There are many brethren who, because of circumstances, must keep the Passover by themselves or in a small group. You will need to make adjustments considering how many brethren will be participating. Obviously, if you take the Passover or Lord's Supper by yourself, you will forego the "Foot Washing Ceremony".
The Passover; also referred to as "The Lord's Supper" should be observed soon after sunset. Most of us who observe the Feasts and Holy Days celebrate what some refer to as "The New Testament Passover" on the evening of the 14th Day of the First Month of the Hebrew Calendar. This year 2021 the Passover will be observed on the secular calendar on Friday evening at sundown of March 26. Bear in mind that this is one day earlier than the Jewish Passover. Some do keep a different calendar. It is not the purpose of this short article to discuss this issue; but to simply provide a format for a Passover Service.
In advance, purchase or prepare a small amount of unleavened bread. Be sure the bread you use has no leavening in it whatsoever. Some Rye Krisp (check ingredients), or Jewish matzos (preferably plain varieties) should do just fine You may choose to make your own unleavened bread ahead of time ( A recipe for unleavened bread is listed below). Be aware that self rising flour has leavening. You should also obtain a small amount of natural red wine. It is best to have a natural, not-sweet, unfortified wine; alcoholic content preferably between 10 percent and 13 percent. Avoid wines that are of a higher alcoholic content, since they are fortified with additional ingredients such as brandy. Cabernet Sauvignon is an excellent choice. Grape juice is not appropriate. It was never used at Passover by Jesus, ancient Israel, or the original New Testament Church. They used only wine, contrary to some teaching.
Prepare the room in advance; trying to keep everything as neat and orderly as possible. Again, the Passover should be observed in the early evening, soon after sunset. There should be enough unleavened bread and glasses of wine available to provide for the number that will be participating. It would probably be best to have the bread and wine on two separate trays; since they will be blessed individually. A small glass; with a tablespoon or two of wine is adequate. Most Bible stores sell Passover trays with small glasses if you would prefer to use them; as we do in our local congregation. The unleavened bread should be placed on a separate plate; do not break the bread until it has been blessed. It would be good; especially if more than one is participating, to cover the bread and glasses of wine with clean white napkins.
Foot Washing Preparation
In preparation for the Foot Washing service, each of the brethren should bring their own plastic pan and towel. You will probably need a main bucket or container to dip out a small pan or two of water into each plastic wash pan for the Foot Washing. You will also need a separate bucket, container or sink if available to pour dispose of the water from each wash pan after the foot washing is completed. It is better if possible to have the men and women in separate groups. You will probably want to dedicate separate sections of the room for this purpose; if separate rooms are not available. We have a portable curtain in our small congregation to respectfully give the women some privacy. Discretion and good judgement are the key. A husband would be the preferable one to wash his wife's feet if no other women are present.
Passover Attitude and Spirit
Since Passover is the most solemn evening of the year, it is good to allow the brethren for some time for quiet reflection and self-examination before the ceremony begins. ONLY BAPTIZED MEMBERS should be participating in the actual service. While it is a sacred evening; more subdued in spirit, it is not wrong for some reverent conversation and fellowship before and after the service. Some have gone to extremes in the past and frowned upon any conversation or fellowship at the Passover. That is not the spirit in which Christ kept the last Passover with His disciples. Obviously, it is not a night for a lot of frivolity and disrespect for the Passover's sacred import; but it is an evening for joy and thankfulness for all that our Savior has done for us. Balance and a reverent attitude is the key.
1. Open With Prayer
The one who is conducting the service, should open with prayer. We should give thanks to God the Father, for His Son, our Passover, who died in our place. Thanking God for His love He has for us; and the love He has given us for each other is also important. Ask God to bless the entire evening. It is good to remember and ask God's blessing and protection on all of our brethren who are observing the Passover around the world. Ask for God's protection on them as they travel during the Festival season. Close in the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
2. Beginning Scripture — Luke 22:7-15.
The one conducting the service should begin by reading aloud from this and the following passages. When you read these verses out of Luke — to avoid misunderstanding — you will probably want to mention that the ENTIRE eight Holy Day season of Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread — were sometimes called "The Days of Unleavened Bread" — and sometimes called the "Feast of Passover".
3. Passover Attitude — 1 Corinthians 11:17-28
You should make mention here that Paul admonishes us in these scriptures in regard to the reverent attitude we should observe the Passover and partaking of the symbols with. It is well to understand that Paul was correcting them — according to the original Greek — of taking the Passover in an "irreverent" or "unworthy" manner. It wasn't that he was necessarily questioning their personal worthiness. All of us come short of Christ's stature.
4. Important Passover Scriptures — Isaiah 53:1-9, Matthew 8:16-17, 1 Peter 2:20-24 and Hebrews 10:12-22
Read these passages before you wash one another's feet and partake of the symbols.
5. Foot Washing Scripture — John 13:1-17
You should mention that before the disciples partook of the Passover symbols of bread and wine — they washed one another's feet. After reading John 13:1-17 , then say "We will now have the "Foot Washing Ceremony". ( After the Foot Washing ceremony the one conducting the service should wash their hands.)
6. Before Partaking of the Bread — John 6:47-58, Matthew 26:27
After reading these scriptures, uncover the Unleavened Bread and pray, asking God to bless the bread as the symbol of Jesus Christ's body, broken for our sins. Given thanks to God for His power to heal and for the healing and forgiveness of our sins through Christ's broken body and stripes. Break the bread into bite size pieces and pass it around to those assembled. Wait patiently for everyone to eat the bread before proceeding.
7. Before Partaking of the Wine — 1 Peter 1:18-21, Matthew 26:28-29
Now, uncover the wine and pray. Ask God to bless and accept the wine as a symbol of the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ. The prayer should include thanks to God the Father for giving us His Son who shed His blood and died in our place — that we might be forgiven of our sins — and have eternal life. Distribute the wine to the brethren. It is usually best to give them time to thoughtfully partake of the wine; then pass the trays to take up the empty glasses before proceeding.
8. Christ's Final Encouragement and Words — John - Chapters 13-17
You probably will want to select portions of each chapter to read beforehand; as reading the whole section would probably be too long.
9. Closing Hymn — Mark 14:25-26
Mention now that we follow their example and sing a hymn to close the service. God's Church has not historically closed the Passover with a prayer — but a hymn. A good hymn to sing would be "In Thy Loving Kindness Lord" page 31 in our hymnal ( See Link Below). You may choose as appropriate hymn in a hymnal that you have available. You also may want to have printed sheet music of the hymn you choose to sing to hand out to the brethren. Smaller groups may desire to have perhaps some recorded music to accompany your final hymn. If none is available; it is perfectly fine to sing acappella. Before you begin singing; that would be a good time to make any special announcements; such as the time and location of the First Day of Unleavened Bread service or Night To Be Much Observed information ( first evening of Unleavened Bread )which many Feast keepers have historically celebrated.
After the hymn, it is fitting to bid everyone a "good evening" and encourage them to "have a safe trip home" — "God's Blessings!" — whatever you feel inspired to say!
10. After the Service
Any bread or wine that was blessed and left over from the service should not be used again for any other purpose. It should be respectfully discarded. Some may choose to burn up the unleavened bread and pour remaining wine out upon the ground.
You may access this hymn for Passover at this link: In Thy Loving Kindness(* Page 41)
You may access this hymn for Passover at this link: In Thy Loving Kindness(* Page 31)
Also, you can access this entire hymnal at this link: *HYMNAL
We have an entire Passover Service recorded if you would like to use this as a guide. It will walk you through the Passover Service. : PASSOVER SERVICE 2014
Passover Bread Recipe
1 cup of whole wheat flour-sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup of water - enough to moisten and roll into a ball
pinch off a small ball and roll on floured surface very thin
shake off excess flour
bake at 400-F 8-12 minutes
Remember: Leave bread intact, not broken, until Passover evening. (Exodus 12:46, John 9:36)