Jesus’ last meal with his friends
Gospel of matthew
26:17 On the first day of the Festival of Thin Bread, Jesus’ disciples came to him and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal?”
18 Jesus told them to go to a certain man in the city and tell him, “Our teacher says, ‘My time has come! I want to eat the Passover meal with my disciples in your home.’ “ 19 They did as Jesus told them and prepared the meal.
20-21 When Jesus was eating with his twelve disciples that evening, he said, “One of you will surely hand me over to my enemies.”
22 The disciples were very sad, and each one said to Jesus, “Lord, you can’t mean me!”
23 He answered, “One of you men who has eaten with me from this dish will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will die, as the Scriptures say. But it’s going to be terrible for the one who betrays me! That man would be better off if he had never been born.”
25 Judas said, “Teacher, you surely don’t mean me!”
“That’s what you say!” Jesus replied. But later, Judas did betray him.
The Lord’s Supper
26 During the meal Jesus took some bread in his hands. He blessed the bread and broke it. Then he gave it to his disciples and said, “Take this and eat it. This is my body.”
27 Jesus picked up a cup of wine and gave thanks to God. He then gave it to his disciples and said, “Take this and drink it. 28 This is my blood, and with it God makes his agreement with you. It will be poured out, so that many people will have their sins forgiven. 29 From now on I am not going to drink any wine, until I drink new wine with you in my Father’s kingdom.” 30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
31 Jesus said to his disciples, “During this very night, all of you will reject me, as the Scriptures say,
‘I will strike down
and the sheep
will be scattered.’
32 But after I am raised to life, I will go to Galilee ahead of you.”
33 Peter spoke up, “Even if all the others reject you, I never will!”
34 Jesus replied, “I promise you that before a rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” 35 But Peter said, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never say I don’t know you.”
All the others said the same thing.
36 Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. When they got there, he told them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
37 Jesus took along Peter and the two brothers, James and John. He was very sad and troubled, 38 and he said to them, “I am so sad that I feel as if I am dying. Stay here and keep awake with me.”
39 Jesus walked on a little way. Then he knelt with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, don’t make me suffer by having me drink from this cup. But do what you want, and not what I want.”
40 He came back and found his disciples sleeping. So he said to Peter, “Can’t any of you stay awake with me for just one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you won’t be tested. You want to do what is right, but you are weak.”
42 Again Jesus went to pray and said, “My Father, if there is no other way, and I must suffer, I will still do what you want.”
43 Jesus came back and found them sleeping again. They simply could not keep their eyes open. 44 He left them and prayed the same prayer once more.
45 Finally, Jesus returned to his disciples and said, “Are you still sleeping and resting? The time has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to sinners. 46 Get up! Let’s go. The one who will betray me is already here.”
Watch and pray
from the leonine sacramentary (c. 550 CE)
O Lord our God, refresh us with quiet sleep, when we are wearied with the day’s labour; that being assisted with the help which our weakness needs, we may be devoted to thee both in body and mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Be present, O Lord, to our prayers, and protect us by day and night; that in all successive changes of times we may ever be strengthened by thine unchangeableness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Egeria in the Holy land, c. 380 CE
Egeria was a nun from France who was touring the Holy Land in the late 4th century. She was in Jerusalem during Holy Week and provides the only eye witness account of how the early church celebrated.
On Thursday whatever is customarily done from the first cockcrow until morning and what is done at the third and sixth hours takes place as the Anastasis. At the eighth hour all the people gather as usual at the Martyrium, earlier, however, than on other days, because the dismissal must be given more quickly. When all the people have assembled, the prescribed rites are celebrated. On that day the sacrifice is offered at the Martyrium, and the dismissal from there is given around the tenth hour. Before the dismissal is given, however, the archdeacon raises his voice, saying: “At the first hour of the night let us assemble at the church which is on the Eleona, for much toil lies ahead of us on this day’s night.” Following the dismissal from the Martyrium, everyone proceeds behind the Cross, where, after a hymn is sung and a prayer is said, the bishop offers the sacrifice and everyone receives Communion. Except on this one day, throughout the year the sacrifice is never offered behind the Cross save on this day alone… everyone goes to the Eleona, to the church where the grotto is which the Lord gathered with His disciples on that day is located. And there until around the fifth hour of the night, they continually sing hymns and antiphons and read the scriptural passages proper to the place and to the day. Between these, prayers are said. Moreover, they read those passages from the Gospels in which the Lord spoke to His disciples on that day while sitting in the same grotto which lies within this church. And from here, around the sixth hour of the night, everyone goes up to the Imbomon, singing hymns. That is the place from which the Lord ascended into heaven. There also they sing hymns and antiphons and read scriptural passages proper to the day; and whatever prayers are said, whatever prayers the bishop recites, they will always be proper to the day and to the place.
As soon as it begins to be the hour of the cockcrow, everyone comes down from the Imbomon singing hymns and proceeds towards the very place where the Lord prayed, as it is written in the Gospel: “And He went as far as a stone’s throw and He prayed”, and so forth. On that spot stands a tasteful church… Next, everyone, including the smallest children, walk down from there to Gethsemani, accompanying the bishop with hymns. Singing hymns, they come to Gethsemani very slowly on account of the great multitude of people, who are fatigued by vigils and exhausted by the daily fasts… On arriving in Gethsemani a suitable prayer is first said, followed by a hymn, and then the passage from the Gospel describing the arrest of the Lord is read. During the reading of this passage there is such moaning and groaning with weeping from all the people that their moaning can be heard practically as far as the city… From there, throughout the center of the city, all without exception are ready at hand, the old and the young, the rich and the poor, everyone: and on this day especially no none withdraws from the vigil before early morning… When they finally arrive before the Cross, it is already beginning to be broad daylight. There then is read the passage from the Gospel where the Lord is led before Pilate, and whatsoever words are written that Pilate spoke to the Lord or to the Jews, all this is read.