Thanks to a new schedule that put spring break in March rather than April, the traditions and religious observances of Passover and Holy Week are being simultaneously celebrated on campus this year.
“This is the first year Chapman University has moved Spring Break from coinciding with Easter to falling mid-semester. Hence, for the first time, we have the opportunity to celebrate Holy Week as well as the Jewish Passover while school is in session,” says the Rev. Gail Stearns, Ph.D., dean of the center. “The Fish Interfaith Center helps to facilitate our student religious organizations when they request support to celebrate important holy days throughout the year, so this provides a new opportunity for us to support Jewish and Christian members of the Chapman community.”
Passover is the eight-day festival when Jews recall their time of slavery under the Pharaoh and exodus from Egypt. Holy Week is the last week of Lent when Christians commemorate the last days of Jesus’ life.
Events hosted by student groups and the center include:
· Matzah in the Piazza: Chapman Hillel invites all to join them on Passover weekdays (Tuesday, April 15, through Tuesday, April 22) for free Kosher for Passover matzah and condiments from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, the event will be held in front of Fish Interfaith Center, but all other days will be in the Attallah Piazza.
· Wednesday Night Holy Week Worship: A contemplative Holy Week worship service with scripture, poetry and hand and foot washing from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Wallace All Faiths Chapel. Hosted by Disciples on Campus.
· Good Friday Service: Join Father Dr. Rafael Luevano, associate professor, and the Rev. Dr. Gail Stearns, dean of the Fish Interfaith Chapel, for a brief ecumenical lunch-hour service at noon in the Wallace All Faiths Chapel.
Anyone interested in attending local Easter services on Sunday may call the Fish Interfaith Center at 714-628-7289 or check its website for a selection of nearby services.