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Here is a sermon by Mr. Armstrong on preparing for the Passover (Passover Examination). You should listen to the sermon (or another Passover Sermon) within a few days prior to Passover, the Sabbath before Passover would be an excellent opportunity.

The video on this page is a Passover Service conducted by Mr. Armstrong on April 17, 1981. It is a full Passover service, that has been divided into sections. Each section has a pause area for conducting services in your home.

Sections consist of:
  • Introduction/Footwashing Ceremony (pause at: 11:06)
  • Bread Ceremony (pause at: 20:32)
  • Wine Ceremony (pause at: 23:28)
  • Conclusion
  • Final Hymn (Page 22 Purple Hymnal "To Thee I Lift My Soul")

Instructions from Mr. Armstrong: (1970*)

If you are eligible to take the Passover, but unable to meet with one of God's Churches at the prescribed time, you may observe it in your own home alone or with other eligible members of your family as follows:

In advance, purchase or prepare a small amount of unleavened bread. Jewish Matzoth, or Matzos, may be purchased at many grocery stores. Rye Krisp is unleavened (look for the words "unleavened" on the package) and may be used, or you may make some flat cakes, made without any leavening agent (no yeast, soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, etc.). Also have ready a small amount of natural red wine. Grape juice was never used at Passover by Jesus, ancient Israel, or the original pure New Testament Church. They used only wine, contrary to the perverted teaching of certain sects that have sprung up during the past 350 or 400 years. There was no way to preserve grape juice in Bible times. Grape juice is dead, wine has LIFE and therefore symbolizes the blood of Jesus which was His LIFE (as a man). Jesus Himself used wine. Nothing else is proper. The Jews use wine to this day, and always have used it. Be sure you obtain a natural, unfortified wine. Alcoholic content will be between 10% and 13%. Wines containing 19% to 20% are fortified with grape brandy and should not be used. The label will tell you the percent of alcohol. It should be a red wine preferably claret or burgundy, but any natural wine could be used.

Be prepared to observe the sacred ordinance in the early evening, soon after dark. Be sure the room is prepared very neatly, and clean. Have a small amount of unleavened bread, and very small glasses of wine (one for each person) prepared on a tray or table. Place not more than a tablespoon of wine in each small glass, and prior to the ordinance have these emblems covered with an immaculate white napkin.

When the time has arrived for the ordinance, let the family quietly, solemnly, come into the room prepared. Let the head of the family (the husband or father) conduct the brief and solemn service. No un-converted, un-baptized children should participate. No adults should be present but truly converted Sons of God who have been baptized. There should be no visiting, talking, laughing, joking, or conversation. You are meeting on the most solemn and serious occasion of the entire year. All should come into the room reverently.

Let the one who conducts the service open the Bible and read Luke 22:7-8 and 14-15; then Matthew 26:17, and 26-30; then Paul's instruction in I Corinthians 11:23-30. Next, read John 6:53-54, noticing this ordinance is commanded as necessary for all Christians. Then read John 13:1-17. Then, if two or more people are participating, wash one another's feet. (Wash pans and clean towels should be provided before starting service.) If four or more people, two or more of each sex, the men may retire to a different room for this part of the service. If one person is observing it alone, this part of the ordinance must, of course, be omitted.

Then, after the pans, towels, and water are removed and the room again is in neat order, the one conducting the service will remove the napkin from over the bread and wine, and bowing head, give thanks and ask God in prayer to bless the BREAD, as a symbol of His body, broken for us (for physical healing). Then break the bread into small bits, pass, and each one quietly and solemnly eat one small piece of the bread.

Then, over the wine the one conducting the service will pray, giving thanks and asking God to bless it to this sacred use as the symbol of His bloodshed for remission of our sins. Then pass the wine, each one taking a glass, and quietly, reverently drinking it as a renewal of your acceptance of the blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins. Replace the glasses on the tray or table, cover them and the unused bread again with the napkin.

Then the leader will read aloud portions from John 13:18 on thru the 17th chapter of John. These are the words Jesus spoke to His disciples after His last Passover Supper with them, just before He was seized to be taken and crucified. Since it is rather long, the leader may, in advance of the service, mark certain portions of these chapters to be read instead of reading it all.

After this scripture reading, sing a hymn if possible, and dismiss, quietly leaving the room without conversation. It is well for the leader to remind the others at the start of the service that this is the most solemn and sacred occasion of the year the anniversary of the death of our Lord and Savior, and a service observed IN MEMORY of His death.

This service may be observed, if necessary, by one person alone, or by two, or more. If two or more, the foot-washing should be included.

After the service has ended, and the people have left the room, the one in charge should destroy any portion of the bread and wine left over which was taken into the room for the service and which had been blest. Do not take the bottle into the room where the service is held, but only the small amount poured previously into the little glasses. If you know the exact number of people partaking of the service, there will be none left over to be destroyed. Only such wine or bread actually taken into the room for the service, and prayed over during the service, need be destroyed! But none of the bread or wine blest by the prayer as the body and blood of our Savior ought to be consumed for any other purpose after the service. Burn the remaining bread and pour any remaining wine down the drain, or on the ground outdoors.

These instructions are sent in love from your pastor,
Herbert W. Armstrong

Passover Bread Recipe:

  • 1 pound of plain whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • Water, room temperature
Directions: Preheat oven 450-F
  • 1. Mix flour and salt.
  • 2. Add oil and sufficient water to make a stiff dough.
  • 3. Divide dough into small, manageable pieces.
  • 4. Roll each pieces out on a thinly-floured board, prick all over with a fork. (Helps to get rid of air bubbles)
  • 5. Lightly "score" the rolled out dough, so it breaks into uniform sizes for Passover.
  • 6. Bake on a lightly-oiled baking sheet until pale brown and crisp. (About 10 minutes)
  • The kitchen should be unleavened beforehand.
  • Leave bread intact, not broken, until Passover evening. (Exodus 12:46, John 9:36)

Sermon Date: April 17, 1981