The Last Supper
"The Institution of the Holy Eucharist"

 

 

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The Last Supper incorporates the feasts of the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension. During the celebration of the Divine Liturgy the priest says: "Therefore, we commemorate His Holy Passion, Resurrection, Ascension…Thine own of Thine own, we offer unto Thee on behalf of all and for all!" The Eucharist then represents a remarkable synthesis of the entire Mystery of Salvation.

The Lord's (Last) Supper was not an isolated incident that occurred just once in history, rather, it is a dynamic reality that is ever-occurring until this day. At every Divine Liturgy, Christ Himself satisfies us with His Body and Blood in all places throughout the world.

The Paschal Mystery encompasses three elements: the Last Supper (Maundy Thursday), the crucifixion (Great Friday) and the Tomb (Bright Saturday). Likewise, the Jewish Passover included three exceptional events: The Jews' eating the flesh of the lamb, whose blood had been put on the lintel of their homes to protect them from annihilation, their liberation or exodus from Egypt, and their entrance into the Promised Land.

We pray: "At Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God. Accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of Thy Mysteries unto Thine enemies, neither will I give Thee a kiss, as did Judas; but like the thief will I confess Thee: remember me, O Lord, when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom."

This icon presents an image of Christ that bears witness not only to His Incarnation but also to the penetration of the Spirit into matter, so as to transfigure human existence. The table is set with Christ at its head as the presiding Minister and with His disciples surrounding Him on either side. Opposite to Christ, there is a place at the table for anyone who desires to attend.

 

 

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