On Holy Thursday, Catholics remember the institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper. At that sacred meal, Jesus and his friends celebrated Passover. Jesus shared the bread and wine that became his Body and Blood. Explain to the children the highly symbolic parts of the Passover meal, which is known as a seder. On April 20 this year, Jewish people will celebrate the Passover Seder as Catholics commemorate the Death and Resurrection of Jesus at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. This Holy Thursday family prayer service brings together some of the symbols of the seder—including bitter herbs, unleavened bread, and wine (grape juice)—with the celebration of the Last Supper.
The Holy Thursday prayer service begins before a regular family meal and then continues after the meal is finished. You may choose to celebrate this special prayer service with the children in class or send it home to be celebrated with families. Or you may choose to invite your families to come together and celebrate a communal meal. Each family can contribute food to the meal and then participate in the prayer service.
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