Once again, the College has marked the lead-up to Easter by holding a full Passover meal, with almost two hundred people sitting down to an enjoyable and meaning-laden dinner.
Students appreciated the ancient rituals of the event and as well as enjoying the delicious meal that had been prepared by the Aquinas kitchen. A group of recent old Collegians helped out as wait staff for the night.
As had been done last year, the meal was preceded by a symbolic washing of the feet – recalling this dramatic act of Jesus narrated in John’s Gospel – before moving into the customary prayers, commentary and ritual acts of the Seder.
The traditional four questions concerning the significance of the evening were asked this year by Alice Mee, the daughter of the Dean, who was the youngest person present. Other speaking parts were shared among student leaders and staff.
The Rector explained that there were both cultural and religious motivations for holding a Seder Meal.
‘First, this gives our students an opportunity of sharing in a cultural practice that is millennia old, and something that most of them have never done before,’ said Brother Michael. ‘Second, so much of the symbolism and language of the Christian Easter is drawn directly from the Passover, both as it is described in the Hebrew Scriptures and as it has come to be remembered in the Seder Meal.’
‘It is also a quite celebratory way to end the term and move into the mid-semester break,’ the Rector added.
Even with the traditional four glasses of wine consumed (albeit with a non-alcoholic option available for non-drinkers!), students did not follow the example of Jesus’s dining companions and fall asleep afterwards, because the Seder was followed by the annual , high-energy ‘World’s Greatest Shave’ on the Gleeson lawn. A number of students had bravely volunteered to have their heads shaved (or in some cases their legs, chests or beards) in the interests of charity. Amidst a great deal of fun, excitement and generosity, over $4,000 was raised on the night for leukemia research.
Alisha Rout, the College’s Outreach Coordinator, was delighted with the response of her fellow students.
“Again, Aquinians have shown their great generosity. I can only say a massive thank-you to everyone who took part,” said Alisha.