Was There a Passover Lamb at the Last Supper?

Today, Catholics everywhere will celebrate Holy Thursday by attending the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. At this Mass, we will read the institution of the Passover (Exod 12, OT reading), sing one of the most famous of the Hallel Psalms (Psalm 118, Responsorial Psalm), and then read the institution of the Eucharist (1 Cor 11, Epistle) and  Jesus’ act of washing the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper (John 13, Gospel).  This particular Eucharist is a momentous liturgical moment, where we both recall the institution of the very first Eucharist and enter into the beginning of the calendrical Holy of Holies–the sacred Triduum, climaxing in the feast of Easter (in Latin, Pascha).

Was the Last Supper a Passover Meal?

But how did Jesus and his disciples celebrate the first Holy Thursday? Specifically, was the Last Supper a Jewish Passover meal?

Find out over at The Sacred Page.


Arnold Schwarzenegger, President of Europe?

His Grace, brilliant as always, says it like it is:

Of the European Council, to be precise. But it amounts to pretty much the same thing.

To be honest, His Grace has no idea if this report is true or not (it started here, but has spread here and here), but it is certainly an intriguing (and highly entertaining) prospect. Having served two terms as Governor of California, and barred from following his fellow thespian Ronald Reagan in running for The White House, Arnold Schwarzenegger does appear to have hit something of a political brick wall.

Being Austrian prohibits him from becoming President of the United States (Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 of the US Constitution). But it is just the ticket he needs to succeed Herman Van Rompuy. If this were an EU-wide plebiscite, the outcome would be foregone. Although both men are Roman Catholic and 63 years old, Van Rompuy is obscure and unknown, while Schwarzenegger is a global brand. It is interesting that his former chief of staff, Terry Tamminen, talks of the need for a higher-profile man – a Washington or Jefferson of a new unified Europe. It’s certainly true, as he says, that ‘the French do not want a German, and Germans do not want an Italian’: that’s why we’ve got a Belgian.

The prospect of President Schwarzenegger brought to mind a certain quotation by a certain previous president of the Council of Europe, Paul-Henri Spaak:

‘We do not want another committee. We have too many already. What we want is a man of sufficient stature to hold the allegiance of all people, and to lift us out of the economic morass in which we are sinking. Send us such a man and, be he god or the devil, we will receive him.’…

… It will certainly cause the futurist premillennialists a little bother. Many in the US are persuaded that Obama is the Anti-Christ. For those who believe he will arise from a European 10-nation confederacy, Schwarzenegger is rather more plausible than Van Rompuy. After all, it’s easy to envision the Apocalypse of the Last Days and Armageddon with a Terminator than a bank manager.


Maundy Thursday


Today is Maundy Thursday:

Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great & Holy Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, is the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday…

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper initiates the Easter Triduum, the three days of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday that commemorate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. It is normally celebrated in the evening, when according to Jewish tradition Friday begins.

So tonight, it’s off to Church and there’ll be some foot washing to do.

… The Washing of the Feet is a traditional component of the celebration in many Christian Churches… After the homily the washing of feet may be performed. The service concludes with a procession taking the Blessed Sacrament to the place of reposition. The altar is later stripped bare, as are all other altars in the church except the Altar of Repose… this being done ceremonially, to the accompaniment of Psalm 21/22, a practice which continues in many Anglican churches… the stripping of the altar and other items… as a preparation for the somber Good Friday service.

So do have a Blessed Triduum!