How to Prepare for a Seder

Just as Jesus sent the disciples to prepare for the Passover, so we need your help to prepare!

The speaker will arrive approximately 45 minutes before the service to set up. For the most effective presentation, we ask the church or hosting group to provide some of the items, as it can be difficult for the speaker to transport all the materials needed. We’ve included visual instructions to give you an idea of what is needed.

Because the congregation participates, a Seder often runs approximately two hours. Most churches take an hour or more to serve the food, eat, and cleanup the meal. Please allow sufficient time and inform your members if the service will be longer than usual. Our part of the presentation lasts over an hour. You might like to consider having a Communion service after the Seder. If you choose to have Communion, our preference is for the pastor or spiritual leader to preside over the elements. These arrangements can be discussed when the Jews for Jesus missionary calls to confirm the details of the event.

Songs on the atonement, the cross or the Lamb of God would be appropriate within the service. Unless the room is very small and intimate, make sure the leader has a microphone, preferably hands free.

Food Items and Instructions

Click here for recipes, songs and other resources. (Found in the bottom right hand corner.)

Do we need to serve lamb?

No. While we love lamb, it’s usually cost prohibitive. However, this is your event and you can serve lamb if you’d like.

What kind of meat can we serve? Or not serve?

Serve dishes using chicken or beef (search online for Passover recipes). Also, to offer a more traditional Passover meal, do not use pork or shellfish, yeast, baking soda, or other rising agents. Call us if you have any questions about this list. Thank you for making this a special time of ministry!

Leader’s Table:

The food items listed on the following page should be placed in clear bowls on the leader’s table as pictured below. Clear containers allow everyone to see the contents easily.

Items not shown:

  • Bowl of tap water for washing. A transparent medium sized bowl is preferred. Soap isn’t needed.
  • Small cloth to dry hands after washing
  • Pitcher of grape juice
  • Clear glass or plastic cup for drinking the grape juice
  • Large white dinner napkin (paper or cloth is fine) 

Please have one large table (six feet long is the preferred length) with a white tablecloth. Place a chair and a large bed pillow with white slipcases at each end. Since this is supposed to represent the dining room in a Jewish home, it’s best not to use folding chairs. (But please don’t bring your good dining room chairs from home!)

Also, have two 12-inch white dinner candles with holders and matches to light them. If you can’t find 12-inch candles, slightly shorter is fine. Dripless candles are best. If there are several services, a fresh set of candles for each service will look best but is not required. (You can use a BBQ lighter if matches are not available.)

Table ChairTable Setup3
This picture shows a typical table, food items, candles and one of the chairs with pillow.The speaker will bring additional items to place on the table so the final setup will look like the photo above.


Congregation Tables:

Will we need to plate a set of elements for each person? No. “Family style” usually works best when serving the elements to a whole table. But everyone will need their own place setting, cup for juice/wine, an empty plate and a fork.

The below items should be placed at each table. Use the leader table images as an example.

  • Two candles, holders and matches.
  • Pitchers of grape juice with enough juice for each person to refill their cup four times. (Half glasses are fine. Some churches may prefer to use wine.)
  • Small glass or paper cups for each person.
  • Enough matzo for each person to have half a piece. (Not pictured below.) You can buy matzo in the ethnic food section of a store or online through Popular brands include, Yehuda, Manischewitz, and Streit’s. (Do not use egg matzo as it’s not kosher for Passover.)
  • One or two bowls, depending on size of table, of plain water for washing hands. Towels for drying.
  • Half of a peeled hardboiled egg per person.
  • A small bowl of salt water for every four people.
  • A few sprigs of parsley (enough so that each person gets a little sprig).
  • Unpeeled onion or horseradish root found in the produce department.
  • A small bowl of charoseth (see recipe below). About one tablespoon per person should do it, but this is a tasty combination and people will want more than a spoonful!
  • Small dish of ground horseradish.


A hard-boiled egg. You can use a brown egg or you can color the shell by hard-boiling in coffee.Water and salt. Add enough salt to the water so that it appears “cloudy.”
Some parsley sprigs. Not chopped.An unpeeled onion, or you can substitute a horseradish root if available.
Charoset Diced FinelyHorseradish
This is Charoseth.  Finely diced apples, peeled and cored. Pieces can be the size pictured so as to resemble mortar (a reminder of the Israelites’ building projects in Egypt). Follow the recipe below.Ground horseradish.This item is often found in the ethnic food section of your market. Many stores will have a “Passover” area during the spring. (Morehouse or Manischewitz brands are good ones to use.) If you can’t find it, ask your grocer for help.



  • 2 tart apples
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Passover wine (or grape juice)

Core apples (it is not necessary to peel them). Chop apples and walnuts together in food processor or by hand until finely chopped (the size of grape nuts). Stir in the cinnamon, honey and wine until well blended. Will serve 10-12 people. Remember, you will need 1 tbsp. per person so please adjust the recipe accordingly.

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