IIIM Magazine Online, Volume 2, Number 28, July 10 to July 16, 2000

The Eucharistic Words of Jesus within the Framework of the Passover Meal

by Dr. Knox Chamblin

A. Preliminary Course.

1. Word of dedication (blessing of the feast day and of the cup) spoken by the paterfamilias over the first cup.

2. Preliminary dish, consisting among other things of green herbs, bitter herbs and a sauce made of fruit puree.

3. The meal proper is served but not yet eaten. The second cup is mixed and put into place but not yet drunk.

B. Passover Liturgy.

1. Passover haggadah by the paterfamilias. The Hebrew word haggadah is related to the verb nagad, "tell, announce, inform." Cf. Ex 13:8, "And you shall tell [nagad] your son on that day" the meaning of the Passover celebration.

2. First part of the Passover hallel, i.e. Ps 113.

3. Drinking of the second cup (the haggadah cup).

C. Main Meal.

1. Grace by the paterfamilias over the unleavened bread.

2. Meal, consisting of passover lamb, unleavened bread, bitter herbs (Ex 12:8), with fruit puree and wine.

3. Grace over the third cup (the cup of blessing).

D. Conclusion.

1. Second part of the Passover hallel, i.e. Pss 114-118. Cf. Mt 26:30, "When they had sung a hymn."

2. Praise over the fourth cup (the hallel cup).