Sabbath Message 070731120
It is always good to be reminded of basic guidelines. Here below is a summary guide for the keeping of God’s Feasts.
Deut. 16:15 Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice.
This guide contains a list of subjects and items to be reminded in preparing and having a great Feast. Its objective is to help God’s People to better prepare and to rejoice at God’s Feasts. It can also be useful to new comers as well as others in the Faith.
Choice of the Feast site
Generally, the Feast site should be chosen in a rural area and not in the middle of a large city. Preferably, the site should be in a houses or recreation sites or lodges of sufficient size to accommodate the expected number of persons where meals can be prepared and eaten together. As we avoid restaurants on Sabbath days, we should also try to avoid the use of places such as a motel or hotel where employees work on the Sabbath and Holy Days or if that has to be chosen we should not use the employees on Sabbaths and Holy Days.
Traveling to the Feast site
During a Sabbath or Holy Day, unless in an emergency, we should avoid traveling on long distances or use paying public transportation (plane, train, cabs, etc.). For those who work as employees, one must plan ahead and request the necessary days off from his employer to allow sufficient time for traveling and the preparation on the Feast Site.
To attend God’s Feasts, one must believe in the One True God, Eloah, the Father and Creator of Yahoshua the messiah, the Christ. Besides the baptized adults in the Church (and their children), may also attend adults who have signed the applicable Fellowship Form and who sincerely wish to learn of the True Faith in humility and peace. Only the Lord’s Supper of Passover is exclusively limited to baptized adults, All the other Feast activities are open to all participants.
Baptism before the Feast
It is the custom of God's Churches to proceed to the baptisms of the repentant adults (20 years and older) just before the Feast, i.e. on the day preceding the beginning of the Feast. In particular, for the Passover Feast, it allows the newly baptized adults to participate in the Lord’s Supper for the first time.
Initial Feast information meeting
A Feast Coordinator should be named or chosen for each Feast Site by the Regional or National Coordinator. The Feast coordinator should hold a general meeting with all the adults before the beginning of the Feast to review the Feast organization, the sharing of responsibilities and all other related questions. The Feast Plan and the lists of responsibilities should be handed out on paper to all adults.
All participants should give to the coordinator in an envelope the next of kin contact information (telephone) to contact in case of an emergency. This should be sent to the secretaries and kept on file.
An offering is commanded at God’s three annual Feasts : at Passover, at Pentecost and at the Feast of Booths. No man may come empty handed , as small as the offering may be. The Offering must be handed to the Coordinator before the first Sabbath or Holy Day of the Feast (see the paper God’s Calendar (No. 156))
Arrival for Preparation
A period of adequate preparation should be planned before the beginning of the Feast to get ready and prepare the Feast site: if possible, a period of 24 hours before the beginning of the first Sabbath or of the first day (EENT) where the first Convocation takes place. This would also allow the making of any last minute purchases. It would also give a little additional time to renew old friendships and to discuss freely after possibly a long period of separation.
Also, after the Feast, restoring back the Feast site (to its original state before our use) should be the responsibility of all the participants. All should thus plan a period of time for this task before returning home.
All the participants should contribute to the efforts of preparation as much as possible. If it is required to move furniture or other objects such unwanted images from the facilities, we have to note their placement before so as to put them back to their respective places before leaving.
The surrounding of the Feast site should be examined before the Feast for reason of security to take the necessary precautions in case of unexpected situation. The food should be prepared as much as possible beforehand, especially before Sabbath days and Holy Days.
We should post in the conference room in the sight of all a poster or plaque of God’s 10 commandments.
The person in charge of security must find the information and location of the nearest hospital and emergency services and inform all participants.
Sharing of the responsibilities
Divers tasks are necessary for the organization and the preparation of the Feast site. All participants are invited to participate in these tasks according to the detailed list prepared beforehand. The coordinator of the Feast Site will attribute to each person certain responsibilities for the period of the Feast according to the talents and the capacities of each.
Among these responsibilities, we can enumerate the following ones:
- The organization of the feast site
- The initial preparation of the site
- The food and additional purchases
- The Conduct of the Meetings and the prayers
- Health and safety
- The neatness of the site. The site must be left at least as clean as when it was handed over to us and hopefully in better condition.
It is the responsibility of all to respond to the special needs of the handicapped persons or having special needs. The Feast Site should be chosen in consideration of persons using wheelchairs, for example. If necessary, other adults would be assigned for the duration of the Feast to care for such persons.
Responsibility of the Children
The parents must have the full watch of their children on the Feast site at all time. They must not leave their children outside of their sight nor let them leave the Feast site alone. In the case of a single-parent family, the other adults must assist the parent to take care of the children. Another adult should be assigned to help the parent for the duration of the Feast to assist as necessary.
If possible, a separate room should be prepared where the children can play and where the mother can listen to the sermons through an additional speaker system in this room.
If the number of children allows it and if possible, biblical lessons and activities should be prepared for the children by the mothers and the other voluntary women in a separate room.
Conduct of Services
The Church Services during the Feasts should be held normally once a day, either at about 09:00 am, and/or about 3:00 pm, except on Sabbath and Holy Days on which 2 Services are recommended (09h00 and 15h00).
Only for the Passover Feast, the following Services must be held at the fixed hours below.
The Lord’s Supper of Passover must take place just after dark (EENT) on 14 Nisan. The Memorial of the Death of the Lamb must be held at about 3:00 pm on 14 Nisan. The Passover Night Vigil of 15 Nisan must be held after dark on the night of 15 Nisan from the meal eaten together in which the youngest person present asks the questions “Why are we doing this” and the answers provided form the basis of the discussion. No formal service is permitted as wine is served at this meal. The vigil should continue after midnight to commemorate the passing of the angel.
For Feast of Booths, Services are at the normal hours of 09:00 am or 3:00 pm.
Services include prayers, hymn singing of praise, a sermon or the reading of the Bible or the biblical studies. Only baptized men may do the reading and the public prayers. The procedure of Services as follows:
- Opening Prayer for Services
- Songs of Praise for opening
- Sermon or Reading of the Bible or biblical studies
- Songs of Praise for closing
- Closing Prayer
Additional question periods and free discussions can be planned to allow all (including women) to freely ask their questions.
The appropriate preparation days must be planned before every Sabbath and Holy Days. Services may be held only in the morning on preparation days.
Hymns to sing
The hymns to sing should reflect the true Biblical Theology. We need to find and sing proper songs of Praise to our One True God Eloah. The church has issued a hymnal for usage. Some songs have been modified from their original. There is a CD for hymns in accompaniment.
Expenses at the Feast
The Second tithe must be used to cover all traveling, dwelling and food expenses at the Feast Site. Anyone needing financial aid must talk to his coordinator before the Feast. The local Third Year Fund is established for that purpose. When a shared habitation is rented for all the participants where food is shared in common, the expenses on the Feast site should be shared by all the adults equally except for alcoholic products and other personal purchases. We thus divide the total cost of the Feast Site by the number of adults and not by rooms or other. The couples are thus considered as 2 adults. The children aged less than 20 years are not counted. The children are not at the charge of their parents only but are taken care of by all the adults present.
In the Third year we give our Second tithe to the local fund for the poor to keep the following Feasts.
All Feast participants must follow the Dress Code of the Church (See the Dress Code).
Spirit of the Feast
The Feast site must be a place of peace, calm, joy and harmony. We are commanded to rejoice at the one True God Eloah’s Feasts. Behaviors should always be courteous and respectful.
Ministers are not permitted to consume alcohol prior to conducting Services.
Smoking of cigarettes or other tobacco is not allowed in CCG at all.
Rules of discussion
Question periods may be planned after the official Services. The discussions must take place in respect of the other persons. Certain rules of discussion should be followed during the question periods and/or group discussions. These rules must allow all (including women) to ask questions freely and in order. A moderator should be named to keep order in the group. Only one person may speak at one time and should not be interrupted before he has ended. Every person who wants to speak must make a sign to ask to speak and the moderator gives permission in the order that the persons have requested it.
The food should be planned beforehand for the whole duration of the Feast. Those who prepare some of the food (to freeze) beforehand to share must keep their receipts of purchase so that these costs are shared by the others.
We must follow the biblical Food laws. See the paper The Food Laws No.15 People with special dietary needs or allergies should ensure that those responsible for the catering are made aware.
List of items to bring
Some items are required for the Feast site and should be listed separately in more details. Among these items, we propose the following:
- A First Aid Kit
- An emergency Kit
- Flashlights with additional batteries
- A banner or a wall plaque of the 10 commandments
May we all have a great Feast and truly rejoice from the goodness and love of our Great Father Eloah.
Jacques Guérard, Coordinator for Canada and the French-speaking Work.