To my brothers & sisters in the Church of God in Greensboro, Jacksonville, and Raleigh. Here are the previously promised detailed instructions about how to observe the Passover at home:Keeping the Passover at Home
Please read this e-mail in its entirety as it you may find it helpful in preparing for the Passover.
Passover will occur at 7:45 on the evening of April 7th, 2020, just after sunset.General instructions:
For those who are eligible to take the Passover (baptized members), you should try to take the Passover if at all possible on the evening of April 7th, 2020, just after sunset. If for some reason you are physically unable to take the Passover at this time, you may observe it in your own home at the second Passover 30 days later (Numbers 9:11 Numbers 9:11The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
American King James Version×).
In advance, purchase or prepare a small amount of unleavened bread. Be sure the bread you use has no leavening in it whatsoever. Some Ry Krisp (check ingredients), or Jewish matzos (preferably plain varieties) should do just fine. You should also obtain a small amount of red wine. Be sure you do not use, fortified wine, for example, something that is blended with fruit juice or added sugar. The alcoholic content of the wine used will likely be around 10-13 percent. Wines containing 19 percent to 20 percent are fortified with brandy and should not be used. If you do not have any wine or unleavened bread on hand, I would suggest trying to get those things sooner, rather than later. If you are unable to obtain any, please let me know and we will make sure you get what is needed.
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 glasses of wine on the table to correspond to the number of those who will be participating. A tablespoon of wine in each glass should be sufficient for the service. The bread and the wine should be covered with clean white napkins.
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. Only baptized members should be participating in the actual service. Others may watch and observe.
I would add to these instructions that it would be appropriate to dress as you would if we were having Passover services in person (Sabbath attire), and to have your Bible and Hymnal (or the Hymnal app) with you. We will be singing hymn # 144 “All Must Be Well,” at the end of the Passover service.
While its ok to gather together in a very small groups, I assume most will keep the Passover service in their own homes. Husbands and wives may wash one another’s feet. Ladies may wash other ladies feet and men wash other men’s feet, but this should be done in separate areas. If you are by yourself, you should omit the foot washing portion of the service. It would not be appropriate to wash your own feet for Passover.
There are three ways to take the Passover at home this year:
- You can tune into the live local phone hookup that will be originating from my home in Cary. The live webcast will start at 7:30 PM and the Passover service will start promptly at 7:45 PM. Please dial in to listen to the service at (515) 606-5403 followed by 353318#. I would suggest printing this e-mail out to have as a reference in case there are any technical difficulties during the service, and you need to switch to using written instructions in the middle of the service.
- You can watch a pre-recorded Passover service at https://www.ucg.org/members/news/keeping-passover-at-home Again, I would suggest printing this e-mail out to have as a reference in case you have an issue with your computer during services.
- You can print out the notes and the instructions at the bottom of this e-mail, and read out loud the scriptures and follow the directions as outlined below.
If you have any questions about keeping the Passover this year, please feel free to write or call me at (919) 454-7989.
Your brother in Christ,
Written instructions for keeping the Passover at home
Below are written instructions for keeping the Passover at home if you are unable to tune into the phone hookup from Cary, or watch the recorded Passover service. Note: these are taken from our website https://www.ucg.org/members/news/keeping-passover-at-home
The one conducting the service should read aloud from the following scriptures: 1 Corinthians 11:23-30 1 Corinthians 11:23-30  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered to you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:  And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do you, as oft as you drink it, in remembrance of me.  For as often as you eat this bread, and drink this cup, you do show the Lord's death till he come.  Why whoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.  For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
American King James Version×; Luke 22:7-15 Luke 22:7-15  Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed.  And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat.  And they said to him, Where will you that we prepare?  And he said to them, Behold, when you are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he enters in.  And you shall say to the manager of the house, The Master said to you, Where is the guest room, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples?  And he shall show you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.  And they went, and found as he had said to them: and they made ready the passover.  And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.  And he said to them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
American King James Version×. Next, John 13:1-17 John 13:1-17  Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them to the end.  And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;  Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;  He rises from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.  After that he pours water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded.  Then comes he to Simon Peter: and Peter said to him, Lord, do you wash my feet?  Jesus answered and said to him, What I do you know not now; but you shall know hereafter.  Peter said to him, You shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash you not, you have no part with me.  Simon Peter said to him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.  Jesus said to him, He that is washed needs not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and you are clean, but not all.  For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, You are not all clean.  So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said to them, Know you what I have done to you?  You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another's feet.  For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.  Truly, truly, I say to you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.  If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.
American King James Version×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 Isaiah 53:3-6  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was on him; and with his stripes we are healed.  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
American King James Version×; Isaiah 53:10 Isaiah 53:10Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
American King James Version×; Isaiah 53:12 Isaiah 53:12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul to death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
American King James Version×; Matthew 8:16-17 Matthew 8:16-17  When the even was come, they brought to him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick:  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses.
American King James Version×; 1 Peter 2:20-24 1 Peter 2:20-24  For what glory is it, if, when you be buffeted for your faults, you shall take it patiently? but if, when you do well, and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.  For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:  Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously:  Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live to righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.
American King James Version×; and Hebrews 4:14-16 Hebrews 4:14-16  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
American King James Version×. 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 John 6:32-40  Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.  Then said they to him, Lord, ever more give us this bread.  And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.  But I said to you, That you also have seen me, and believe not.  All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out.  For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.  And this is the Father's will which has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
American King James Version×; John 6:48-51 John 6:48-51  I am that bread of life.  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.  This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.  I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
American King James Version×; John 6:53-58 John 6:53-58  Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him.  As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me.  This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shall live for ever.
American King James Version×; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 1 Corinthians 10:16-17  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?  For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
American King James Version×; and 1 Corinthians 11:24 1 Corinthians 11:24And when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.
American King James Version×. 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 Matthew 26:27-28  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink you all of it;  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
American King James Version×; 1 John 1:7-9 1 John 1:7-9  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleans us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
American King James Version×; Hebrews 9:11-15 Hebrews 9:11-15  But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh:  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
American King James Version×; Ephesians 1:7 Ephesians 1:7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
American King James Version×. 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 John 13:18I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.
American King James Version×through John 17:1-26 John 17:1-26  These words spoke Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify you:  As you have given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as you have given him.  And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.  I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do.  And now, O Father, glorify you me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world was.  I have manifested your name to the men which you gave me out of the world: your they were, and you gave them me; and they have kept your word.  Now they have known that all things whatever you have given me are of you.  For I have given to them the words which you gave me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from you, and they have believed that you did send me.  I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which you have given me; for they are yours.  And all my are yours, and your are mine; and I am glorified in them.  And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you. Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given me, that they may be one, as we are.  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name: those that you gave me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.  And now come I to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  I pray not that you should take them out of the world, but that you should keep them from the evil.  They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.  As you have sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;  That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me.  And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me.  Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me: for you loved me before the foundation of the world.  O righteous Father, the world has not known you: but I have known you, and these have known that you have sent me.  And I have declared to them your name, and will declare it: that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.
American King James Version×; 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 collect any leftover bread and wine that was blessed during the service. They should be disposed of privately and respectfully. The bread should be burned and the wine poured down the drain or on the ground outside (out of the view of others). If it is not possible to burn the bread, it should be disposed of in a way that will not allow it to be used for any other purpose or consumed as food.
These instructions are to help you in observing God’s sacred ordinance of the Passover.