Friday, March 25, 2016

Holy Thursday Dinner

I am a HUGE fan of Jessica's blog at Shower of Roses and a couple years ago I ran across her idea for a Holy Thursday Lenten Tea. She also writes about her many Liturgical Teas at Catholic Cuisine (another blog I frequently visit). I began doing a special dinner for my family on Holy Thursday but it varies just a little than the Lenten Tea Jessica writes about. Little Man and Goalie normally do better listening and retaining information if they can physically touch things.... so I incorporated building our dinner with symbols according to the story of the Last Supper.  There are so many ways to involve your family in Holy Thursday celebrations, I love Holy Week. I have attempted to do feet washing too but Goalie gets way too excited and we all end up drenched :)

Back on track now...

We start our dinner with a clean table that has no cups, plates, bowls or silverware. The table will be filled with dinner by the end of the story. I normally start with the Anointing of Jesus at Bethany:

Now when Jesus was in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster jar of costly perfumed oil, and poured it on his head while he was reclining at table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant and said, “Why this waste?
It could have been sold for much, and the money given to the poor. 
Since Jesus knew this, he said to them, “Why do you make trouble for the woman? 
She has done a good thing for me. The poor you will always have with you; but you will not always have me.
In pouring this perfumed oil upon my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.
Amen, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be spoken of, in memory of her.”
Mathew 26:6-13

I allow the boys to bring over the plates, bowls, glasses and silverware. They also place the salad dressing (made with olive oil) on the table. When everyone has been seated again the story continues.

Read about the Preparations of the Passover:

"On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, "The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house." So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”
Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, “You have said so.”
Mathew 26:17-25


I allow the boys to bring out our "Unleavened Bread" and bring it over to the table. They cut it in portions in preparation of our dinner.

then the story of the Last Supper:

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Mathew 26:26-29

At this point, the bread is passed out and we normally buy some sort of sparking juice that we pass around the table to fill our cups. then we pass around some water as well because water is very symbolic. It represents when Jesus washes he disciples feet and Pilot washing his hands of Jesus's death. 

Then we continue the reading:

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Mathew 26:30


The boys bring over the plate of "Mount Olive" that is encircled with 30 cucumber slices that as you've probably already guessed symbolize the 30 pieces of silver Judas will receive for betraying Jesus.

Then Jesus said to them, “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken, for it is written:
‘I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed’;
but after I have been raised up, I shall go before you to Galilee.”
Peter said to him in reply, “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.”
Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.”
Peter said to him, “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” And all the disciples spoke likewise.

Mathew 26:31-35


Since Peter's betrayal has been discussed, I fill everyone's bowl with some sort of chicken soup. The boys had their go-to Chicken Noodle and I enjoyed some Chicken and rice. The soup is normally very hot because its been in the crock pot or simmering on the stove while we read so it has time to cool while we finish our story.  I forgot to get a picture of the bowls alone so they are pictured with a plate of "leafy greens" that symbolizes the palm branches that were laid down for Jesus earlier on Palm Sunday and the Garden of Gethsemane. 

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
He took along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to feel sorrow and distress.
Then he said to them, “My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.”
He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.”
When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Withdrawing a second time, he prayed again, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!”
Then he returned once more and found them asleep, for they could not keep their eyes open.
He left them and withdrew again and prayed a third time, saying the same thing again.
Then he returned to his disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Behold, the hour is at hand when the Son of Man is to be handed over to sinners.
Get up, let us go. Look, my betrayer is at hand.”
Mathew 26:35-46


Since Jesus is now in the Garden praying, I have the boys bring over our "garden vegetables" which normally consist of tomatoes and carrots and our plates of leafy greens.

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a large crowd, with swords and clubs, who had come from the chief priests and the elders of the people.
His betrayer had arranged a sign with them, saying, “The man I shall kiss is the one; arrest him.”
Immediately he went over to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and he kissed him.
Jesus answered him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then stepping forward they laid hands on Jesus and arrested him.
And behold, one of those who accompanied Jesus put his hand to his sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear.
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
Do you think that I cannot call upon my Father and he will not provide me at this moment with more than twelve legions of angels?
But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled which say that it must come to pass in this way?”
At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to seize me? Day after day I sat teaching in the temple area, yet you did not arrest me.
But all this has come to pass that the writings of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.
Mathew 26: 47-56

When I think of being betrayed by a friend with a kiss there are many different symbols I have used in the past. I have used dill pickles because they are bitter, I have also incorporated vinegar. This year I forgot I was out of both so we had nothing for this part of the story this year. We continue to hear about how Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin:

Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
Peter was following him at a distance as far as the high priest’s courtyard, and going inside he sat down with the servants to see the outcome.
The chief priests and the entire Sanhedrin kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward who stated, “This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God and within three days rebuild it.’”
The high priest rose and addressed him, “Have you no answer? What are these men testifying against you?”
But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I order you to tell us under oath before the living God whether you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
Jesus said to him in reply, “You have said so. But I tell you:
From now on you will see ‘the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power’ and ‘coming on the clouds of heaven.’”
Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! What further need have we of witnesses? You have now heard the blasphemy; what is your opinion?” They said in reply, “He deserves to die!”
Then they spat in his face and struck him, while some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy for us, Messiah: who is it that struck you?”
Mathew 26:57-68

To symbolize the three days that it would take to rebuild the Temple and the Holy Trinity, we bring a bowl of three cheese blend. Sometimes we add ice to our water and sparkling juice to represent the clouds of heaven too. We didn't do that this year because we had just returned home from football practice and we were all still freezing!! Sorry no picture again. And to finish our story we read of Peter's denial:

Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.”
But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!”
As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.”
Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!”
A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.”
At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed.
Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.
Mathew 26:69-75

Roasted and salted sunflower seeds are what we use to symbolize Peter's salty tears. at the end of this reading we say Grace and we begin to build our salads from the symbols used to illustrate our story. Then we enjoy our cooled soup and yummy salad. The kids always really enjoy this Holy Thursday tradition. 


 I love feeling like my children fully grasp the emotions and events that occurred during the Last Supper and onwards. After dinner we normally watch The Animated Passion but the boys were exhausted from our crazy day so we decided to watch it on Good Friday. I wish I would have finished this post last night too but I think I need to get a little more organized in my picture taking. I hope you all had a blessed Holy Thursday and are enjoying a prayerful Good Friday! Remember you Divine Mercy Novena starts today!

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