The Cène (term resulting from the Latin cena : Repas of the evening) is the name given by the Christian to the last meal that Jesus-Christ took with the twelve Apôtre S the evening of the Maundy Thursday, before the Jewish Passover, little time before its arrest, its day before Crucifixion (still called Passion by the Christians), and three days before its Résurrection. After having eaten Passover with them there, it instituted the Eucharistie while saying: “This is my body, this is my blood”.
The meal taken by Jesus with his disciples
The Chronology of the Gospel S.A. studied for the synoptic Gospels only (synoptic Problem), without integrating the Gospel according to holy Jean, which is the only one to contain the speech of the Cène.
According to Jean:
Before the meal itself, Jesus washes the feet of his disciples.
According to Jean (13, 21-30) (the TOB indicates this passage in MT 26,20-25, Mc 14,17-21, LLC 22,21-23):
Jesus announces then that one of the disciples will betray it: Judas. This one leaves the part.
According to Matthieu (26, 26-28):
“During the meal, Jesus took bread and, after having pronounced the blessing, it broke it; then, giving it to the disciples, he says: " Take, eat, this is my corps". Then it took a cut and, after having returned grace, it gave it to them while saying: " Drink all, because this is my blood, the blood of Alliance, versed for the multitude, the forgiveness of the péchés." ”
According to Jean (13, 34):
Jesus gives a new command: “You Like the ones the others. As I loved you, you like the ones the others”.
According to Matthieu (26, 34) and Jean (13, 38): Jesus called to Pierre that he will disavow it by three times before the cock does not sing. (Matthieu locates these words after they left the part)
According to Jean, in what one calls the Discours of Cène (Jn, chapters 14 to 17):
Jesus transmits a kind of will on the commands to be kept by the disciples whom he considers, no longer like its servants, but like its friends. It is this part of Cène which is only reported by Jean in his Gospel. Jean indicates that Jesus repeats the command: “You Like the ones the others as I loved you” (Jn, 15,12).
Institution of Eucharistie
Cène is before all the event founder of the Christianisme, because it is the institution of the Eucharistie.
“What the Acts of the Apostles call the fraction of the bread represents, at the beginning of the Église, the central element of its liturgical life. Borrowed with use Juif, the Rite, primarily Community domesticates, symbolizes and cements the fraternal union of the participants. Jesus seems to have practiced it with predilection in the middle of its disciples. At the time of the last meal taken with them, it had it, in a mysterious way, put in connection with its imminent death, making bread broken the symbol of its body which was going to be delivered and ravaged - it is also, inter alia occasions, at the time of joint meal that Ressuscité appears with its faithful. Thereafter, each time they repeat the familiar gesture, the Christians feel in a particularly intense way the invisible presence of their Master. Thus is explained the atmosphere of enthusiastic joy which surrounds this rite, rite of thanksgiving, Eucharistie . Because at the same time as a memorial of the Cène last, it is a recall of all the meals taken with Jesus, but also, and perhaps especially, an anticipation of the Messianic meal in which the disciples will take part with him in the joy of the Kingdom, and which they call their enthusiastic wishes.
From the point of view paulinienne, the Eucharistie offers compared to what we can seize of Cène primitive several features original. It must above all commemorate the last meal taken by Jesus with his disciples. Jesus explicitly instituted it on this occasion, by giving to his the order to repeat the Rite “in memory of me”. As the gesture then achieved by the Master is in connection with its imminent death, like a kind of anticipation of sound Sacrifice redeemer, it is its death which is thus illustrated, just as she was announced by the Sacrifice of the paschal lamb, where the tradition Chrétienne saw the image all at the same time Cène and the Calvaire: “Christ, our Passover, was immolé (…) Each time you eat this bread and that you will drink the cut, you will announce the death of the Lord, until it comes. ”
But there is here more than Mémorial and Symbole, the Eucharistie is also not only the sign, but the instrument of a mystical communion of faithful between them and with the Christ. Just like the Baptism, but in a way more still striking, since it is about a collective Rite in which all the assembly takes part, she integrates the believers into the Church, body of Christ: “Because there is one bread, with us all we form one body, because all we have share with this single bread. ” And still: “Isn't the cut of blessing that we bless communion with the blood of Christ? Isn't the bread that we break communion with the body of Christ? ” Thus, by consuming the eucharistic species, the faithful one does not cement only its union with his/her brothers in the “mystical body” of the Christ, who is the Church; it is assimilated the spiritual substance of Christ glorifie: “Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cut of the Lord unworthily will have to answer of the body and the blood of the Lord. (…) That which eats and drinks, eats and drinks its own judgment if it does not distinguish the Body there. ” Paul does not hesitate to charge to these communions sacrileges the cases of illness and dead which occur in the Church. The rules which he formulates concerning the Community meals reflect the concern to avoid regrettable excesses: “As soon as one is with table indeed, each one, without waiting, takes its meal, and one is hungry, while the other is drunk. ” But they translate especially the conviction that “the meal of the Lord” is distinguished basically even from the pertaining to worship reunions on which it grafts; and Paul is tempted to prescribe that it is dissociated from it: “You thus do not have houses to eat and drink? (…) If somebody is hungry which he eats at his place, in order not to join together you for your judgment. ” (I Horn. X-XI)”
>>> Marcel Simon, the Civilization of Antiquity and Christianity , coll “Great civilizations”, Arthaud, 1972.
Commemoration of Cène by EucharistieThe Christian of all confused tendencies (Catholique S, orthodoxe S, Protesting S, Anglican S, Mormons), consider that this last meal taken by Jesus with his disciples institutes the Sacrement Eucharistie (eucharistein, LLC 22,19), eulogein (MT 26,26).
By this sacrament, the Christians make memory of dead and the Résurrection of Christ:
- “Take, and drink all, because this is the cut of my blood, the blood of the alliance new and eternal which will be versed for you and for the multitude in remission of the sins. You will do that, in memory of me. ”
In connection with Cène and the Eucharistie, one finds other names:
Communion, because it is by this Sacrement that the Christians link themselves with the Christ to make them participating of its Body and its Blood to form only one body,
- Repas of the Seigneur,
- Fraction of the bread,
- eucharistic Assemblée (synaxis),
- Mémorial of the Passion and the Résurrection of the Lord,
- Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,
- Sainte and divine Liturgie,
- Sainte Messe (sending of the faithful ones: missio ).
In the Catholic church, the Cène is celebrated again by faithful each Sunday during the Messe, more particularly at the time of the Communion, in the second part of the Messe. The Church celebrates Cène perpetual in which Christ is really present in the Saint-Sacrifice. Christ presents herself to each dedication in drug for the eternal life.
Moreover, in the Catholic church, a particular celebration has the day called of the Maundy Thursday, the Good Friday day before, which commemorates the Passion). The Maundy Thursday takes place the rite of the Rectal injection of the feet, in celebration of the gesture of Jesus towards the disciples.
The coterie is the name which one gave at piece-rates that the disciples during the meal Pascal occupied.
Representation of Cène in art
The representation of the Cène has initially a teaching value. Used with the the central Middle Ages as instrument of fight against the heresies which reject the Eucharistie, it becomes an iconographic topic major only with the Renaissance.
Neither the rise of the representations of the table at the 13th century, nor the reinforcement of the doctrines and the eucharistic doctrines of the Church starting from the council of Lateran IV succeeded in imposing the Cène like one of the great Christian images: it remains far behind the Rectal injection of the feet, which is next to it in the programs where it is present.
It is the 15th century, then the Counter-Reformation which gives to the Last Meal a choice place in Western art: it is enough to think of the quasi industrial production of representations of the Cène by the Tintoret with Venice.
The representations of Cène show the Christ and the Apôtres at times different from Cène according to the artists:
- FRA Angelico: Cène 1452 (image below)
- Domenico Ghirlandaio: Ultima Cena (the Cène last) with the refectory of the convent of Ognissanti (Ca 1482),
- Léonard de Vinci: it Cenacolo , Cène (1495 - 1497) with the Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with Milan; Jesus says that Judas will betray it. (image below)
- the Tintoret: ultima Cena , with the church San Giorgio Maggiore (Venice).
- Paul Véronèse Cène , painted in 1571, then famous the meal at Levi because of the religious interdicts of this time (Enquiry).
- Dirk Ends: the blessing of the bread.
- anonymous Painting dating from 2nd half of the 17th century.
- François Verdier
- Juan de Juanes (several versions, one represented below)
- El Salvador Dalí: Cène 1955, oil on fabric, 168,3x270, national Gallery off Art, Washington DC
According to the representations in the Art, the apostle Jean (“that which Jesus liked”) was sitted beside Jesus at the time of this meal (on the left or on the right according to the representations).
Generally, the twelve Apôtres are represented.
In the History, the Pope, the kings, the princes, the prelates and other dignitaries religious commemorated Cène the Maundy Thursday, while being used to eat with the thirteen poor, after their having washed the feet.
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