Institution of Holy Communion

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”  Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

~Matthew 26:26-30

The mystical supper

Christ institutes communion at the Mystical Supper on Passover

Thursday morning of Holy week we celebrate the institution of Holy Communion with the vesperal liturgy of St Basil. What a strange wonder it must have been for the disciples. After three years of ministry Jesus now washes the feet of each of his disciples and calls bread His Body and wine His Blood. He speaks of betrayal and denial. None of them truly grasping the weight of that which he is describing; His betrayal, death and resurrection.