Through a series of coincidences last night, I ended up at a Seder table, surrounded by amazing women (and one perfectly lovely infant). We progressed without a haggadah, each woman offering up the sections that were meaningful to her. We reconstructed the Exodus story from our collective memory. We offered up thanksgivings for marriages, for babies, for family and friends, and for growth. We discussed the role of privilege in our lives and the transitions we are experiencing. It was a beautiful experience, informal and loving.
Today being Good Friday, I am reminded of the Catholic tradition of Stations of the Cross. In years past I've wandered through a nearly empty church with the prayers written on a card and I've participated in a large outdoor procession, but this year I'll be doing the meditations on my own. It's really the only Easter tradition I like. Okay, I like jelly beans and Cadbury Creme Eggs and dying Easter eggs. But they haven't got any religious significance. Kind of like Halloween.
I'm reminded of the Quaker phrase "the day the world calls Christmas". While I agree that there is nothing particularly holy about the days the world calls Christmas or Easter, I think declaring days to celebrate certain aspects of faith with friends and family is important. Passover wouldn't be as meaningful to me if it happened every month. But I do agree that since the days we set aside to commemorate the birth, death and resurrection of Christ have become about chocolate bunnies, elves and presents, we've got a problem.
I'm not about to appropriate Passover, although I never did understand why Christians don't celebrate Jewish Holidays. I mean, Christianity is just modified Judaism, right? We just tacked Jesus onto an existing belief structure. I'm more comfortable assimilating Catholic rituals into my spiritual practice, since I was raised by lapsed Catholics, but I am still left to wonder what sort of rituals I can create to fill my need for regular meaningful religious celebrations in my life.