Is there a difference between the Passover Seder and celebrating Passover in your home? I was always of the opinion they are one and the same thing. Are they? Thanks so much for guiding us in these small things as well.
You are correct; they are one an the same. The "seder" is just a formal observance of the feast with a traditional liturgy and traditional meal. But the feast can be remembered and celebrated at home without the traditions. In fact, I believe most seders in Biblical time were in homes with friends and family rather than at community gatherings.
There is nothing in scripture mandating HOW Passover is remembered. We learn only that "When your children ask you, 'What do you mean by this ceremony?' say, 'It is the sacrifice of Adonai's Pesach [Passover], because [Adonai] passed over the houses of the people of Isra'el in Egypt, when he killed the Egyptians but spared our houses.' " (Exo 12:26-27, see also Exodus 13:3-8; Deuteronomy 16:1-8).
The time-honored seder is a wonderful, meaningful tradition, of course, and I am not diminishing it, rather, I'm just saying that it's up to us how we remember the beginning of the exodus and the pass-over.
NOTE: Some read these verses and conclude that the celebration requires the slaughter of a lamb. But they don't realize that for the remembrance of Passover, when there was a Temple, there was only ONE lamb which was slaughtered as the "official" lamb to represent all of Israel.
All other animals were simply prepared as food as part of the annual remembrance. There is no requirement on us today to duplicate the conditions of the original pass-over (an event that happened only ONCE in all of history). Plus, we who believe, recognize that we have also a "one-time" sacrificial lamb whose blood spared us. Instead, we are to simply pause our lives and take the time to remember and feast as YHWH commanded.)