Passover Service Information

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION is provided to assist those baptized members who are keeping the Passover by themselves or with a few others.

The Passover is the annual memorial of Joshua the Christ’s death by which He paid the full penalty for all of our sins. After a person has repented of his/her sins and has been baptized, they should then faithfully observe the Passover each year as an annual renewal of their acceptance of the new covenant. Church members should attend the Passover service with a local congregation, but when this is not possible or practical, the Passover should be observed at home by following the directions stated below.

Because baptized members are so scattered and living far apart from one another, people must simply keep the Passover on their own in their homes. The following day is a workday for most people and it is simply best for people not to travel a long distance the night before. Also, many have to work before the Passover service and a long journey to be with others can easily make one overly tired which would not be good because the Passover service is such an important one that we observe. If there are individuals who live close to each other (within 30 minutes or so of travel time) and you would like to get together in a home, then that would be good.

Before Passover

The Passover Service should be downloaded from the Church website ahead of time. It would be best to download the video, but if you cannot do so then at least you should download the audio portion.

To find the Passover service on the Church website click on “Sermons” at the top of the page, scroll to the bottom of the sermons page and click on “God’s Holy Days.” Then go to the “Passover” section and click on the one that says “Passover Service.” The basic service remains the same from year to year.

Before Passover, obtain a small bottle of red wine (something like a Merlot, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, or other such red wines) and a small glass, like a liqueur glass, for each person.

Obtain some unleavened bread. Flat bread may be baked without leavening, or one may purchase Matzos, Ry-Krisp, Ryvita, or some other form of unleavened flat breaded products. Be careful with Matzos because not all are unleavened. Check labels of all such products to make certain the do not contain yeast, soda, baking powder, or other leavening agents.

Have a plastic bowl or basin that is large enough to place one foot in it at a time, and access to water, along with your own towel. When it comes time for the Passover service, remember that women and men should not wash one another’s feet unless they are married. In many cases, there may not be the ability to wash another person's feet and to have your own washed if you are observing the Passover alone.

If meeting together with a larger group, then you should wear Sabbath clothing. If you are in a home by yourself or with a few others who live close by, then you can wear “nice” casual clothing. For example, you can wear what you might wear on a Sabbath when it is very hot outside, as explained in the past for such conditions, but very casual clothing like blue jeans, t-shirts or shorts should not be worn.

Remember that this is a solemn service. It is not a night for loud laughter or extended fellowship.

30 Minutes Before Start of Service
  1. Open the red wine and pour a small amount (about 1 tablespoon) into the glass (one for each person in attendance).
  2. Then cover the glasses with a white cloth.
  3. Place a full piece of unleavened bread on a plate (this will be broken later during the service). However, if the unleavened bread is far too big because one or a few are gathered together, then it is fine to break this into a smaller portion that can be broken into only a few pieces during the actual service.
  4. Cover the plate with a white cloth.

The Passover Service

Each year you should check for the actual date of Passover which is always listed on the Church website. Remember that Passover is to be observed after sunset in the night time portion of Passover, which is the evening before the daytime portion of what is listed as the actual “day” of Passover on the calendar. Start the service after sundown, and then follow the instructions as they are given on the prerecorded Passover Service. When you come to the foot washing part of the service, pause/stop the recording when instructed if you have enough people to observe this portion of the service. If not, then proceed with the prerecorded service.

If you are able to participate in the foot washing part of this service, place a small amount of water in each bowl, and take off all footwear. One person sits in a chair while the other person kneels and washes the other's feet. Wash and dry one foot at a time. Then change places allowing the other person to wash and dry the feet of the other.

Once finished, put shoes back on and empty the water. Sit back down and start the recording again. The service then continues and you are to follow the recording until instructed to stop again.

Once instructed to do so, one person is to uncover the unleavened bread on the plate by removing the white cloth. A prayer will be given which is on the recording. After the prayer, break the bread into small pieces, and then begin passing it around as each person is to take a piece of the bread and eat it. When all are finished, the leftover unleavened bread is covered with the white cloth again.

The service then continues and you are to follow the recording until instructed to stop again. Then uncover the glass or glasses with wine. A prayer will be given, which is on the recording. One person then presents the others with a glass from the tray. Each person is to take a glass and drink the wine. Once finished, the glasses are collected and placed back on the tray and again covered with the white cloth. Then the service continues and you are to follow the recording until is has finished.

At the end of the service a song is sung. If you know the song you may sing along, but if you do not know it, simply listen to the words and consider their meaning. The service is now finished. Each person should then go home. The leftover red wine and the leftover unleavened bread that have been prayed over must be discarded and NOT used or consumed. However, if there is leftover wine in the bottle then that is fine to drink at some other time. Just the wine and unleavened bread that have been prayed over need to be discarded.

"In Thy Lovingkindness, Lord" (Ps. 51)

In Thy loving kindness Lord, be merciful to me;
In compassion great blot out, all iniquity.
Wash me thoroughly from sin, from all guilt Thou me;
For transgressions I confess; sins I ever see.

Gainst Thee only have I sinned, done evil in Thy sight,
That Thou speaking may be just, and in judging right.
My iniquities blot out, my sin hide from Thy view,
And in me a clean heart make, spirit right renew.

From Thy gracious presence, Lord, O cast me not away,
And Thy Holy Spirit take not from me I pray.
Joy which Thy salvations brings again to me restore;
With Thy Spirit free do Thou keep me ever more.

Sacrifice dost Thou not want, else would I give it Thee,
And with offering shalt Thou not delighted be.
For a broken spirit is to God a sacrifice,
And a broken, contrite heart, Thou wilt not despise.

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