Easter, Passover Celebrated
UPDATE, Good Friday procession:
Some 100 of the faithful gathered at Our Lady of Loretto Church in Cold Spring on Friday evening to celebrate Good Friday with the Parish's yearly Procession of the Cross around the village. "This can be likened to a funeral cortege for Our Lord Jesus Christ," explained Fr. Brian T. McSweeney, pastor of Loretto, earlier in the day at the 3:00 P.M. Veneration of the Cross Service. Good Friday marks the day when Christians the world over believe that Jesus of Nazareth was hung on a cross and died for the sins of all.
Earlier story, on Easter and Passover
The highest of Holy Days on the Christian calendar is Easter. The area’s Christian churches will celebrate Easter on Sunday.
Christians believe Jesus was crucified, died and was laid in a tomb according to Scripture, and that God raised Jesus back to life, three days after his death on the cross.
As part of the Easter season, the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion is commemorated on Good Friday, always the Friday just before Easter. Through his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for sin, thus purchasing, for all who believe in him, eternal life. For Christians the hope of the resurrection is key to salvation, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” – Romans 10:9-10 Area churches will be celebrating Easter in the time-honored traditional way with Easter hymns (“Up from the grave he arose…”) and sermons on the resurrection, giving hope and inspiration to all. Easter is typically the best-attended Sunday service of the year and is celebrated much the same worldwide.
Passover is the religious festival that celebrates the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of the Egyptians.
For Philipstown’s Jewish community, Passover began Monday at sundown. The book of Exodus holds the Biblical account of the Jewish nation as they were held in captivity as slaves in Egypt. Pharaoh refused to set the Jews free and when the Jews cried out to the true God for deliverance, God raised up Moses to be their deliverer. A series of dreadful plagues hit Egypt with a fury. The last plague was the death of the first born of each family. Moses told the Pharaoh about the plagues that would descend upon the Egyptian people if Pharaoh would not let God’s people go. The Jews were subject to this plague the same as the Egyptians.
However, the Lord provided a means of protection. If they would take the blood of a lamb and spread it over the doorposts and lintels of their homes, the Lord would “pass over” them and the firstborn in their homes would be spared. Exodus 12:13, “And the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
The Passover Seder is a ritual meal involving a retelling of the story of God delivering the Israelites from slavery. Traditionally, families and friends gather in the evening to read the sacred text from the Talmud, and sing special Passover songs. Seder customs include drinking four cups of wine, eating matzoh, and partaking of symbolic foods placed on the Passover Seder Plate. The Seder is performed in much the same way by Jews all over the world.