By Eavan O’Neill
Spring has finally arrived, and with it comes a new influx of warm weather, sunshine, and holidays such as Easter and Passover. Here at St. Lawrence, many students choose to partake in a variety of events that are offered to everyone as a way of celebrating their faith and religion.
This past Monday, April 10, St. Lawrence hosted a Passover Seder dinner in Sykes formal lounge that was open to all SLU students, as well as the general public. The dinner started with the story of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and recounted the Jewish people’s descent into Egypt, recollecting their suffering and persecution. The people in attendance were a variety of mixed race, age, gender, and ethnicity. A young man led the group in prayer and song, reading Jewish scripture in Hebrew from the Haggadah and prompting the audience to respond. At a traditional Seder, one must consume four cups of wine, vegetables dipped in saltwater, matzah, and bitter herbs (often horseradish), which get dipped into charoset (a paste of nuts, apples, pears and wine). These small foods are then followed by a festive meal that normally consists of time-honored favorites, like chicken, potatoes, matzo ball soup and gefilte fish. For Natalie Herwood ‘20, this was the first Seder she had ever attended, and she described her experience as “very enjoyable.”
“St. Lawrence organized a very well received ceremony by incorporating members of all different realms of faith into the service. As I am both a member of the Jewish community as well as the St. Lawrence community, I found that this service embodied St. Lawrence’s mission, and I was happy to be a part of it,” added Herwood.
It was also Abby Smalley’s ‘19 first time in attendance, and she described similar feelings as Herwood, stating, “I liked how every one of the 80 peoplein the room took turns on the microphone reading from the Haggadah.” The evnt also welcomed non-jewish students to participate. “It was cool to think that everyone there, who were all from different backgrounds, could participate in it together!” The Passover Seder is it brings people of all cultures and backgrounds together to honor the Jewish religious community with food, wine and celebration. Herwood also stated that she hopes to attend the Seder in years to come, and “to continue my Jewish faith here at SLU with both my friends being Jewish and secular.” This year’s Seder was a success, and hopefully attendance will continue to grow in the future and allow students, faculty and locals to learn more about the Jewish faith and the holiday of Passover.
For students looking to celebrate Easter, there is going to be a 4:00 p.m. gospel service in Gunnison Chapel on Sunday, as well as a delicious Easter brunch in Dana Dining Hall. In addition to these evnts, there will be an organ concert on Good Friday from 12:15-1:00 in the chapel. Guests Julianne DeGuardi ’17 and Karen Schulenberg join Sondra Goldsmith Proctor to perform the Christe Eleison from Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Sondra Proctor will also perform The Seven Last Words by Pal J. Sifler.