Guidelines for Celebrating the Spring Feasts
Preparing for the Passover
The Passover Seder Meal is a family gathering established by God to celebrate the liberation of Israel from Egyptian captivity and humanity’s redemption from sin and death through Jesus Christ. It is a celebration meal to be shared by family members and friends. The Church Family Passover Seder Meals will be March 25th-28th at 7pm nightly at The Power Center. If you are unable to attend one of the meals, you can celebrate the Passover Seder in your home using the Home Seder Guide. There will a limited number of Passover Seder Kits available for purchase in The Pointe Bookstore, beginning Sunday, March 18th.
Preparing for the Feast of the Unleavened Bread
The observance of the Feast of Unleavened Bread offers us an intentional time to “spring clean” our lives. Explain to your friends and family that as we celebrate Passover and the Feast of Unleavened, we ask God for the power to choose a life not dominated by sin and live into the freedom found in obedience to His Kingdom ways.
LET’S GET THE LEAVEN OUT! You can eat leavened products through the afternoon of Tuesday, March 26th. Evening of Sunday, March 24th, do a final inspection in your house for any leaven.
By sundown, March 26th, all leaven should be out of the house and not be consumed for the next 7 days. You may purchase leavened products again beginning April 2nd after sundown.
What is Leaven?
Leaven is yeast or any “fermenting” substance used to make dough or other foods rise or sour. Some yeast derivatives are added to foods for flavor or nutritional purposes. The rules of leavening also apply to foods prepared from five types of grain: barley, wheat, rye, oats and spelt.
Removing food products that contain leaven (yeast, baking soda, baking powder, sodium bicarbonate, autolyzed yeast, & yeast extract) has its roots in ancient Passover preparation. Thirty days before the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, the women of every household began removing all leaven (known as “chametz” in Hebrew) from their homes. According to Exodus 13:7, as long as leaven remains in the house, a person cannot legitimately celebrate Passover. Removing leaven is a spiritual as well as a physical cleansing. Jesus spoke of leaven as a symbol of sin in the gospels (i.e., Luke 12:1), and the apostle Paul did likewise in I Corinthians 5:6-8.
Instructions for Removing Leavened Food Products
Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel. On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat–that only may be prepared by you. [So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this same day I will have brought your armies out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as an everlasting ordinance. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses, since whoever eats what is leavened, that same person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a stranger or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread. Exodus 12: 15-19 (NKJV)
The Lord requires us to clean our homes of any food products that contain any kind of leaven: yeast, baking powder, baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, autolyzed yeast, or yeast extract. Also, traditionally most foods that contain wheat, barley, rye, oats, or spelt, except for matzah, are refrained from during Passover, as they are often processed in mills where leaven is present. Foods with leaven include most breads, cereals, cakes, pies, crackers, and soups. Read the labels on all of your foods, especially in the pantry and freezer. You may be surprised about the foods that contain leaven. It is easy to identify packaged foods that are usable during Unleavened Bread by looking for product packages bearing one of these symbols: or “OU Kosher for Passover.
Here is a suggested leavening removal guide:
March 4th -10th : All frozen foods containing leaven or the 5 forbidden grains.
March 11th -17th : All canned goods containing leaven or the 5 forbidden grains.
March 18th -24th : All crackers, pastry products, seasonings, sauces, and condiments containing leaven or the 5 forbidden grains.
Sundown, March 24th: All leavened products should be out of the home.
The general idea is to symbolize a purified life in Jesus by “eating clean” for the 7 days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This diet is also a healthier way to eat.
Here are some examples of foods to keep in your home:
All fresh fruits, vegetables, 100% fruit juices, milk, eggs, unflavored nuts, peas, beans, rice, quinoa, matzah, good quality meats, and packaged foods with the or “OU Kosher for Passover” symbols. Most major grocery stores in the Houston area now have a Kosher food section.
Example of Kosher for Passover product labels:
Accent ® Seasoning
(i.e. bagels, donuts, cookies, cakes)
Bread of all kinds
Most Catsup. Read the label!
Cheeses & Processed Cheese Spread
All Crackers (Saltine, Wheat Thins, etc)
Doritos & flavored chips
Aged and fermented products
Wheat Flour, all kinds
Lipton® Noodles and Sauce
Some Sausage contains grain fillers and/or yeast derivatives.
All Cereal Products (that contain oats, wheat, barley, rye, or spelt.)
Some smoked and cured meats. Please read the label. Some curing and artificial smoking processes use yeast extract!
Again, if in doubt, ask the following questions:
Does this food or drink contain any leavening agents? Yeast or yeast derivatives? Baking soda or baking powder? Was yeast (or any other leavening agent) involved in the process of making this food? NOTE: ALL fermented foods/drinks are NOT allowable during Passover, except that which is specifically labeled as kosher for Passover.
Does this food or drink contain any wheat (except matzah or matzah products), barley, rye, oats, or spelt?
If the answer to either of these questions is “yes,” then that food is NOT allowable during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.