Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Last Supper

Last Sunday, children in the Good Shepherd and True Vine Atria saw the Cenacle (or Last Supper) Presentation. The Cenacle is a Latin name for the Upper Room, where the Last Supper took place. This is one of my favorite works in the atrium and one that the children return to again and again. With this work, we read a scriptural account of Jesus' Last Supper with his disciples (which is actually a compilation of several accounts), pausing to move the figures accordingly.

The highlight of the reading is this moment when Jesus is gathered around the table celebrating the Passover with his friends. We hear anew the words he said over the bread and wine--words that hadn't been said before. "Take, this is my body." and "This is my blood which is poured out for many."

In the presentation, the catechist narrates the time after Jesus and the disciples go to the Mount of Olives, including Jesus' death and resurrection. She hangs a cross behind the table, and lights the candles to remember those two moments.

And suddenly the children are presented with another tableau - one that is very familiar to them! Several times, I have had the pleasure of hearing children suck in their breath as they recognize the altar. I've also heard children call out "The Church!!" As catechists, we leave this lovely connection for the children to discover. Whenever it comes, I've found that this work enables the children to make a profound connection between the way Jesus loved his disciples and his desire to be with them always, and the way that Jesus loves us and expresses his love in the bread and wine that we are blessed to receive each week.

My daughter working with the Cenacle many years ago...

Later in lent, we will hold a Last Supper Celebration with the children. This is a wonderful gathering we have each year, which draws upon the children's experience of the Cenacle material. I'll be sure to post about it when it comes along!

Would you like to get more out of Lent? Check out my last post on Lent at Home, or explore some online options at Building Faith's blog post- Sites for Daily Meditation.


  1. Your materials are beautiful! May I ask where you got them?

  2. Hi Ellen,
    Thanks for your comment! Do you mean the materials in this post in particular? We purchased the Cenacle environment--I don't remember where now. It was made to the specifications in the Catechesis material manuals. The figures are mine. I made them with sculpey and they have held up pretty well. There have been a few broken necks that we have repaired. Do you do catechesis at your Church?

  3. Leslie,
    This is just beautiful! I can imagine the looks on the faces of the children when they make the connections. Thank you for sharing what you are doing in your atrium in these weeks leading up to Easter. I look forward to reading about your celebration supper!

  4. Thanks so much for your comment MontessoriSunday! I do love that feeling you get when connections are made - I know you are discovering it too in your ministry! Thanks for reading!

  5. lovely materials. Makes me want to re-do my Cenacle!

  6. Hi Marcia, Thanks so much for the compliment and for reading! Do you have an atrium in your Church or in your home?

  7. Thank you for your comment on my blog today. I love these little figures, they are so thoughtfully done.

  8. Thanks for stopping by Mom and Kiddo and thanks for your wonderful blog! I'm glad you like the figures!


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