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© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

The congregation in  the meantime sang hymns "We are praising you our Lord, we are happy as we are living well under your protection", and "It's peace that has come from Jesus Christ," "Birds have got their nes.ts~ and they liv.e in them, even the fish have their homes." During these hymns no drums were beaten. Many members did not come for Foot Washing as the Moruti had continually warned them that they should only come if they were sure they were pure, otherwise they would be committing a bad sin. (While the feet of the Gaborone Secretary were washed, the Kanye Secretary took over the Bible reading))

Holy Communion

When everyone's feet had been washed the Gaborone Secretary read Mark 14, v. 22-24. As she read how "Jesus took out bread and gave it to His disciples", the Baruti in charge took out little blue wafers and put them on a plate on a napkin and the wine was poured into a glass wrapped in a blue plastic bag. The Bishop started giving the wafers and the wine to the same 3 Baruti first; as he did this the relevant parts of Mark 14, v. 22-24 were read.

Holy Communion and Foot Washing Service

Everyone was again reminded to place their prophecy poles, cords, capes and cloaks that had been prophesied, in the centre. Neither were they to wear jerseys, only their special church uniforms. They were supposed to be as simple as Christ Himself. In fact at this point they took off anything that was red, putting it in the middle.

The special communion hymn that tells about Christ and the blood coming from his side mixed with water, followed and “The Cross is the place where we are all going to meet." The Moruti repeated that they should put down their prophecy sticks and take off all their red Mabitane (prophesied) cords. He even showed them his own that he would take off. They then took them off and put them in the centre of the room with the poles until Communion had finished. He reminded them that when they ate the body of Christ they felt the agony of His death and should therefore lay down their prophecy poles which were no longer fighting for them to give them power as they ate Christ's body. They themselves were in agony (this is remembered in the hymn "The soldiers of Jesus Christ are close to Him, their eyes are like weapons kneeling before Christ".

Communion is taken very seriously in these churches, and in fact many people did not receive it (e.g. those who were menstruating, or had recently had intercourse). However all those present, even those not receiving it, had had to put down their prophecy poles and red cords and red articles of dress. The only red object was supposed to be the wine - Christ's blood.

The Moruti (the one from Moshupa who was in charge of the service) again emphasized that "We should be thankful for the death of Jesus Christ, we were meeting that day to remember it in the name of Christ, so we were not supposed to show any superiority. Our power had come to an end. We had to lay down our red cords and prophecy sticks, and come simply to Christ." A hymn commencing in humming  the tune was sung "lf you ask me who I trust, it's Jesus Christ".

The Moruti in charge then preached that Jesus Christ had wanted his disciples to arrange for the feast of the Passover (the Secretary read Mark 14, v 12-16) He repeated after the reading that Christ had told his disciples to make the Passover, he told them to go into the village where they would meet with a person with a pot on top of his head. They should tell that man that the Lord wanted to eat the Passover at his house.., He said that man would show them a room bigger that the others - an upper room. It was here that they should prepare the Passover.

Bishop disrobing of his regalia behind a sheet held by Baruti

Bishop washing  the feet of the 3  Baruti

As their feet are washed the Secretary read the relevant verse from the Gospel of St John 13 v. 3-7

Awaiting their turn - no prophesied cords worn for this sacred part of service

After Bishop has washed feet of the 3 senior Baruti, these Baruti  then wash feet of first men and then women members do not have maoto a molelo (hot blood)

After everyone had received Communion, the hymn "Halluejah Amen" was sung and danced to very ecstatically around the prophecy sticks  and cords.

Many people “got the Spirit” during this hymn

At the end of this hymn they took back all their prophecy sticks and cords. The Communion service had now finished.

The Kanye Moruti asked for a prophecy for his wife, but I left at this point as it was the day for the funeral of the Chief's Uncle - the time was 7.00 a.m.

Then those three Baruti gave out the wafers and wine to the other members, men first and then women, who came in the same small "groups as before to sit on the benches before the altar. For each one the Secretary read the relevant parts of Mark 14. At one point one Moruti drank all the wine and more had to be poured into the glass:.

This service formed part of the annual church conference of BUCZ Church . The first part of this service is described in the Uniforms 2 section and followed the Moruti’s sermon on the responsibilities of those who had received their uniforms and promotions. As the Last Supper was held at night so the Zionists celebrate Holy Communion at night and  is preceded by Foot Washing as part of the service. This is one of the distinguishing features of Zion Church practice.

A hymn followed "There's a river and it's filled with blood, at the altar of God, the river is like a tree and it's aim is for life, the evil doers destroy Christianity."

Another Moruti took over this part of the service, in Sindebele. Whereupon a Khosa was called to light the candles as they were now starting Foot Washing and Communion. (A Khosa learns all practices of the Church). Then the hymns "Water, Water, it's not only Water" and "Eli, Eli" were sung while preparations were being made for Foot Washing.

While the candles were actually being lit the Secretary from Gaborone read Numbers 8, v. 1-7; this is the part about Aaron lighting the candles. It was just about dawn by this time. Next Ephesians 6 v. 10  was read and the Moruti again emphasized that everyone who had taken a new church uniform would respect themselves and God. He said that if they had a uniform they should be able to object to anything that was wrong; whenever anyone comes to challenge them or insult their church, they would be able to defend their church. That was the time when Christ would notice them, especially when they were wearing white like his angels. He repeated that Aaron lighted these candles described in the Book of Leviticus.

He then said he was going to sing a hymn before handing over the service to the Bishop. He started "We praise you Lord, we live well under your protection, as we have been saved by your blood" and "Jerusalem, Amen, Messiah". The Secretary tried to read but was stopped by the Moruti, who said the work had to be done in order, she should read the part for Foot Washing not for Communion as she had tried to do.

Foot Washing

Then the Secretary was told to read John 13, 3-7. The Moruti continued preaching about how Christ stood up in that room among his disciples and took off his clothes. The Secretary repeated verses 4-5 and as she did so the Bishop stood up and took off his blue Bishop's clothes (he was wearing ordinary clothes and a green uniform jacket underneath and had a towel wrapped around his waist). The Bishop took off this towel as the relevant part in the Bible was read and followed the instructions as verse 5 was read - He poured water into a bowl; and started to wash the feet of disciples - here the Bishop washed the feet of three Baruti in the bowl of water. As the end of verse 5 was read he took the towel from his waist and wiped the feet of the disciples. The Secretary kept repeating the appropriate parts of the verses 4 and 5 as the Bishop did this to each of the three Baruti.

The Moruti then explained that it was written in the Bible that when Christ had come to one of the disciples He told him that he would deny Him three times (verse 38) before the cock crew. He had also prophesied: that there was one of the 12 who would betray him (verse 31).

The Moruti continued that after Christ had washed and dried the feet of the disciples He had said to them that they had witnessed what He had done, and they should call Him their Lord and Master (verse 13) and then they would be telling the truth. That was why He had washed their feet because He was their Lord and Master. Then He had told them to do the same to each other (verse 15). At this point the Bishop gave the towel to one of the Baruti he had washed, and then he washed the feet of the other members of the congregation, who came up in threes, sitting on benches in front of the altar, men first followed by women.

The Moruti continued preaching that Christ had said that as He had done that for them they should do it in the same way for others who were His followers (i.e. Christians). The Secretary read the relevant part of the verses for each person's feet to be washed.

Like the decorative candles, the Communion wine was sold at the Pharmacy in Kanye