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Christian and Jewish Spring Observances

Passover-Easter Header

April 11, 2022

Spring brings religious holidays for those of both Jewish and Christian faiths. The Jewish holiday Passover (Pesach), will be observed this year beginning at sundown on Friday, April 15 and ending at nightfall on Saturday, April 23. Those of Christian faith will observe Good Friday on Friday, April 15 and Easter on Sunday, April 17.

Passover commemorates the freeing of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, the Exodus, and celebrations and storytelling include Jewish history, family, and often-incorporate social justice and freedom. The Passover Seder is held the first and sometimes the second night of Passover and is both a dinner and a religious service for families. The Haggadah, Hebrew for “telling”, is a book that tells the story of Passover and is read during the Seder outlining the order in which persons eat, pray, drink wine, sing, discuss current social justice issues, and tell stories.

Good Friday is the observance of the crucifixion of Jesus and His death at Calvary. Some may wonder why a day of such suffering is referred to as ‘good’ and, as written in an article for Christianity.com, “Good Friday marks the day when wrath and mercy met at the cross. That’s why Good Friday is so dark and so Good.” On the third day, Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The resurrection of Jesus, considered the foundation on which Christianity is built, celebrates God’s ultimate sacrifice for the sins of his believers.

Although the holidays stem from events of significantly different perspectives, Passover being a celebration and Good Friday a mourning of Jesus’ death, the overarching belief is in the grace and mercy of God and what he has given to and done for his followers. Like many holidays, Passover and Easter often involve the gathering of family for a traditional meal and time spent together.

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