Keeping Passover in Your Home 



If you are taking Passover at home because of an inability to meet with brethren of like mind, the following directions should assist in your observance of the ceremony.

Prior to the hour when the ceremony is held, a small amount of unleavened bread should be prepared [recipes can be found here]. If unable to prepare your own, Rye crisp or Matzos should do fine. The bread should have no leavening in it. In addition, a small amount of red wine is needed. The wine used should be natural and unfortified. Questions have arisen about whether individuals who, for medical reasons are unable to consume alcohol in any amount, should take wine at the Passover. Jesus passed a cup of wine and commanded His disciples to drink from it. Therefore, unless there is a compelling reason for not doing so, only wine should be used for Passover services. Medical reasons are compelling reasons. Thus a substitute such as natural grape juice that does not call attention to itself should be available for those members with a compelling reason for avoiding alcohol.

The Passover ordinance should be observed in the early evening, soon after sunset. Prepare the room in advance. There should be enough unleavened bread, and if a single cup is not passed, enough glasses of wine on the table to correspond to the number who will be participating. The bread and the wine should be covered with clean napkins (preferably white linen).

Since Passover is the most solemn evening of the year, all those participating should gather quietly in the room where the service will be held.

The one conducting the service should read aloud from the following scriptures: I Corinthians 11:23-30; Luke 22:7-15. Next John 13:1-17 should be read. Then if two or more people are participating, they should wash one another's feet. If one person is observing it alone, this part of the ordinance is obviously omitted.

After completing the footwashing, the next portion of the service should serve as an introduction to the bread and wine. The one conducting the service should read aloud Isaiah 53:3-6, 10, 12; Matthew 8:16-17; I Peter 2:20-24; and Hebrews 4:14-16. It should be pointed out that Christ's sacrifice was for the healing of our mind and body. Next, the one conducting the service should read John 6:32-40, 48-51, 53-58; I Corinthians 10:16-17; and I Corinthians 11:24. The napkin should be removed from the bread and a short prayer of thanks should be offered. The bread is then to be broken and eaten. This symbolizes the broken and beaten body of Jesus Christ and our acceptance of that sacrifice.

In preparation for the wine ceremony, the following verses should be read aloud: Matthew 26:27-28; I John 1:7-9; Hebrews 9:11-15; Ephesians 1:7. Then the napkin should be removed from the wine and a short prayer of thanks offered. The wine is symbolic of Jesus' blood, shed for the remission of our sins. The wine should be passed to those participating, each one taking a glass and quietly, reverently drinking it as a renewal of his acceptance of the blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.

Next, a general reading of John 13:18 through John 17 is to take place. Since it is rather long, the person conducting the service may choose to only read portions of this section. This is the story of what Christ did the night before He died.

After the scripture reading, sing a hymn if possible, and dismiss, quietly leaving the room. It is appropriate to remind those participating about the solemn and sacred occasion throughout the evening, and especially as everyone is departing.

After the service has ended and the people have left the room, the one in charge should destroy any leftover portion of the bread and wine that had been blessed. The bread should be burned and the wine poured on the ground outside.

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