THE PASSOVER SERVICE
The New Testament Passover, sometimes called the Lord's Supper, is observed after sundown on the evening beginning the 14th day of the first month on the Hebrew calendar. If at all possible, every member should try to observe the Passover with a local church. This service is provided for those who are unable to attend and must keep it at home.
In preparation for the service, only a few things are needed: A towel and basin for each person who will participate in the footwashing service, some unleavened bread and a small amount of red wine. Each participant will also want to have his own Bible.
A room should be prepared for the service with adequate seating and room to move around for footwashing. The footwashing can be done in another room if one is available. Only enough unleavened bread and wine for the participants should be brought into the room. There should be a small glass for each person with about half an ounce of wine in it. The unleavened bread should be placed, unbroken, on a plate or serving tray. Both bread and wine should be covered with a white table napkin before the service begins.
When the time is come, everyone should take his seat quietly. While it is not necessary to be somber at this service, we traditionally allow each person some time for reflection and self-examination. The head of the family, or whoever is chosen to lead in the service, will open with prayer.
OPEN WITH PRAYER
In the opening prayer, we should give thanks to God for His Son, our
Passover, who died in our place. Some reference to God's love for us, and our love for one another is important. Also, it is good to mention that we are about to wash one another's feet, and to ask God to instill in us an attitude of service toward those whom God is calling.
Then, the following verses should be read aloud:
I Corinthians 11:17-26
As Jesus and His disciples reclined at supper, and before He instituted the symbols of His body and blood, Jesus had a lesson of humility and service to convey to the twelve. To introduce the footwashing service, read:
Then break for the footwashing service. When all are finished, they should return quietly to their seats. Remember that this is a time many of your brethren cherish for reflection and self-examination.
After the footwashing service, the following scriptures should be read aloud:
1 Peter 2:19-25
I Corinthians 1 :23-24, 27-32
Then uncover the unleavened bread and pray, asking God to bless the bread as the symbol
of the body of Christ, broken for our sins. Give thanks to God for His power to heal, and
for the forgiveness of sins which we have in the Son.
Then, break the bread into bite-size pieces and pass it around to those assembled. Wait patiently until everyone has been served and has eaten the bread before proceeding.
I Peter 1:18-21
I Corinthians 11:25
When you have read the scriptures, uncover the wine and pray, asking God to bless the wine as a symbol of the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ. The prayer should include thanksgiving to God for His Son who shed His blood and died in our place, and an acknowledgment that we are sinners who can hope only in His mercy.
Afterward, read aloud selections from John 13 through John 17. If the group is small, you can take turns reading the passages. If the group is larger, only two or three should read.
SING A CLOSING HYMN
After the evening was over, the gospels tell us that they sang a hymn and then went out. We do not close in prayer, but we do sing a hymn together.
Some appropriate hymns are:
|In Thy Lovingkindness
|| Lord 'Tis Midnight
|Christ Our Passover
|| Go to Dark Gethsemane
Jesus Paid It All
|| The Nail-Scarred Hand
Just as I Am
|| Nothing but the Blood
Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed
|| There is a Fountain
Any leftover bread and wine which was blessed and used during the
Passover service should be destroyed. It should not be used for any other purpose.