old community of faith.
As a result, there has been an explosion of interest in adapting the Passover festival to Christianity. Various organizations, such as "Jews for Jesus," have long promoted Christian Passover services as a means for Jews to retain their cultural heritage while confessing Christian faith. They have also used the Christian Passover as a means to communicate to Christians the Jewish religious heritage that they value.
Our goal here in presenting a Christian adaptation of Passover is to retain the theological, confessional, and educational dimensions of the service. That is, it is presented as a way for people of Christian Faith to express that faith in the context of a gathered community by participating symbolically in the story of salvation. It is presented very deliberately and purposefully as a Christian service, with no apologies. Yet, there has also been a deliberate attempt to preserve the spirit of the Jewish traditions and experience in the service, and to respect the faith journey of Israelites and Jews across the centuries. For that reason, apart from the fact that it will likely be Christians who are participating in the service, the thoroughly Christian dimension will come at the end of the service. After all, that is really how God chose to work in history: to the Jew first, and then also to the rest of us!
Being a Catholic I would like to follow the following approach to celebrating the Christian Seder: The Seder Meal as a Christian Home Celebration: Preparing and Celebrating the Holy Thursday Meal. Some of our ministers are in favor of this, while others are afraid to offend the Jewish community.
Is doing so considered to be offensive in any way to your holy religion? Or is it somehow frowned upon?
How can we celebrate a Christian Seder that would be acceptable to the Jewish community in general?