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Jewish Seder Meal Okay for Catholics During Holy Week?


Is it appropriate for Catholics have a Seder supper during Holy Week?


The Jewish Seder is the annual meal that Jews celebrate to commemorate the Passover. The Mass is the New Covenant fulfillment of the Old Covenant Passover, so Catholics can learn about their religious heritage in participating in an authentic Jewish Seder.

In its 1988 document “God’s Mercy Endures Forever: Guidelines on the Presentation of Jews and Judaism in Catholic Preaching,” the Bishops Committee on the Liturgy for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop (USCCB) provides, “Seders arranged at or in cooperation with local synagogues are encouraged.”

Consequently, Catholics are encouraged to participate in Seder meals celebrated by their Jewish friends, or consult rabbis—or Jewish converts to Catholicism—to ensure that they celebrate the Seder authentically and thus with respect toward our Jewish friends. In short, Catholics unfamiliar with the Jewish Seder should not attempt to improvise or Christianize it.

For more on this issue, please see the USCCB document God’s Mercy Endures Forever and also Michelle Arnold’s article.

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