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Local woman makes good!

Local woman makes good!

Cathy Grossman of USA Today explores the issues surrounding Christian seders. Including this passage, which will be familiar to Café readers:

The Rev. Ann Fontaine, of the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming [currently working in the Diocese of Oregon] thinks ripping off Jewish tradition is not such a grand religious idea and there are plenty of Christian ways to share a meal together during Holy Week. She wrote at Episcopal Café last year:

How can those of us who have not walked the path of another tradition and lived with the oppression and violence skim off the cream of an “interesting” ritual? Doesn’t taking a ritual out of it’s cultural context cut off its roots? Rather than a living tradition, tended and shaped by history and the life around it, the ritual seems to become only the flower picked for its ability to decorate.

…. I wonder, though, how Christians would feel about Jews or Muslims having play Eucharists? Dressing someone up like a priest and saying the words from the Book of Common Prayer?


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Olive McKrell

Yes, we Christians have the unmitigated gall to copy Judaism once again! Not only have we stolen the Pentateuch or 5 books of Moses and added our own stuff to it, we even chose a Jew to venerate and indeed call him God, Son of God, Emmanuel, Messiah, etc. And now, some say we want to rip off one of the best Jewish holidays and give it a little Christian twist, just to make those Jews squirm some more! Maybe we think we’re actually sort of Jew-ish ourselves seeing as we find a lot of meaning in all that bloody sacrifice and stuff! Hey, didn’t they wipe blood on the lintels and door posts to keep away the death angel? Wow! I may have not literally crossed the Red Sea, but I’ve sung about it in Sunday School. Maybe I’ve never been persecuted for being a Jew, but some of us have been mocked for being a Jew lover. How does it hurt anyone else if a few who believe that Christ is the Messiah sit down to a lamb dinner in total non-mockery and with respect and prayerfulness, finding meaning in our shared roots?

BTW, my Jewish friends loved coming to our Christian Seder, as religiously they are Agnostic at best. They like to see things from another point of view. Also, the meal was pretty good.

Olive McKrell

Ann Fontaine

But Christians have been the oppressors doing violence to Jewish people – doing seders is taking their rituals when we have not walked their path. Read the whole essay for my thoughts. Also see a later essay reviewing Meredith Gould’s book on seders in Christian churches.


Christianity came from Judaism. It spun off from the traditional views that Jesus himself grew up with… I mean, the 1st testament of the Bible is the Torah.

AbigailMc -next time please sign your name – thanks for posting a comment. ~ed.

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