Easter celebrations and the lack thereof have been a hot topic recently; if you want to add something to your celebration of this season, I highly recommend this book.
Why would a Latter-day Saint–or any Christian, really–want to celebrate Passover? Because it is an opportunity to participate in a tradition thousands of years old. Because, unlike most of the religious education we inflict on children, it is an ideal (multisensory, interactive) teaching opportunity for young children. But most importantly because it contains powerful symbolism of the Savior and His sacrifice.
The basic element of a Passover celebration is a ritual-rich meal. You could spend the afternoon googling what you would need or you could use Celebrating Passover. Marianne Monson-Burton has put together a book that can be forgiven for being short on the scholarly because it is long on the practical. She traces, briefly, the historical development of Passover and then lists everything that one would need in terms of preparation, meal planning, recipes, table setting (which is more complicated than you might think), narration, explanation, and music for the meal itself.
I initially expected that I wouldn’t like this book because it would make a hash of ancient Judaism(s), modern Judaism(s), Christianity, and the Restoration. But I must admit that I was wrong: Monson-Burton is careful to separate what the ritual would look like and mean to a Jewish audience from what it could symbolize for an LDS one. Consider this example in her script for the meal:
The bitter herbs remind us of the pain and bitterness of slavery. If Israel had not been redeemed, you and I would still be enslaved today. . . . So at Passover we each personally experience the bitterness of bondage and the joy of deliverance.
Then in italics she writes:
In much the same way, the atonement must be personally accepted. We know that the Savior suffered for us as individuals. We must apply its message of freedom to our own lives.
I appreciate the fact that the Christian viewpoint is there, but she doesn’t pretend that it is the Jewish viewpoint. I also appreciate her thoroughness: it is actually possible to put together a complete Passover meal with this book even if you are the type who has to sing the Primary song to remember where to find Exodus in the Bible.
Consider moving beyond chocolate bunnies and egg hunts (not that there is anything wrong with those) and celebrating Passover with your family. If you do, you’ll find this book a welcome resource.