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Catholic Activity: The Passover Meal: 7. Hallel: Psalms of Praise

A Catholic family can enter more deeply into the Triduum during Holy Week by having a seder meal, similar to the Last Supper that Jesus would have celebrated with his Apostles. With the knowledge that Christ has come and redeemed the world, we can incorporate a Christian attitude during the seder meal.

Included here are some traditional psalms for the family to sing or read before the seder meal.

DIRECTIONS

FATHER OR LEADER: In the Passover feast, before the meal is eaten, the first two psalms of the Hallel — the hymns of praise which the Jews recited at the great feasts — are recited.

ALL RECITE:

PSALM 113

Alleluia! You servants of Yahweh, praise, praise the name of Yahweh! Blessed be the name of Yahweh, henceforth and for ever! From east to west, praised be the name of Yahweh!

High over all nations, Yahweh! His glory transcends the heavens! Who is like Yahweh our God? — enthroned so high, he needs to stoop, to see the sky and earth!

He raises the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the dunghill to give them a place with princes, with the princes of his people. He enthrones the barren women in her house by making her the happy mother of sons.

ALL RECITE:

PSALM 114
Alleluia! When Israel came out of Egypt, the House of Jacob from a foreign nation, Judah became his sanctuary and Israel his domain.

The sea fled at the sight, the Jordan stopped flowing, the mountains skipped like rams, and like lambs, the hills.

Sea, what makes you run away? Jordan, why stop flowing? Why skip like rams, you mountains, why like lambs, you hills?

Quake, earth, at the coming of your Master, at the coming of the God of Jacob, who turns rock into pool, flint into fountain.

THE MEAL. (The festive meal now takes place. It is a joyous meal rather than somber. It is a leisurely meal, and ample.) After the meal we recite together:

WHERE CHARITY AND LOVE ABIDE, THERE IS GOD.

The love of Christ has gathered us together; Let us be gay in Him, and cheerful: Let us love and be in awe of the living God And love each other with honest hearts.

WHERE CHARITY AND LOVE ABIDE, THERE IS GOD.

So now that we are gathered together Let us take care not to be isolated in ourselves. Let ill will, quarrels, and disagreements stop.

WHERE CHARITY AND LOVE ABIDE, THERE IS GOD.

And together, with the saints May we see Your face in glory, Christ our God. That is straight, unmeasured joy, For ages on unending age. Amen.

(tr. Father Caedmon, OSB)

Activity Source: Passover Meal, The by Arleen Hynes, Paulist Press, 1972

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