Zichron Mashiach

4.7 Zichron Mashiach: Decisions & Commentary

4.7.1 Zichron Mashiach is a mitzvah, a commandment of the Messiah. It is not an optional act of piety but a fundamental expression of God’s covenant with Israel renewed by the self-offering of Yeshua.

4.7.2 While Zichron Mashiach was instituted in the context of Pesach, there is no evidence that its practice was ever restricted to that season. It appears that the earliest followers of Yeshua observed it weekly. For practical reasons it is difficult for most Messianic congregations to observe Zichron Mashiach with such frequency. Nevertheless, we should aim to observe it at least monthly.

4.7.3 Zichron Mashiach may be observed in the context of a communal meal. In such a context the bread will be distributed at the beginning of the meal, and the fruit of the vine at the end of the meal. The mitzvah berachah (lizkor et Meshicho) will be recited before partaking of the bread, and an adapted Messianic version of Ya’aleh ve Yavo will be inserted in the third blessing of the grace after meals before the distribution of the fruit of the vine.

4.7.4. Zichron Mashiach may also be observed outside the context of a communal meal. In such cases an adapted version of the Mussaf Amidah will be recited, with the Messianic Ya’aleh ve Yavo inserted in the fourth blessing. The mitzvah berachah (lizkor et Meshicho) will be recited before receiving the bread and fruit of the vine.

4.7.5 Whether celebrated in the context of a communal meal or outside that context, Zichron Mashiach will also include a recitation of the narrative in which Yeshua instituted the rite, including his words of institution. The narrative of institution will be taken from 1 Corinthians 11:24–26, Matthew 26:26–29, or Luke 22:19–20, or consist of a composite of these texts.

4.7.6 Either unleavened or leavened bread may be used in the rite, though unleavened bread is preferred as recalling the original context of Pesach and as binding the rite to a distinctively Jewish type of food (though Challah could also accomplish this end).

4.7.7 As in Kiddush generally, either wine or grape juice may be employed in the rite, though wine is preferred. To express the sanctity of the event, only kosher wine or grape juice should be used.

4.7.8 In fulfilling the role of representing Yeshua, the bread and the fruit of the vine employed in the rite should be treated with special respect. Just as Jewish tradition ordains that books containing the divine Name be treated with special care, and not be disposed of in a profane manner, so these elements – which in the context of this rite represent for us the divine Name incarnate – should be treated with special care, and remaining portions should be consumed rather than discarded.

4.7.9 Zichron Mashiach expresses, confirms, and deepens the unity of the twofold body of Messiah. Therefore, while our own celebrations of this rite shall be conducted in a way that expresses its inherently Jewish character, we should look for opportunities to welcome Christian friends to share the meal with us. As appropriate situations arise, we should also respond favorably to invitations to share with our Christian friends in their own ecclesial celebrations of this rite.