church · prayers

The Passion according to St. John

I received the following email from someone who knows a thing or two about the liturgy.  He told me this little nugget and I thought I would pass it on.

Only one of the 4 Passions doesn’t include the Last Supper and the Institution of the Eucharist – that would be the Passion according to St. John. The other 3 Passions start with the Last Supper and the celebration of the Institution of the Holy Eucharist and then continue to the Agony in the Garden and the rest of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. But St. John’s doesn’t include the Last Supper and the Celebration. It starts with the Agony in the Garden.



Why do I tell you this?


The Passion according to St. John is sung on Good Friday, the one day when there is no Consecration of the Holy Eucharist.

Coincidence? I think not.

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4 thoughts on “The Passion according to St. John

  1. Hmm, maybe St. John doesn't recount the institution of the Holy Eucharist, but as far as I know, all of Chapter 13 refers to the Last Supper–the washing of the disciples feet,, the announcement of Judas' betrayal and the introduction to the Last Supper Discourses, Chapters 14-17.

  2. I am just a crabby mom and no liturgical scholar, but from what I gathered from the email (and perusing my St. Andrew's Missal, The Liturgical Year and the Bible) is that the liturgy on Friday is unlike the mass on Palm Sunday with the Gospel being the Passion from St. Matthew where we see the Institution of the Holy Eucharist. And, it is unlike today's mass with the Gospel being the Passion from St. Mark where we see the Institution of the Holy Eucharist. AND, it is unlike tomorrow's Gospel which is the Passion from St. Luke where we see the Institution of the Holy Eucharist.The liturgy on Good Friday reflects the Gospel – the Passion from St. John, chapters 18 and 19 which does not include the Institution of the Holy Eucharist. So, here we have a reflection of the Gospel – there is no Consecration, no celebration of the Eucharist. I do not think the writer meant to imply that the Last Supper could not be found in the Gospel of John. I believe he was showing us how great the poetry of the liturgy is.Why am I telling you this?I'm obviously neglecting my kids by not making dinner at this moment. That's why.

  3. Anonymous 2,You're right, Chapter 13 of St. John does refer to the Last Supper-the washing of the feet and the announcement of Judas' betrayal. The interesting part is this is not part of the Passion said on Good Friday but it's actually the Gospel that is said on Holy Thursday. It's fitting since Holy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper.

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