The Last Supper Experience

2011 upper room 3

I’ve received communion many times in many different ways, yet I was surprised how powerful and profound it was to share holy communion in this way, a way similar to the first Christians. The peaceful way everyone helped one another, the simplicity of breaking bread and passing the cup, the intimacy of seeing faces young and old gathered around the table listening to the story and praying together. Every group was different, yet meaningful. I cannot encourage you enough to offer this experience to your congregation and community. – Lisa <><

For a pdf of this script, click here Last Supper Script- The Passion Week Experience

Last Supper Experience
Setting:

  • Simple room, low lighting or candlelight
  • Lots of cushions, pillows, and low benches for people to sit upon around a long floor level “table”
  • Table setting includes 2 cups of grape juice, plates of flat bread or pita, 2 “welcome plates” of hummus-flat bread-black olives- figs-shredded chicken, 2 baskets of dark red grapes
  • Pitcher of water, bowl, and towel as props for the disciple who tells this part of the story
  • Background music loop (7-8 minutes in length) with a cue for the group to be dismissed. We used a solo guitar selection and added the sound of a person knocking on a wooden door as the cue.

Sources:

  • The prayer said before sharing communion is based on a traditional Seder prayer.
  • The words spoken by the Pastor are adapted from Word and Table II from the United Methodist Hymnal
  • The disciples and pastor have their lines memorized

Participants gather in a welcome room and are divided into groups of 10-12 persons. It’s important to experience this in a small group setting. As participants leave this room and enter “the upper room”, they encounter “disciples” dressed in biblical garb standing and seated around the table. This could be all 11 disciples or a representative group. The disciples welcome the participants and encourage them to sit with them and between them around the table. “Servants” offer baskets of grapes and the “welcome plates” after everyone is seated,  placing the trays and baskets on the table. The disciples adlib discussion appropriate to Biblical times with the guests for a few moments while everyone snacks.

2011 upper room 2

DISCIPLE ONE:
Welcome to the upper room. The story of Jesus’ passion begins here, at a meal with those who were closest to him. Many of our meals were happy occasions, but not this meal, not tonight. Jesus had many serious things he wanted to share with us. He knew his death was coming soon.

DISCIPLE TWO: speaks while pouring the water into the bowl
Jesus began by taking a bowl of water and a towel and washing our feet. We were very confused by this because this was usually done by a servant. After Jesus washed our feet he told us to love one another and serve one another as he had just done.

DISCIPLE THREE:
After the meal, Jesus prayed a prayer of thanksgiving. Please repeat after me:
Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
Who has saved our ancestors from Egypt
and who is saving us.
May your will be done
so your name is glorified in all the earth
and so all people may be moved to worship you with one accord.

DISCIPLE FOUR: speaks while picking up a piece of bread
Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the Universe,
Who brings forth bread from the earth.

DISCIPLE FIVE: speaks while picking up some grapes
Blessed are you, O Lord our God,
King of the universe,
who creates the fruit of the vine.
Amen. end echo

PASTOR (who is dressed as one of the disciples):
Then Jesus took the bread, broke it, gave it to those seated around the table and said,
“Take, eat, this is my body broken for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.”

Pastor breaks a whole piece of pita in half. It is shared around the table till everyone has a piece. The pastor and other costumed participants hold their bread to encourage others to wait rather than eating it right away.

The Pastor lifts a cup of grape juice and continues
Then he took the cup, gave it to those seated around the table and said,
“Drink from this all of you. This is my blood of the new covenant.
Poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sin.
Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me.”

The Pastor dips his/her bread into the cup and then eats the bread to model communion by intinction for the others. The cups are passed around the table so everyone may participate.

Moments of silence until the cue in the music is heard

If persons are continuing on to another experience (ie Gethsemane), the Pastor or another disciple dismisses the group with the following.
After this, they arose from the table and departed for Gethsemane. Go in peace.

As people leave, words of blessing and peace are spoken by the disciples. The servants clear the table and refresh the food as needed. The water in the bowl is poured back into the pitcher to be used again with the next group.

The next group enters.

upper room 1

Upper Room Set, Sketch 1 designed by Nicole Sallee. We used the space between the front pews and the platform in our sanctuary as the location of the Upper Room.

 

upper room 2

Upper Room Set, Sketch 1 designed by Nicole Sallee. We used the space between the front pews and the platform in our sanctuary as the location of the Upper Room.

********************

The Last Supper Experience was originally offered as the second of five interactive experiences in The Passion Week Experience, a walk through, Holy Week event conceived and written by members of the Worship Arts Ministry of Community United Methodist Church in DeBary, Florida. It would be equally effective as part of a series of prayer stations or other intimate worship experience.

adaptation and compilation © 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

One thought on “The Last Supper Experience

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s