Commemorating the liberation of Israelite Jews from Egypt, Passover is the most important Jewish festival that is celebrated with great zeal and enthusiasm. Though this occasion is marked by gaiety and fanfare, the religious tradition and rituals are still observed with great precision. Prayers, as in any religious festivals, have extreme significance in Passover. During the Seder meal, which is organized as a part of the tradition of Pesach, the entire family enjoys a lavish meal together. Though a cozy and fun time, it's a custom to remember the hardships suffered by the Jews during the feast. Prayers and Passover songs are of great significance. Prayers not only add a religious spark to the Passover celebration, but also make this occasion special. People chant prayers in between the Seder and after that. Many religious prayers are written and recited during the Pesach holiday. Go through the Passover prayer given below and read it on the festival, along with your family members, to thank God and ask for his blessings.
Prayers For Passover
"Long ago, at this season, on such a night as this, a people - our people - set out on a journey.
All but crushed by their enslavement, they yet recalled the far-off memory of a happier past.
And heard the voice of their ancestral God, bidding them summon up the courage to be free.
Boldly, they went forth from Egypt, crossed the Sea, and headed through the desert for the Promised Land.
What they experienced, they remembered, and told their children, and they to theirs.
From generation to generation, the story was retold, and we are here to tell it yet again.
We too give thanks for Israel's liberation; we too remember what it means to be a slave.
And so we pray for all who are still fettered, still denied their human rights. Let all God's children sit at his table, drink the wine of deliverance, and eat the bread of freedom:
Freedom from bondage
And freedom from oppression,
Freedom from hunger
And freedom from want,
Freedom from hatred
And freedom from fear,
Freedom to think
And freedom to speak,
Freedom to learn
And freedom to love,
Freedom to hope
And freedom to rejoice;
Soon in our days,
This prayer is often regarded as a short invocation to the gods to thank for their help, guidance and blessings. Usually recited by the head of the family, this prayer explains the significance of each of the food item served on the Sedar plate and also tells what it denotes. The leader of the prayer raises his wine cup and recites the following prayer:
"Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine. Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe who hast chosen us among all peoples and sanctified us with Thy commandments. In love hast Thou given us, O Lord our God, solemn days of joy and festive seasons of gladness, even this day of the feast of the unleavened bread, a holy convocation unto us, a memorial of the departure from Egypt. Thou hast chosen us for thy service and hast made us sharers in the blessing of Thy holy festivals. Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, Who hast preserved us, sustained us, and brought us to this season."
Once the leader says this, all the followers dip the greens in salt water and utter the following prayer:
"Blessed art Thou O Lord our God King of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the earth."
Members of the gathering start to eat the greens arranged over the Seder table. These greens signify the light of life which comes from nature during spring season.
Another ritual associated with Passover is that is the breaking of the matzo or the unleavened bread. During this ritual the leader of prayer lifts up the matzo/unleavened bread and recites the following prayer:
"Lo, this is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Let all who are hungry come and eat. Let all who are in want come and celebrate the Passover with us. May it be God's will to redeem us from all trouble and from all servitude. Next year at this season may the whole house Israel be free."
Passover, a highly traditional festival, is regarded as a time to remember the importance of god and hence, prayers form an important part of the celebrations.