Christians And Jews Observe Celebrate

04.06.12 | Jeremy Miller


Jews around the world will be observing Passover which begins at sundown tonight.  Known as Pesach, the Jewish holiday is the one most commonly observed, even by those described as non-observant Jews.  The Judaism 101 Web site says the primary observance is Passover, or Pesach, is related to the Exodus from Egypt after generations of slavery recorded in the Old Testament book of Exodus.  The name "Pesach" comes from the Hebrew word meaning to pass through or to pass over and refers to the fact that God "passed over" the houses of the Jews as he was slaying the firstborn of Egypt.  On the first night of Passover a special family meal, called a "seder," is observed to remind the family of the significance of the holiday. Meanwhile, Christians all around the world are observing Good Friday, the commemoration of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ at Calvary.  Many churches hold special services and some sponsor re-enactments of Jesus' journey to his death on the cross through the "Via Dolorosa."  Since the early church this day has been commemorated by fasting and penance.  In the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican denominations liturgical services often include veneration of the cross and the Passion narrative from the Gospel of John.  Other types of observances include prayer and meditation at the Stations of the Cross which are a succession of 14 images, usually on wooden crosses that the crucifixion of Christ and the events leading up to it.