Living in a two-faith family requires lots of learning and compromise, especially in the early years. But while Christmas gets the biggest press, I have found that the big challenge comes at Easter and Passover.
The Jewish calendar is lunar. That’s why the holidays fall at different times each year on the Gregorian calendar, the one used by most of the world. However, Easter is celebrated not on set date, but one designed to fall close to Passover – as the crucifixion and resurrection happened at Passover time. Way back in 325 AD, the Council of Nicaea decided that Easter would be celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.
What this means for most folks is that they have to check a calendar to know when Easter will hit. What it means for our house is that our Easter baskets will often contain candied matzah.
In some ways, this coinciding of holy days can bring extra meaning for the Christians in our family. The Last Supper was a Passover meal. So when we sit down to celebrate with a Seder meal, pouring our ceremonial four cups of wine and breaking the matzah, my Christian mind automatically flies to Communion. I recite the litany of plagues with my husband and sing the songs and wonder how much the ceremony has changed since the night when Jesus marked the flight from Egypt with the disciples.
For the last few years, we have ended up traveling at Easter and I haven’t even made it to church. At those times, it’s been comforting to have Passover to keep me tied to the message that goes deeper than chocolate bunnies and colored eggs on the Seder plate.
But when it comes to talking Easter/Passover, nobody can say it better than Jon Stewart. ClLick below and prepare to be educated 🙂