Q. Why do we have a haggadah on Passover? A. So we can seder [say the] right words.
It's a terrible joke, but it suggests why seders have gone from righteous to rote, from dynamic to deadly boring. Everything is too much by the book, the haggadah, to be exact, in the worst possible way, says David Arnow, in "Creating Lively Passover Seders: A Sourcebook of Engaging Tales, Texts & Activities." (Jewish Lights Publishing, 2004, www.livelyseders.com).
Arnow says that seders are supposed to be living, vibrant, creative -- with room for spontaneous discussion and new ideas that reinvent what freedom means to the current generation, which gathers to commemorate a liberation that occurred thousands of years ago.