An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

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Last Supper

The term "Last Supper" does not appear in the NT. It is used to refer to the supper which Jesus ate with his disciples on the evening before his crucifixion. It is described somewhat differently in the gospel accounts (see Mt 26:17-29; Mk 14:12-16; Lk 22:7-23), and in Paul's reference to it in 1 Cor 11:23-26. The phrase "Lord's Supper" could be based on Paul's use of the term "Lord" in his description of the meal. This dinner is described as a Passover meal in the synoptic gospels but as a pre-Passover meal in John. Jesus instituted the eucharist at the Last Supper when he identified the bread with his body and the wine with his blood of the new covenant. Jesus commanded his disciples to "do this" in remembrance of him. Christian understanding of the Last Supper has also emphasized table fellowship shared by Jesus with his disciples and its eschatological implications. See Eucharist.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.