Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As you know, due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 it is currently advised that public worship should be postponed. So, as we gather in our individual homes this Easter, please feel free to use these resources to guide your Worship @ Home.

from St John’s Worship Team.

Growing in faith; reaching out in love

Thursday 9 April – Maundy Thursday Passover Meal


Ingredients and Preparation

HAROSET:   Combine: ½ cup chopped nuts ½ cup diced apple 1Tbsp. cinnamon 1 Tbsp. sugar Red wine as desired – you could also use Balsamic vinegar, or cranberry or apple juice .  This recipe can be increased to serve any number; it should serve 4 to 6 people.

MARROR:  A bitter herb such as  parsley.

EGG:  Hard boiled egg (at least one slice per person)

SALT WATER:  A separate dish next to the dinner plate.

WINE GLASS:   This should be empty at the beginning of the meal.

MAZOTH: Buy flat bread or  One piece/person.  You may use an ordinary biscuit dough recipe and delete the baking soda and baking powder or use the following:

Mix well: 3¼  cups of flour 1 cup of water 1 Tbsp. salt.  Divide into three equal balls of dough.  Shape each into very thin circle 6 to 8 inch diameter.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and prick the dough with a fork.  Bake in a hot preheated for 5–6 minutes or until brown.

RED WINE/CORDIAL:  A carafe or pitcher with sufficient wine/cordial for each person to participate in three cups.

 NAPKIN: This will be used to cover the afikoman (hidden portion) during the meal.

LAMB: Roast lamb for dinner OR a small lamb steak or chop to share between your family. (If you are not eating roast lamb for dinner, you will need to also prepare a favourite meal to eat together following the devotion time).


Begin this devotion before your meal.
You may like to start by washing each others feet before you start.
Place the food (as above) on your table. 


Reader 1:   The central theme of the Passover is redemption. For us Passover means not only the physical exodus from Egypt, but our spiritual passing over from the bondage of sin as well.  The aim of our celebration on this Maundy Thursday is to bring the events and miracles of the past deliverance from Egypt into the present, so that each of us gathered here feels as though we had personally come out of bondage.  We are asked to bear witness to God’s redeeming action in the past, to act in conformity with his will in the present, and to renew our hope in further redemption.

Reader 2 :   We gather for this sacred celebration in the presence of loved ones and friends with the signs of celebration around us.  Together with the whole house of Israel, both young and old are linking the past and the future; we respond in faith to God’s call to service; we gather here to observe the Passover, as it is written:

All:  “The feast of the unleavened bread must be kept, because it was on that same day I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt.  Keep that day from age to age…” (Ex.12:17)

Lighting of the Festive Candles: (Light candles on the table).

Reader 1: Mother(s), please rise and light your nearby candle.  Still standing, please  say:

Mothers: In praising God we say that all life is sacred.  In kindling these festive lights, we are reminded of life’s sanctity.  With every holy candle we light, the world is brightened to a higher harmony.  We praise you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe who hallows our lives with commandments and bids us to light these festive holy lights. (If a mum is not present – anyone can read this!)

The First Cup:

 Reader 1:   We are called to remember the holiness of this festival commanded by the Lord.  The candles we have lit praise God for the holiness of our lives as his children.

Please now pour some of the drink into each person’s cup.

Let us prepare to drink the first cup, the Kiddush, or cup of sanctification.  We bless this drink and every food which is eaten, and every action which takes place as a gesture of thanksgiving to the Creator of all things.

Reader 2:  Our history teaches us that in varied ways and in different words God gave promises of freedom to our people.  With cups of wine we recall each one of them and now the first:

 All:  “ I am Yahweh.  I will free you from the burdens which the Egyptians lay on you.”  (Ex. 6:6)

Reader 2:   Please raise your cup.  We raise the Kiddush cup and proclaim the holiness of the Day of Deliverance.

All:  Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who has kept us in life, sustained us, and brought us to this session of joy!  (All drink the first cup)

Rebirth and Renewal:

Reader 1:    In the Song of Songs we read about the springtime of each year, the season of rebirth and renewal.  This poetry of nature and of love recalls for us the love between God and the people of Israel, and their covenant relationship.  The parsley symbolises the growth of springtime, and is a sign of hope and renewal.

Reader 2:  “See, winter is past, the rains are over and gone.  The flowers appear on the earth.  The season of glad songs has come…..” (Song of Songs 2:10-12).  (Each person takes some greens and dips them twice in salt water. Salt water represents the tears of the Israelites in bondage)

All:  Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the earth!  (The greens are now eaten.)

A Bond Formed by Sharing:

Reader 1:  A family member now will break the mazoth  (bread) on their plate, wrap the larger piece in a cloth, and conceal it as the “afikoman.”  This mazoth is later shared as the final food of our celebration but now serves as a visible reminder of the hidden Messiah whose appearance is awaited expectantly.

Reader 2:  (While breaking the mazoth)   This is the bread of affliction, the poor bread which our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt.  Let all who are hungry come and eat.  Let all who are in want, share in the hope of the Passover.  As we celebrate here, we join with people everywhere.  This year we celebrate here.  Next year in the land of Israel.  Now we are still enslaved.  Next year we will be free.

Mazoth, Maror, Haroset: 

Reader 1:  Please prepare and lift up your plates; on each plate place a piece of the mazoth – the unleavened bread and the maror (herbs) and Haroset, and join together in saying:

All:  Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.  We praise you, who hallows our lives with commandments, and who has commanded us regarding the eating of mazoth and maror.

Reader 1:  Mazoth is used to recall the fact that the dough used by the fleeing Israelties had not time to rise before the act of redemption.

 Maror, for us tonight parsley which symbolises the bitterness of the past suffering of the Jews in Egypt.

Haroset is a mixture of apples, spices, wine and nuts, and symbolises the mortar the Jews used in carrying out Pharaoh’s labour.

According to ancient custom, maror and haroset are eaten between two pieces of mazoth.  Break the piece of Mazoth on your plate in half and place some maror and haroset between and then join me in the following….

ALL:   In each of these elements we find symbols of our story:  the mazoth of freedom, the maror of slavery, the haroset of toil.  For in the time of bondage there is hope of redemption, and in the time of freedom, there is knowledge of servitude.  (All eat some of the mazoth, maror and haroset.)

The Four Questions:

Reader 2:  Traditionally, four children will ask the traditional questions which serve as an introduction to the Scripture.  The questions are asked by these young people because each generation is obligated to make the Exodus its own, and because the parent is obligated by Scripture to recount for his or her children what the Lord has done for them.

(The four young people rise and each ask their question in turn.)

Young person #1:  On all other nights we eat leavened bread: why on this night only mazoth?

Young person #2:  On all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs; why on this night only bitter herbs?

Young person #3:  On all other nights we do not dip our herbs at all; why on this night dip them twice?

Young person #4:  On all other nights we eat in an ordinary manner; why on this night do we dine with special ceremony?

The Answers:

 Reader 1:  Here are the answers to those questions.  Here is God’s story of taking us from slavery to freedom.

All:  We were slaves to Pharoah in Egypt, and the Lord freed us with his mighty hand.  Had the Lord not delivered us from Egypt, we, our children, and children’s children would still be enslaved.

Reader 2:   Therefore, even if all of us were wise, if all of us were a people of understanding, and learned in the law and prophets, it would still be our obligation to retell the story of the Exodus from Egypt.

All:  But there is more. Our redemption surpasses the history of the Exodus salvation.

Reader 2:  (He lifts up the lamb and says…) What is the meaning of the sacrificed lamb?

Reader 1:  The lamb bone represents the paschal lamb which our ancestors sacrificed to the Lord in memory of the night on which the Holy One passed over the houses of our ancestors in Egypt.  As it is written: “And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ritual mean?’ you will tell them, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Passover in honour of Yahweh who passed over the houses of the sons and daughters of Israel in Egypt, but spared our houses!’” (Ex.12:26-27).

Reader 2:  (Holding up a piece of mazoth – unleavened bread)  What is the meaning of the unleavened bread?

Reader 1:  It is the bread of affliction, which our ancestors took with them out of Egypt.  For, as it is written: “They baked cakes with the dough which they had brought from Egypt, unleavened because they had been driven out of Egypt with no time for dallying, and had not provided themselves with food for the journey.” (Ex.12:39)

Reader 2:  (Holding up the maror – the bitter herbs)  What is the meaning of the maror?

Reader 1:   Maror means bitter herb and symbolises the bitterness of the past suffering which our ancestors experienced in Egypt.  As it is written, “The Egyptians forced the children of Israel into slavery, and made their lives unbearable with hard labour, work with clay and brick, all kinds of work in the fields; they forced on them every kind of labour.” (Ex. 1:13-14).

Reader 2:  This part of the meal ends with the prayers of thanksgiving to God through reciting one of the Psalms of deliverance and drinking the second cup – the cup of deliverance.  Let us join together now in

Psalm 114 – Hymn for the Passover.

All:    Allelulia!  Allelulia!

Men:  When the Israelites escaped from Egypt- when the family of Jacob left that foreign land –

Women:  The land of Judah became God’s sanctuary, and Israel became his kingdom.

Men:  The Red Sea saw them coming and hurried out of their way!  The water of the Jordan River turned away.

Women:  The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs!

Men:  What’s wrong Red Sea, that made you hurry out of their way?  What happened Jordan River that you turned away?

Women:  Why mountains, did you skip like rams?  Why, hills, like lambs?

Men:  Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob.

Women:   He turned the rock into a pool of water; yes, a spring of water flowed from solid rock.

 The Second Cup

Reader 1:  (Rises and invites all to rise.  He lifts up the second cup and says🙂 “We recall the second promise of liberation.”

All:  “I will deliver you.”  (Ex. 6:6)

Reader 2:  It is written: “And on that day you shall explain to your children, ‘This is because of what Yahweh did for me when I came out of Egypt.’”  It is not only our ancestors that the Lord redeemed, but he redeemed us as well along with them, and all generations to come.  Lift up your cup and say with me:

All: Therefore, we are bound to thank, praise, honour, bless and adore him who brought us forth from slavery to freedom, from sorrow to joy, from mourning to feasting, from bondage to redemption, from darkness to great light.  We praise you, O God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine!

(All drink the second cup and sit.)


Reader 1:  The part of the meal is customarily begun with hard boiled eggs flavoured with salt water.  The egg symbolises new growth, new hope and new life.  Please dip a slice of egg in the salt water and eat it.

Reader 2:  The meat is eaten according to the custom that:  “The flesh(of the lamb) is to be eaten, roasted over the fire; it must be eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.” (Ex. 12:8).  Please take the piece of meat on your plate and eat it.


Reader 1:  We believe that at this point in the Last Supper Jesus instituted Holy Communion.  We reading Luke’s Gospel:  He took bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it and gave it to them saying, “This is my body, which is given for you; do this as a memorial of me.’”  (Lk. 22:19)

Reader 2:  As we share the afikoman – the hidden unleavened Messiah bread- let us realise that the fellowship which binds us together is the grace and peace we share as members of the Body of Christ.  Please take up a piece of our unleavened bread and eat it.

Reader 1:   Luke’s account continues:  “He did the same with the cup after the supper, and said, ‘This cup is the New Covenant in my blood which is poured out for you.” (Lk. 22:20)  Here we clearly see the connection between the cup of Jesus’ New Covenant and our final cup of the Passover meal – the cup of redemption.

Reader 2:  Please take up a cup and let us recall together the final promise:

All:  As it is written:  “I will redeem you with an outstretched arm.  “Praised are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine!”  (All drink the third cup)

Reader 2:   May the Lord bless us and keep us!  May the lord let his face shine upon us and be gracious to us!  May the Lord look upon us kindly and grant us peace!  Amen.


Eat the rest of the meal together.

When you have finished your meal – please go to Worship @ Home Maundy Thursday page to complete your devotion time,,,


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