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- Written by Suzanne Phillips
- Category: By the Grace of God
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Your Country needs you – yet again.
America’s founding principles are frequently misunderstood and maligned; especially our religious heritage. It’s about time we did something about it!
We need a ritual retelling "Seder celebration" for America!
To move this idea along we’ve written a brief history of America's founding that you can download for use on Independence Day, Constitution Day, or Flag Day (or any other time, really). This is meant to be a starting point. We’re really hoping you’ll take this idea and run with it!
Make it your own. Change it up to suit your family. Be creative! Add activities for the kids. Change the words, change the menu, change the music, Add prayers, sing along or don’t sing along, add more symbolism here or there; whatever feels right to you. You can plan to read it as written, or you can add more detail, or maybe you’ll want to pick and choose which parts you like and which you don’t.
The important thing here is for each of us to begin a family tradition that teaches the truth about America’s founding. (And we’d love to hear from you.)
The Jewish Seder is a tradition at Passover. We are not Jewish; however, here’s what we understand about a Seder. A Seder (pronounced SAY-der) is a meal celebrating and retelling the story of the Hebrew exodus from slavery in Egypt. God requires this celebration to make sure this important event is not forgotten. Ideally, the event is remembered in every detail, and each guest (especially each child) feels as if s/he is part of the ceremony and reliving the event during the telling.
We like the idea of passing the booklet around the table and having each participant read a paragraph or two. You’ll notice that the type font is huge in our document, to make it easy for everybody (young and old) to read. You’ll also notice the sentences are broken up to clarify emphasis and minimize the transposing of words, (something we all have a tendency to do when reading aloud.) If there are children at the table, adult readers should direct their reading to the children, to make them feel a part of the ceremony.
The history we’ve written here is a broad overview of America’s religious and cultural heritage. It conveys more than three thousand years of history. The history covered includes key factors that formed the basis of our nation, as well as the good and bad of the events since our founding. Obviously we couldn’t go into great detail and make the ceremony doable during a one to two hour dinner. That being said, we tried our best to relate historical events with enough detail to tell the story in a compelling way.
We’re currently working on two other brief histories which go into much more detail. One of them focuses only on the political aspects of our founding (Taxation, Continental Congresses, relationship with Britain and France, etc.) This is the story we used to learn in school, but we are hoping to tell it in a more compelling way. The other story focuses on military aspects of our founding, (Sons of Liberty, Paul Revere, Washington’s strategies, etc.) Both of these require a huge amount of time to research, verify, etc., so we’re not sure yet when they’ll be done; hopefully before summer 2013.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
- A Flag and a Flag stand
- A designated Host
- A designated Prayer leader
- Food (Including Matzo bread)
- Music - The following are only suggestions:
- Fanfare for the Common Man, Aaron Copeland
- Mi Itneni Of, Israeli folk dance
- Christ, the Lord, is Risen, words by Charles Wesley
- Jesu, Joy of Mans Desiring, J.S. Bach
- Dido and Aneus, When I am Laid in Earth, Henry Purcell
- We are, Kari Jobe
- French suite No. 4, J.S. Bach
- Choopah, Klezmer Music
- Ha'Azinu, Dudu Fisher
- American Pageant, U.S. Marine Corps Band
- Look Down that Long Lonesome Road, Traditional African-American Spiritual
- Sioux traditional song,
- Peacetime Freedom Fighter, Kalai