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Author Topic: Passover Celebration  (Read 2685 times) Average Rating: 0
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Cleopas
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« on: April 20, 2008, 02:18:36 AM »

As of sundown Saturday Passover officially began.

In concert with believers under both covenants, following the apostolic example and witness of the early fathers, we at Christway will be gathering tomorrow (on Passover) to eat the Lord's bread and drink His cup.

We do this in remembrance of His atoning sacrificial death that freed us from slavery to sin and reconciled us to God the Father.

We do this in remembrance of the once sinful lives we lived that now are dead in Christ, buried with Him by faith.

We do this looking forward to the day of His resurrection come Sunday week.

We do this in the hope of His bodily return at the end of the age.

We do this in celebration of His triumph, and in thankfulness for the gift of eternal life he has bestowed upon us.

Remember, dear ones. Remember.


And, next year -- in the New Jerusalem!
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Cleopas
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2008, 03:13:51 AM »

Actually, the Lord celebrated His Last Supper, the day before Passover(LK 22.14-16) , using leavened bread. Christ himself is our Passover Lamb being sacrificed by crucifixion at roughly the same time the passover lambs were ritualitically killed (Jn 19.14,  1Cor 5.7).

But anyway didnt realize there were protestants who celebrated Pascha using the Orthodox calculation
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Cleopas
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2008, 03:36:41 AM »

Actually, the Lord celebrated His Last Supper, the day before Passover(LK 22.14-16) , using leavened bread. Christ himself is our Passover Lamb being sacrificed by crucifixion at roughly the same time the passover lambs were ritualitically killed (Jn 19.14,  1Cor 5.7).

Well, actually, this is a common misconception. Jesus kept the passover with His disciples of the first evening of passover. On the Jewish calender the day starts at sundown. Furthermore, though it was in the minority, this was a common accepted practice for keeping the Passover among Jews.

Besides, Jesus made it clear it was the Passover meal they were eating (Lk 22:15)

Quote from: Luke 22:15
And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

Quote
But anyway didnt realize there were protestants who celebrated Pascha using the Orthodox calculation

Kewlness.  Grin Didn't realize we were aligned with the Orthodox calculation. My intention was simply to try and keep the feast in accord with Passover as our Lord, His apostles, and their earliest descendants kept it. So, if any calculation was used it was the Jewish one. Still, it is interesting to know that you guys differ with Rome on Pascha versus easter. That was something I did not know.
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Cleopas
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2008, 04:28:41 AM »

No, Christ celebrated the Last Supper on Thursday evening, while Passover began on sundown friday(JN 19.14,31). Thats why there was no lamb on the menu. Luke is explaining how Christ could not eat the passover lamb with his disciples because he is the Passover Lamb and thus instituted the Eucharist, the bloodless sacrifice. It was this passover that the apostles partook of -not leg of lamb.

It is John's gospel that demonstrates the historical chronology of events, not the synoptics and this is verified by Paul, the earliest Nt writer, "Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you maybe a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover was sacrificed for us" (1COR 5.7). And again "Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world."(Jn 1.29)     

But the synoptics themselves agree that this was not a jewish sedar meal, taking place before Passover ever begun. The incident with Barabbas took place after the Last Supper but before the start of the feast of unleavened bread on friday sundown. The jews would not gather for a trial to condemn someone to death DURING Passover. But as the gospel relates about Jesus and Barabas before Pilate , "For it was neccesary for him to release one to them at the feast."(Lk 23.17  Jn 18.39). Anotherwords the feast had not yet begun.

Most protestants believe that this was a passover sedar disregarding the gospel of John and also the internal evidence of the synoptics because they arent aware of the early church's controversy with Judaizers who wanted to hold onto the sedar. By the synoptics claiming that Christ wont eat of the passover or drink of the vine again until he does so in the kingdom of God, means that the sedar is to not be celebrated again, it promotes abstinence of the sedar, anotherwords fasting, the Passover no longer to be celebrated.  Another reason most protestants take literally the synoptics and disregard the historical accounts found in John, is simply because they have bequeathed from Rome unleavened bread for the Eucharist.  Even though Rome itself celebrated the Eucharist using leavened bread and switched to unleavened wafers in about the 9th century. Protestants not knowing this, adopted the passoverization of the Eucharist.   
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Didymus
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2008, 07:30:11 AM »

Cleopas, as a former Seventh Day Baptist, I am somewhat familiar with Protestant Passover observances as well as those of Armstrong's break off groups and the so-called Messianic Jews.

Today, those who falsely call themselves Jews (whom Christ calls the "synagogue of Satan" [Rev2:9]) observe their Passover on the 15th of Nisan. According to the Law of Moses, it is supposed to be observed on the evening of the 14th of Nisan. The 15th being of course the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

2000 years ago, some observed the Passover on the night our Lord did (the evening ending the 14th) whilst many others were already observing the 15th. As you yourself already acknowledged, both practices were quite acceptable amongst the Jews of that time.

However the Holy Apostles forbid Christians (the true Jews) from celebrating the Pascha with the false Jews. Even the Quartodecimens remembered the Lord's betrayal on the 14th and did not celebrate His Holy Ressurection until the 17th thus avoiding celebration with the unbelievers.

The Orthodox Church and the Latin/Roman Catholics use the SAME method to calculate the date of Pascha. The difference in timing occurs because Rome change the calendar. Hence, on the Gregorian Calendar the 21st of March false 13 days earlier (for the moment at least). So then the first full moon after that date may or may not be the same date for us. This year it is not (obviously). The trouble with Rome's calendar change in this respect is that it causes them to end up celebrating the Holy Pascha before the Jews and so may well end up celebrating with the Lord Christ's murderers. Orthodox Christians do not do this.

May I invite you to come and celebrate the Holy Pascha this year in the New Jerusalem? The Holy Bible clearly says that The Church is the New Jerusalem:

He that hath the bride is the Bridegroom (St. John 3:29).

Ephesians 5:22-33 makes it clear that The Church is the wife of Christ.

When an angel wanted to show St. John the wife of Christ the Lamb, he was shown the New Jerusalem:

And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, (Revelation 21:9-10).

Hence, the Church is the New Jerusalem. Make sense mate?

You are welcome to come and celebrate here as soon as you are baptised and chrismated in the holy true and ancient Orthodox Christian Faith which was once delivered to the saints.

~~~
buzuxi, peace be with you.

With all due respect I disagree. The Coptic Rite of Passion Week states that Palm Sunday fell on the 10th of Nisan which makes Thursday the 14th and Friday the 15th.

The former Pascha used to refer to the whole time from the day of Passover until the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This whole period was refered to as the feast. Acts 12 makes this clear by saying that the days of Unleavened Bread had begun yet Herod wished to wait until after the Pascha feast. If the Pascha meant only the day of Passover then it was over and there would have been no need for him to wait any more. The issue mentioned to Cleopas above about when they observed Passover in that time may clarify things a bit. However, considering how many other laws they broke (eg. holding a trial at midnight &c.) what would stop them from condemning the Lord in the night before they were to observe the Passover? Do not the Gospels state that they would not go to a certain place least they be defiled and made unable to eat the Passover?

I agree with your last paragraph my friend up until "...the Passover no longer to be celebrated." Well done with all you say in this respect.

Not all Protestants use unleavened bread. Indeed, the Primative Baptists make a point of using unleavened bread whereas most Baptists use leavened bread. When I was an SDB a disagreement amongst the local congregation meant that both were made available on the eve on Nisan 14th for us. I used to take the unleavened bread and this is one of the issues I struggled with coming to the Orthodox Christian Faith.

Also, correct me if I'm in error please but I believe our beloved Ethiopian brethren celebrate with unleavened bread only on Thursday of Passion Week. Is there something telling in this?

Personally I'm still unsure of whether the Lord took leavened or unleavened bread that night but I do realise that leavened bread was not forbidden until the next day so He may well have used this. I understand the spiritual significance of both.

When did the Armenians switch to unleavened bread? Was it not about the 6th or 7th century?

Is anyone able to provide historical evidence of when Rome made the switch also please? Who was the Roman Pope and exactly when did they change? If a reason was provided that would be nice too please.

On another note, 1st Corinthians 5:7 says that Christ our passover is sacrificed for us (KJV). The DRB ends the verse, "For Christ our pasch is sacrificed."
The use of the word "was" somewhat denies the eternal nature of the Mystery of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:Cool.

~~~
Thank you for reading. Peace be with you and pray for me please.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 08:33:09 AM by Didymus » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2008, 03:32:07 PM »

From what i understand the armenians claim they adopted the use of unleavened bread from some roman influence. I cant say what the ethiopian or coptic tradition teaches but here in the west, there is a reason why Friday the 13th has a bad cannotation, it was the day Christ was crucified, the evening of friday sundown being nisan 14.  Its all laid out in the gospel of John.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2008, 04:07:16 PM by buzuxi » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2008, 04:15:06 PM »

According to the Orthodox, Christ's Death and Resurrection are the fulfillment of Passover. Whereas the Old Passover was a commemoration of being spared from death, the New Passover (Pascha) is a commemoration of being given life, and a participation in that new life. The Church is the new Israel, and Jesus' Holy Body and Blood are the New Jerusalem. So not just next year, but every year we celebrate Passover (Pascha) in the New Jerusalem, because every year we celebrate with the Body and Blood of Christ.

As for the calendar issue, yes, we celebrate Pascha according to the Julian calendar, whereas the West uses the Gregorian. You can find much about that on this site. This year the eight days of Holy Week began yesterday with St. Lazarus Saturday, celebrating the resurrection of St. Lazarus and looking forward to the Resurrection of all; and it will end with the Feast of Feasts, Holy Pascha, celebrating Christ's defeat of death by his glorious Resurrection.

For us, Pascha is much, much more than being spared from death. It is a celebration of life, and a celebration of The Life himself. We do not look forward to Christ's bodily return, because he never left us. He is with us "always, to the end of the age"--as He Himself said. Nor do we remember His sacrifice as something that occurred long ago, because He has become the sacrifice once and for all. As we sing many, many times during the seven weeks of Pascha, "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life." Pascha is not an event, not a remembrance--it is a way of life. It is the Way of Life. Only by living in the Resurrection can we truly live.
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2008, 06:25:02 PM »

From what i understand the armenians claim they adopted the use of unleavened bread from some roman influence.

The use of unleavened bread by the Armenians is ancient, predating the Chalcedonian schism.  I've been told it is because yeast is symbolic of sin and we want to show that Christ was without sin.  This has been discussed on a couple of other threads, but I can't recall where at the moment.  The other OO's use leavened bread.  The Catholics didn't start using unleavened bread until much later than the Armenian.  I think I heard they started using it in the 9th century, but I could be wrong.
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Cleopas
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2008, 12:46:41 AM »

Wow, this little announcement really generated some dialog. Well spoken and informative dialog at that.
Sweet!  Cool

There is so much I want to reply to, but it would be very time consuming and I just ain't up to it tonight. So, cutting to the chase.

1st, I'm going to stick with the terminology in Scripture. Jesus said it was the Passover they were eating. So, it WAS Passover.

2nd, No Scriptural apostolic instruction forbids celebration of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection via the bread and cup on or in accord with the day and feast(s) of Passover. If anything Paul's letter to the Corinthians affirms it as the day on which to keep the Christian version of this feast.

3rd, it was indeed unleavened bread. To state it simply ... Since the feast of unleavened bread was upon them, the leaven had already been removed from the home (save that little bit left for the ceremonial hunt and official declaration of quarantine). Not only does unleavened bread represent the sinlessness of Christ, it also speaks to the pureness of our devotion. Furthermore, it is the Passover, and the bread that Israel ate in haste as the left Egypt on the original Passover was unleavened. It was this same unleavened bread Christ chose as a figure of His body. It is striped, pierced, and broken, just as He was.

4th, I have no qualm with calling the church the heavenly Jerusalem. Albeit, I also believe in the tangible manifestation of His kingdom over the earth at the end of the age. Likewise I believe in a literal city descending out of heaven, the abode for the saints. It is there (in the Kingdom come) where Christ Himself will drink that cup again with us. Thus my allusion was simply to say, in eating and drinking we do shew the Lord's death till he come (bodily again to the earth).

5th, though I am thankful for the well given invitation, and passionate formulation regarding partaking of the Eucharist among the EO's, I cannot in good conscience do so. However, I am glad to partake togther with believers everywhere in this memorial meal, whatever church they may be in.
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Cleopas
Christopher Hart

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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2008, 02:26:53 AM »

That Christ used unleavened bread is a fallacy.  The fact that the EO and the Coptic church uses leavened bread is the smoking gun which proves that leavened bread is what Christ used. There was never a time that there was a switchover, and even the roman catholics and armenians agree that they switched from using leavened bread to unleavened.

In the Koine greek the synoptics refer to unleavened bread by the single word 'azyme' while they call the bread used in Christ's supper "Artos". The word artos in greek signifys 'whole' and is only designated for bread which has risen from the leaven. Any greek scholar knows this.

Unfortunately most dont realize the communities that the gospels were written for required different pastoral needs. In the Johanine communities of Asia Minor (and in christian communities were many jews resided), christians celebrated Pascha on the day of Nisan 14 regardless if it was a Sunday. The communities that the synoptics were written for celebrated Pascha on Sunday regardless of when Nisan 14 fell on. The intention of the synoptics is to demonstrate that the jewish passover is obselete, Christ celebrating his last (or should we say never did) will no longer do so until the coming of the Kingdom of God,  It is placed in a passover sedar setting in order to censure the judaizers who wanted to hold onto the sedar and were quite a few in 70 ad Antioch.(if you read St John Chrysostom writing 'againt the judaizers' while bishop of Antioch in 380 a.d.he tackles this issue since quartodecimans still had a prescense in antioch)

The Johanine tradition (whose observers later became known as the quartodecimans) always took the jewish passover in consideration, The gospel of John tells us the historical date After passover, the day Christ ressurected was Nisan 15th a Sundaymorning, the quarodeciman tradition emphasized Nissan 14 (the death burial and ressurection observed starting  on Nisan 14 as they considered it a single event), while the synoptics (and what we observe to this day) was the fact that it emphasized a Sunday regardless of when Nisan the 14th or 15th fell on.
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2008, 02:42:35 PM »

1st, I'm going to stick with the terminology in Scripture. Jesus said it was the Passover they were eating. So, it WAS Passover.
Right, it was Pascha.

Quote
2nd, No Scriptural apostolic instruction forbids celebration of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection via the bread and cup on or in accord with the day and feast(s) of Passover. If anything Paul's letter to the Corinthians affirms it as the day on which to keep the Christian version of this feast. (bold mine)
The Christian version of Passover is Pascha. It is Pascha we keep, not the old Passover. Pascha fulfills Passover, which was looking forward to the Messiah. To celebrate Passover as though the Incarnation never happened is to say that Jesus is not the Christ. It is not only un-Christian, it is actually anti-Christian. No Christian should engage in such behaviour that is so openly hostile to Christianity.

Quote
3rd, it was indeed unleavened bread. To state it simply ... Since the feast of unleavened bread was upon them, the leaven had already been removed from the home (save that little bit left for the ceremonial hunt and official declaration of quarantine). Not only does unleavened bread represent the sinlessness of Christ, it also speaks to the pureness of our devotion. Furthermore, it is the Passover, and the bread that Israel ate in haste as the left Egypt on the original Passover was unleavened. It was this same unleavened bread Christ chose as a figure of His body. It is striped, pierced, and broken, just as He was.
Where in the Gospels or the Church Fathers is this written? Is it just your reasoned opinion? If it is the latter, I think you will find much resistance among the Orthodox to this theory.

Quote
4th, I have no qualm with calling the church the heavenly Jerusalem. Albeit, I also believe in the tangible manifestation of His kingdom over the earth at the end of the age. Likewise I believe in a literal city descending out of heaven, the abode for the saints. It is there (in the Kingdom come) where Christ Himself will drink that cup again with us. Thus my allusion was simply to say, in eating and drinking we do shew the Lord's death till he come (bodily again to the earth).
We also believe in the tangible manifestation of the kingdom of God on Earth. It's called the Church. This Church is the City of Heaven, the abode for the saints. In the Church Christ Himself eats and drinks with us, through the Eucharist.

If you believe that the Kingdom of God is yet to come, what do you make of Christ's proclamation when He was transfigured: "Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom" (Matt 16:28)?

Quote
5th, though I am thankful for the well given invitation, and passionate formulation regarding partaking of the Eucharist among the EO's, I cannot in good conscience do so. However, I am glad to partake togther with believers everywhere in this memorial meal, whatever church they may be in.
Since we Orthodox do not partake of a memorial meal but rather of the Body and Blood of Christ, you are not partaking with us. In fact, you are not actually taking the Eucharist. You're free to enjoy your snack, though.
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