Christ’s Passion – the events leading up to and through His death and resurrection – didn’t happen all in one place. From the Last Supper He shared with His Apostles, to his prayer in the Garden and subsequent arrest, to His walk along the road to Calvary, and the placing of His body in the tomb, Christ made holy many sites in and around Jerusalem through His presence and actions. On the night before He died, He shared a meal with His Apostles in the Upper Room, then traveled with them singing songs of praise to Gethsemane. He was arrested and forcibly taken to the house of the high priest Caiaphas, where He underwent questioning and torture.
These Biblical stories all took place in the Holy Land and the sites of which can still be visited and venerated today. Christians from all over the world gather on Holy Thursday to commemorate some of the last moments of Jesus’ life in the places where they occurred. In this series, learn about some of them and follow along with the events through the words of Scripture and pictures of these sites today.
The Cenacle or Upper Room
The Upper Room is one of the first sites revived and restored by the Franciscans when they were given custody of the Holy Land. There is evidence of building foundations dating to the early years after Christ’s resurrection. There is not currently a church on this site, but an empty room built upon tradition over the site of ancient churches; where pilgrims and people gather to reflect upon all that took place in this space.
Though Mass is not regularly allowed in the current Upper Room, it was in the original space that the first Mass – the Last Supper – was held.
When the hour came, he took his place at table with the apostles. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for, I tell you, I shall not eat it again until there is fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I tell you that from this time on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you.”
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