Passover Service

This year (2017) the Passover should be observed on Sunday evening, April 9th, which corresponds to the fourteenth of Abib (Nisan), the first month of the Sacred Calendar. You should begin just after sunset.

Jesus observed His last Passover service in the evening hours of this same day, just after sunset and through the hours before midnight on the fourteenth of Nisan.

All Christians, baptized members of the church, take part in this entire service. Non-baptized adherents, however, are welcome to be present and to take part in the foot-washing portion of the ceremony.

When there are a reasonable number of participants in a locality, the church leadership will arrange for use of a suitable meeting hall. This is the best way, by far, as the Passover is by definition a fellowship assembly. If a service has been arranged in your area, you are strongly urged to make every effort to attend.

When it is impossible to attend with other brethren, the service may be held at home, preferably with at least one other participant of the same sex—this is because of the foot-washing ceremony. Husband and wife, of course, may freely wash one another’s feet.

The Passover is a most solemn celebration and all that’s done should reflect this. For example, part of the preparation might be to have young children either in bed or supervised. And, of course, ahead of time, you’ll need to set out a sufficient number of glasses containing a little red wine, and a small plate of unleavened bread. A basin with some warm water and a towel, for each person, also will need to be on hand.

We have included a video of a recent Passover service on this page. You may elect to use this video by starting and stopping it during the appropriate segments of the service. If you will play it through, ahead of time, and make the preparations indicated on this page, we believe you will be able to partake of the Passover in a manner well-pleasing to God.

If you prefer not to use the video, we recommend that you observe the following guidelines.

A period of quiet reading of appropriate scriptural passages may also be useful to refresh your memory and to really appreciate the fullest meaning of this night. This could perhaps include, but is not limited to Matthew chapters twenty-six through twenty-eight, Luke chapters twenty-two and twenty-three and also Psalm 51.

  1. Open the service with prayer, and perhaps a reading of Psalm 22, followed by John 13:1–17.

  2. Next is the foot-washing, which conveys an attitude of humility and service. After the foot-washing, read Isaiah 52:13—53:12, followed by 1 Corinthians 11:23–34.

  3. Prior to breaking the bread, which symbolizes Christ’s broken body, read Matthew 26:26. Then take a portion of the bread (Ry Krisp or Matzos will do). Ask God’s blessing over the bread and eat it; you will already have read the many scriptures on the subject and know the fullest meaning of discerning the Lord’s body.

  4. Have a small glass of wine prepared (preferably a dry, natural red wine). Then read Matthew 26:27 and ask Gods blessing over the wine, which is symbolic of Christ’s shed blood, and drink it.

After introducing the disciples to this new institution in memory of His death, Jesus spoke to them at length on various matters. It’s our practice to read, at this point, from the Gospels some portions of what He then taught the disciples (John 13:31 through chapter 17). You could select portions of this in advance.

Finally, they sang a hymn (Matthew 26:28–30).  

In Thy Loving Kindness Lord (View PDF)

If you have any questions about these directions, please feel free to contact us on our contact page.

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