Four parts of Passover and Eucharist. Why four?

Wojciech Kosek

This article was published first in the Ukrainian language in 2016 in Gródek in Podole:

Studia Catholica Podoliae, Annus VIII (2014-2015) Numerus 8-9,

Городок – Камянець-Подільський, p. 57-109.

See the Academia.edu website.

The original Polish text
Cztery kielichy Paschy. Dlaczego cztery?
[Four Cups of Passover. Why Four?]
from which the translation into Ukrainian was made,
can also be found on the Academia.edu website.

This translation was first published on 18 Nov 2020
on the Academia.edu website.

DOI of this paper:
10.5281/zenodo.4279908

This translation was published here on 18 Nov 2020, i.e.,
on the anniversary of the beatification of Karolina Kózkówna.

Abstract.

This article aims to show the inner logic of this special liturgy the Passover is. God himself inscribed the logic of the Passover, through inspired authors, of whom Moses played an essential role, into the literary structure according to which the first eighteen chapters of the Book of Exodus were composed.

The logic of the Passover was simultaneously read from The Passover Haggadah as a Jewish liturgical book, which was the fruit of a long process of formation in the Tradition of Israel, and finally written down as a help for the father of the family, who is to guard its faithful realization in the annual celebration.

One has shown that the four-element structure of Passover was built on an earlier structure of covenant-making ceremony that was held by rulers of countries in the ancient Near East around the 16th to 12th centuries before Christ. It is the discovery of this relationship – the Passover ritual and the covenant-making ceremony – that makes it clear that the liturgical order of the elements of the Passover is inscribed in the logic of the covenant-making ceremony. Simultaneously, one has shown that the covenant in question is not the well-known covenant on Mount Sinai, but a slightly earlier covenant of the Passover/Exodus, i.e., the one that God made with Israel during the passing through divided waters of the Red Sea.

Answering the question contained in the title of the article, one has shown that the four cups of the Passover are related to the four main parts of its liturgy, and they in turn – to the four stages of the exodus from Egypt and simultaneously with the four elements of the covenant-making ceremony.

During the analysis of the four parts of the Passover ritual, analogies between them and the four parts of the Eucharistic ritual were pointed out. Furthermore, it was pointed out that, just as the four-stage exodus from Egypt is embraced by the ‘preparation – completion’ frame, so there is the ‘before-seder – after-seder’ frame for the Passover and also the Eucharist: at the beginning, it is the time when the community prepares to enter into the seriousness of the liturgy; at the end, it is the time of prayers, when the liturgical community accepts new spiritual gifts from God.

Finally, one presented the biblical grounds for the anticipation and its presence in the third part of the Passover and Eucharist. Concerning the Eucharistic rite, one gave a new, connected to the anticipation, explanation of ‘the remembrance’ as a sacrifice that Jesus makes of Himself dying on Golgotha, the sacrifice already present, by the power of liturgical anticipation, in Cenacle. This Memorial Sacrifice, made of Jesus in the state of sacrificial dying on Golgotha, ensures the return of Jesus from the Abyss; it is the type of sacrifice that people used to offer in antiquity before going out to battle. Jesus does not offer this Sacrifice in Heaven, but in Cenacle, on the night before His Passion and Death on Golgotha, before going out to fight against the Devil to make us free from the power of Death.

To complete the whole analysis, one has shown that the practical consequence of the theology of Passover and Eucharist is the need to renew in Eucharistic communities the practice of the first centuries of Christianity, where the end of official liturgy did not mean the believers come back to their homes, but something contrary. Namely, they used to practice remaining on praying in sacramental union with the Lord Jesus.

Keywords:

Jesus, Eucharist, Holy Mass, Holy Communion, Moses, Exodus, Passover, Pesachim, four cups, Mishnah, Haggadah, Afikoman, Tzafun, Birkat hammazon, Judaism, treaty, covenant, rite, celebration, liturgy, liturgical anticipation, Book of Exodus, Bible, exegesis, literary structure, after-liturgy prayer.

Table of contents:

Introduction.

  1. Attempts to discover the beginning and the historical development of the Passover rite.

  2. The relation of the Passover rite with the Passover/Exodus covenant.

    Introduction.

    2.1.Ex 1-18 as a six-part treaty of the Passover/Exodus covenant.

    2.2.Passover as a four-part covenant renewal ceremony and as the exit from Egypt being performed now.

  3. The four parts of the Passover ritual as the making present the ceremony of making the covenant of Passover/Exodus.

    Introduction.

    3.1.The first part of the Passover – The time before the Passover meal in Egypt – Presentation of both contractors.

    3.2.The second part of the Passover – Time of the Passover Feast in Egypt – Approval of the law of the covenant by the weaker contracting party.

    3.3.The third part of the Passover – Time of leaving Egypt and crossing the sea (Ex 13:17-14:31) – Irrevocable act of covenant-making.

    3.4.The fourth part of the Passover – Time after the passage of the Sea of Reeds – Fulfillment of the promises of the covenant; commemoration of the covenant.

    3.5.After-seder, or prayers after the official rite of Passover.

    Introduction.

    3.5.1.Biblical grounds for the time of grace during the after-seder.

    3.5.2.Remarks on prayers in the time of after-Passover and after-Eucharist.

  4. An explanation of liturgical making present, anticipation, and ‘remembrance’ in the third part of the Passover and Eucharist.

    Introduction.

    4.1.Liturgical ‘making present’ as a transfer into the time of the original feast.

    4.2.The difference between the words for ‘remembering’ in the first and third parts of Passover.

    4.3.Application of the meaning of the words for ‘remembering’ in the Passover third part to explain the Eucharist third part.

Summary.

Introduction.

The Passover is the most excellent Jewish holiday, the most prominent element of the religion revealed to the Israelites as a means of communication of the Chosen People with God Himself, Creator and Savior – with Him who brought them out of Egyptian captivity around the fifteenth century before the birth of Christ [1], became their Lord, Guardian, and Spouse in order to bring them into the Promised Land as their heritage, as His gift to the Israel-Bride. The Passover is celebrated as a home liturgy under the guidance of the father of the family, who has a duty to ensure that everything goes according to what The Passover Haggadah – a liturgical book formed by Tradition for centuries – commands. This requirement of submission to the liturgical order – which in Hebrew expresses the word seder (סֵדֶר)  [2] – is characteristic of the Chosen People, who obey God as King of Israel.

The Passover is celebrated at a festive family table, where is the unique plate, a Seder plate, with symbolic dishes placed on it. There are also three unleavened bread (matzahs), placed one above the other on a decorative serviette. There are also wine and cups, which, as the liturgical action progresses, will be filled and, at the right moment, drunk for a sign that one of the four main stages of the liturgy of this holy Passover night comes or is already fulfilled.

The Passover is a religious rite, a sacred banquet, with its strictly defined logic of the successive four main stages, which consists of a total of fourteen smaller elements, each filled with various liturgical acts: prayers, singing, storytelling, the eating of lamb, unleavened bread, bitter herbs as dishes, by God himself commanded on the eve of their departure from Egypt, as well as other special symbolic dishes, devised by the fathers of Israel for the love of God during the long history of their communication with Him.

The Passover feast is celebrated with the family once a year. According to the law given already by God through Moses to Israelites in Egypt, and recorded in the Book of Exodus (12:1-13:16)  [3], Passover was to be celebrated each year on the same night 14th / 15th day of month Abib. This date relates itself to the historical fact: on that very night, God killed firstborns of Egypt and saved Israelites, who, according to His command, ate the paschal lamb in their houses, closed from inside and anointed from outside with blood of this lamb which they were eating.

The Passover night of the 15th day of the month Abib, the month of the first ears, is the first full moon in spring after the spring solstice, that is, when day becomes longer than night, and when the earth begins to produce the first crops of the new year.

Because the lunar month lasts about 28 days and begins when the moon is in the form of a sharp sickle and begins to reach its full-size day by day, the moon on the night of the 15th day is always fully visible.

Thus, the full moon was inscribed as an important sign into the liturgy itself, recalling that night illuminated by the light of the full moon, when, thanks to God’s intervention, the Israelites set out from Egyptian bondage after four hundred and thirty years of staying in the foreign land (cf. Ex 12:40). Remembering the reality of that night is extremely important, by God Himself commanded (cf. Ex 13: 3.14). It awakens in hearts of Paschal community gratitude to God for what He then did for their Fathers, and therefore also for them.

However, an in-depth study of the Passover liturgy shows that it is not merely a recollecting of ancient history. The whole Passover liturgy is intended to introduce its participants to that event fundamental for them as the Chosen People; it is intended to truly make them participants in salvific events which, from the point of view of human history and human nature, seem once and for all closed because they belong to the past time. Indeed unusual – because of its inaccessibility to sensual cognition – transfer of Passover participants into the past time, viz. into the time of leaving Egypt, will be presented in-depth in this article.

The purpose of this article is to show the inner logic of this great liturgy, the Passover. The logic of Passover must be read from The Passover Haggadah as a liturgical book, which is the fruit of a long process of formation in Tradition of Israel, finally recorded as an aid to the family’s father, who is to guard its faithful realization in the annual celebration. Furthermore, God Himself inscribed the logic of the Passover – through inspired authors, of whom Moses played an essential role – into the logic with which the Book of Exodus, its first eighteen chapters, was literarily composed.

It will be shown that the Passover is a structure made up of four main parts, each of which is associated with one cup of wine, drunk as the liturgical action progresses. However, the following question emerges almost immediately from this fact: why was the rite of the Passover constituted as a structure composed exactly of four parts? [4]

It turns out that in order to obtain a correct answer, it is essential to discover the relationship between this rite and an earlier means of how to perform the covenant-making ceremony, binding rulers of the ancient Near East countries around the 16th to 12th centuries before Christ. It is the discovery of this relationship between the Passover rite and the covenant-making ceremony that makes it possible to see a key fact. Namely, the liturgical order of the Passover’s elements is inscribed in the logic of covenant-making ceremony – the one God made with Israel at the time when He was leading her out from the foreign land to her land, the covenant that was made during the crossing of the Red Sea and thus before the well-known covenant on Mount Sinai [5].

At the beginning of the scientific analyses, it is worth asking one more question: to what extent is it essential to know the Passover today, when for two thousand years God has been inviting humankind to enter into a covenant with Him other than that from about the 15th century B.C. – a covenant which the Only Begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, made by crossing the ‘Red Sea’ of His human Blood!

It turns out that knowing the Jewish Passover is essential for a correct understanding of the Eucharistic liturgy. The mere observation that it has four main parts, as the Passover has, is very significant. However, this is not the only thing that arouses profound scientific and religious reflection. The Eucharist – just like the Passover – is built as real God’s time machine, as a perfectly sure means of truly (and not only imaginative!) transferring its participants into the time of the celebrated events. The Passover transports to the time of Israel’s passage from Egypt through the Red Sea to the land of freedom; the Eucharist transports to the time of Jesus Christ’s passage from this world through the Abyss-Death to the Father in Heaven.

Although the Eucharist will not be the subject of an in-depth analysis of this article, it will be worthwhile, when discussing the elements of the paschal liturgy, at least to signal the key analogies between them and the elements of the Eucharist. Only more space will be devoted to the third part of the rite, crucial for understanding the whole.

One should remember that on the night immediately preceding the day of His transition from this world to eternity, Jesus Christ among the chosen Apostles celebrated the Last Supper as the Jewish paschal liturgy [6]. Since Jesus and the Apostles did not eat the Passover lamb [7] at that time, the Passover liturgy of Jesus is, in its outward form of signs, the same as the Jewish Passover since the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in the year 70 – since then, the Jews have not eaten the lamb during the Passover because they have no temple to offer the lamb in it [8].

The words of Christ that St. Luke wrote at the beginning of the description of the Eucharist’s constituting, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer” (Lk 22:15), point out the necessity of getting to know the Jewish Passover to enter deeply into the mystery of His Holy Eucharist. Therefore, for the full realization of his vocation, the biblical scholar does not limit himself in scientific reflection to the exegesis of the Holy Scriptures’ texts in their original notation – he makes an effort to enter into the world of concepts and ways of expressing thoughts that were characteristic of the people of the cultural circle in which the notation was written [9]. Hence, the biblical exegesis must be supported by analyzing monuments belonging to many areas of the ancient world’s widely understood culture and religion, especially the Chosen People. The study of them is continuously deepened by archaeological, historical, cultural, or literary discoveries.

1.Attempts to discover the beginning and the historical development of the Passover rite.

Precise getting to know the Passover rite of Jesus’ time is therefore indispensable for interpreting those texts of the New Testament in which it was recorded the establishment of Eucharist, ‘New Passover’ as New Covenant in His Blood. However, it turns out that it has been known to science so far no ancient monument (literary or any other) earlier than from the second century after Christ, in which the Passover rite would have been thoroughly documented. The only such document is The Passover Haggadah. Scientists claim that its text was written gradually over many centuries, and the first version was probably compiled between the second half of the second century and the end of the fourth century [10].

In this situation, efforts to understand the origins of the Passover were based only on hypotheses. Among the various attempts to discover the origins of the Passover, the widest acceptance was given to the hypothesis of the cultural-religious evolution of the forms of this holiday, i.e., the hypothesis of its coming from two separate holidays – the shepherd’s feast of offering a lamb and the agricultural feast of offering the firstfruits of grain [11].

At the same time, however, according to a not insignificant group of eminent scientists, this hypothesis does not have a truly reliable scientific basis: “Frequently expressed the view that before the Israeli Passover some form of this holiday already existed as an annual spring nomadic holiday is based only on considerations of the history of culture and religious studies. There are no previous or contemporary extra-biblical sources to support this hypothesis.” [12]

To the arguments of this part of the researchers, it is worth adding here a recently discovered fact: the Book of Exodus shows the rite of the Passover as the fruit of God’s intervention and not the evolution of civil feasts. It will be explained in this article.

The divergence of scientific views is valuable from the research methodology point of view because it leads to an important question orientating the analysis. Namely, what, then, is the truth about the hypothesis, which shows Passover’s origins in an evolutionary and thus attractive way for those who expect science to be ‘scientifically effective’ in showing a ‘truth’ other than the one recorded in the Book of Exodus?

A careful study of the origins of this ‘evolutionary’ hypothesis and the history of its gradual acceptance by researchers shows that it is methodologically erroneous. To prove this hypothesis, the scientist took one fundamental argument from the hypothesis itself, i.e., from the claim he wanted to prove! – this is the so-called error of circular reasoning [13].

It is worth at least briefly discussing this error, which throughout the 20th century has been bearing bitter fruits of alleged scientific discoveries in biblical studies and still has many ‘devotees.’ It turns out that the grafting of this error on a healthy stem of a correct exegesis was deliberately done in two stages so that it could not be easily discovered.

In the first stage, the creators of this ‘evolutionary’ hypothesis invented a hypothetical development of the Passover rite, and then, based on it, estimated the age of those passages of the Bible that say something about the Passover. They did this so that they named these texts ‘the oldest,’ whose content was consistent with the oldest phase of rite development assumed by them; they named these texts ‘the youngest,’ whose content was consistent with the final phase of rite development assumed. They published the results of this ‘scientific effort.’ It is how the first main stage of their ‘research’ ended – to this day, in many textbooks and scientific studies [14], one can find lists in which individual, sometimes tiny fragments of the Holy Scriptures have been marked as belonging to their literary sources or layers (e.g., J, E, D, P).

In the second stage, which took place after some time, when it seemed that everyone had already forgotten that it was the assumed hypothesis of the development of the Passover ritual that yielded the classification of the fragments (e.g., into J, E, D, P), the opposite action was taken! Namely, based on the dating of fragments, the development of the Passover ritual was ‘scientifically reconstructed,’ i.e., one pointed out the oldest, intermediate, and the earliest stages of the Passover development.

As one can see, this result has no scientific value. Namely, the scientists proved this very order of successive historical stages of Passover development, which they had assumed at the beginning of their investigation of the date of origins of particular biblical fragments. Unfortunately, still, only a few Biblical scholars are aware of the logic of the circular reasoning – in their research work, many of them still rely on the dating of fragments, which is the fruit of the ‘research’ of the authors the ‘evolutionary development’ of the rite of the Passover.

This hypothesis, based on an allegedly scientifically established dating of fragments of the Bible, proved to be an illusion. Is it, therefore, possible to discover the original Passover rite through analysis of the canonical text of the Bible?

This article will present the results of the research of the Passover rite, which, as it turned out, was hidden in the Book of Exodus 1-18 under the colorful literary robe of the description of the Israelites’ exit from Egyptian captivity! The literary structure of the first eighteen chapters of the Book of Exodus consists of six pericopes, i.e., coherent literary units. Each pericope has its central theme, which, at the same time, is subordinated to the realization of the theme of the superordinate structure, viz. the Ex 1-18 literary arrangement.

The discovered numerical relationships [15] that characterize this six-element literary masterpiece are reality independent of the researcher’s views; they do not also result from the research method’s assumptions. Their existence proves that the last editor of Ex 1-18 was a Hebrew [16]. No less important fact independent of the views and scientific tastes of the exegete is that analogical numerical relationships characterize the length of the six arms of the holy candlestick (cf. Ex 25:31-36), the Menorah [17], whom Moses made by God’s command, “according to the pattern which the Lord had shown” (Num 8:4), and placed in the Meeting Tent. It cannot be the work of chance but the work of one Author – God.

At this point, it is worth recalling the principle formulated by the Polish biblical scholar, Fr. Julian Warzecha [18], which states that if in specific numerical dependencies of some fragment of the Bible is hidden the true (and not the one invented by an exegete!) Revelation, then it must also be included in the content of this fragment. Therefore, the role of numerical analysis is to guide the exegete on the path leading to discovering Revelation written naturally through words, sentences, and pericopes (larger literary wholes) in texts in which it may have been overlooked.

Literary and historical research has shown that the Book of Exodus 1-18 is not only a colorful narrative but, above all, a historical treatise that documents the covenant-making [19] between God and Israel.

The achievement of this research result was possible because it was preceded by the intensive work of many scientists exploring the issues of ancient inter-state alliances [20]. The covenants in the Ancient East were documented in the form of a covenant treaty on plaques made of baked clay, and many of them, due to archaeologists’ discoveries, are now available for experts in cuneiform writing [21]. One should underline first of all the fundamental importance of the research carried out by V. Korošec, who was the first to publish a paper on the Hittite treaties [22] based on source materials. Thanks to him, G. E. Mendenhall [23], in turn, analyzed these works and discussed their literary form. The progress of further research was made by K. Baltzer (the work from 1960) and D. J. McCarthy (1963)  [24]. An important place among Evangelical scholars is occupied by M. G. Kline [25].

The Book of Exodus 1-18 has the same literary schema as that used by ancient nations to draw up their treatises documenting covenants in the 16th-12th century before Christ. Based on this literary structure of Ex 1-18, a four-element structure of the Passover rite was built in Israel’s ancient past. This basic structure of original Israel’s Passover ritual from ancient times [26] has been preserved until today. Therefore, this structure was the same at the time when Jesus Christ celebrated the ‘New Passover.’ Thanks to it, it is possible to analyze the rite of the Eucharist based on this original rite of the Passover, the knowledge of which is essential today for the interpretation of the New Testamentary records of the Last Supper. It also makes it possible to reject the mentioned above evolutionary hypothesis of the development of the Passover rite with scientific certainty. The four-element Passover rite, from its beginning, i.e., from the exit of Egypt, was built upon the earlier six-element structure of the treatises of the ancient covenants of the 16th – 12th centuries before Christ.

To avoid possible misinterpretations, it is worth mentioning here that the first Passover of Israel in Egypt did not have any structure but was a simple religious act in honor of God, viz. eating the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. However, as one will show in part 4 of this article, the biblical writer, by God’s inspiration, gave such a structure to the literary pericope Ex 12:1-13:16, the one entirely representing this sacred meal of the Fathers as one of the six stages of the exodus. This pericope also has four parts, just the same as the liturgy of the Passover has.

Probably many centuries before the coming of the Messiah, each successive Passover liturgy, celebrated on the anniversary of the first, had already established the structure of the successive four parts, related to the drinking of the successive four ritual cups of wine [27] as the liturgical action progressed. This structure is preserved in The Passover Haggadah, [28] the basic Jewish book of the Passover liturgy [29].

This article will show precisely the Passover rite. To avoid mistakes in building the analogy between the Passover and the Eucharist in later research, one should now pay special attention to similar elements, belonging to two, three, or even four different parts of the Passover rite. It mainly concerns the sign of breaking the bread (in part 1., 2., and 3.)  [30] and the sign of filling or drinking the cup (the sign associated with the cup occurs as many as nine times [31], often not immediately before drinking it, and its filling may belong to a part other than drinking it!; one fills the cup of Elijah but does not drink it).

The Afikoman, an unleavened bread eaten in the third part of Passover, also needs a separate discussion. So far, the commentators did not perceive the combination of two Hebrew words in its name but only alleged distorted Greek words. As a result, they do not know the true meaning of the Afikoman.

This study’s crucial task is to indicate in the Passover rite the points constituting the beginning and end of each of the four main parts. This task is all the more important for the third part, which corresponds with the third part of the Eucharist, consisting of the Transubstantiation and Communion. It is only through patient and in-depth lexical analysis that this part can be properly extracted from the Passover rite as a very numerous collection of many detailed liturgical acts. Commentators usually do not notice this part at all, and they understand the Passover as a liturgy composed of three, not four main parts.

Therefore, due to the importance of the issue, one should already mention here that the Passover leader starts this part when he takes unleavened bread called Afikoman, breaks it into so many pieces as is the number of the Passover participants, and distributes these pieces to each of them for eating. The end of this part comes when one opens the door as a sign of leaving Egypt with this bread of the road, the Afikoman, and then closes the door. This part is the culmination of the liturgy. It makes present the passage of God and Israel between the waters of the Red Sea, a passage that is the act of making the covenant between God and His people. The Covenant of Passing – the Covenant of Passover – is earlier than that made at Sinai [32].

2.The relation of the Passover rite with the Passover/Exodus covenant.

Introduction.

One will now present the research results which allow seeing in a new light the literary composition of the first eighteen chapters of the Book of Exodus, and, at the same time, the importance of this literary and theological whole.

2.1.Ex 1-18 as a six-part treaty of the Passover/Exodus covenant.

Among all the Holy Scriptures’ pages, there is one part of them – the Book of Exodus – which devotes all its attention to the Israelites’ leaving out from Egyptian captivity. At the same time, this book also contains God’s command, given to the Israelites through Moses, obliging them to annually celebrate the Passover in honor of God on the night of the 15th day of the month Abib – the night of their departure from Egypt. The relationship between the Book of Exodus and the annual Passover is very interesting.

Already in the first meeting with the Book of Exodus 1-18, the reader notes that it presents in an extremely colorful way the dynamic course of the struggle of God and His representatives – Moses and Aaron – against Pharaoh, a man with a hardened heart, unable to let the Israelites leaving his country and coming out from his rule.

An in-depth literary, historical, and theological analysis of this part of the book allows us to discover that its narrative layer is not the only information carrier about the course of events in Egypt around 15th century B.C. It turns out that the first eighteen chapters of the Book of Exodus constitute a literary whole. It is an ancient document from around 16th – 12th century B.C., hidden, however, for those readers who either stop at the admiration of the outer robe of the book’s colorful narrative or strive hard to read it as a primitive, repetitive and internally contradictory literary monument of ancient Israel.

This ancient document becomes visible in Scripture only to one who in obedience to the Magisterium of the Church believes that its canonical text is truly the Word of God, which must not be modified by changing its words, sentences or passages – as do many exegetes now, and as they were fervently doing in 20th century, contrary to the teaching of the Church! [33] The content of Ex 1-18 is not merely a kind of precious ‘vessel’ in which the Israelites store more or less likely stories of Fathers about their ancient past. This document reveals its presence to those who are morally capable of giving up on the pseudo-hypothesis, ‘ruling’ in the 20th century’s exegesis entirely without scientific justifiability, the hypothesis, which depreciates these stories’ value by saying that they seem to be different human interpretations, partly contradictory, referring to some event from centuries ago, extremely important for creating the Nation but of unknown content [34].

Ex 1-18 is an ancient treaty documenting the covenant between God and Israel. It consists of six pericopes (literary wholes), which together constitute the literary structure of ancient treaty being an authentic historical document that attests to covenant between God Yahweh and Israel as His Chosen People [35].

In working on God’s Holy Scripture, obedience to God is always necessary. God, who speaks through the Magisterium of the Church, gives not only the inspired text from centuries ago but also the fundamental principles of its correct interpretation. Today, in the 21st century, obedience to the Church holds exegetes to refuse admiration for this fashionable hypothesis’s ‘achievements’ and for the resulting distorted principles of reading the Holy Scriptures. Everyone whom God has called to study the Bible scientifically is called to discover the astonishing intellectual beauty of the harmony of exegetical principles that Mother Church gives to her faithful. In recent centuries, she has been giving these rules tirelessly, even though most exegetes are more likely to relish what was born among strangers rather than what is the right gift of God in the sacred space of their own home.

The Book of Exodus 1-18 as a covenant treaty testifies that God not only freed Israel from slavery but also made a covenant with her! The covenant in question is not a Sinai covenant since there is another covenant, earlier than the well-known The Covenant of Ten CommandmentsThe Covenant of Passover/Exodus. God made this covenant with Israel in the same way as He did it about four hundred and fifty years earlier to make a covenant with Abram. What way do we mean here? – The passage between the halves of the cut animals (cf. Gen 15:13.17-18).

In His covenant with Abram, God in signs of fire and smoke passed between cut animals’ halves. Abram did not pass here because the covenant was one-sided: only God made commitments to Abram.

In His covenant with Abram’s descendants, God passed between the halves of Sea of Reeds (cf. Ex 14:15-31)  [36] in signs of the pillar of fire and cloud, almost identical to those of the covenant with Abram. Since this covenant was bilateral, the whole of Israel, the second contractor, also passed. Is the passage between the sea halves a fulfillment of the requirement to pass between the animal halves? Yes! In prophet Isaiah’s vision (Isa 51:9-10), it is a passage between the halves of a specific animal: Rahab [37]. Therefore, the passage of God and Israel between the halves of Sea/Rahab is the fulfillment of the ancient custom of covenant-making.

The passage between halves was not the only act in the ceremony of covenant-making in the 16th-12th centuries before Christ. It was the central act, already irrevocable, the third part of the ceremony. The whole ceremony consisted of four parts. God also realized His plan of liberating the Chosen People in four successive stages. Thus he spoke and made it known that He was not only doing an act of mercy towards the slave but was marrying Israel the Bride, making a covenant of love with Israel.

It was done by the One who chose the Israelites an entirely sovereignly for an unusual love relationship with Him. Since love by its very nature requires a free and reasonable response to love, God, to communicate His love to man in an understandable way, has adapted to man the means this unique content is communicated. He did so by precisely arranging the words and deeds that led to Israel’s liberation from Egypt.

By adjusting his ‘language’ to His Chosen people’s human capability of understanding Him, God ‘confessed His love’ and made a covenant of mutual love (cf. Deut 4:37; 5:10; 6: 5; 7: 9.13; 10: 12.15; 11: 1) by liberating them not by a single act that crushes Pharaoh, but by a four-step plan consistent with the four-step scheme of the covenant-making, established in the ancient East. Thus, God wrote down the ‘confession of love’ in this set of the consecutive four parts, which as a whole was both a liberation method and a four-element covenant ceremony.

In the Book of Exodus 1-18, these four stages of liberation (and the covenant-making) are written in four successive pericopes: 6:2-11:10; 12:1-13:16; 13:17-14:31; 15:1-21. Furthermore, the process of liberation (and the covenant-making) was preceded by a long preparation (1:1-6:1) and culminated in a long completion (15:22-18:27). As one will discuss it immediately below, the pericope 1:1-6:1 is the treatise’s prologue, and the pericope 15:22-18:27 is its epilogue. It is also important that irrevocable act of covenant-making fulfills in the whole passage [38] (13:17-14:31) of God and His people from the place of consumption of Passover (12:1-13:16) to the place of the singing of hymn (15:1-21): passage to sea and between its halves as being Rahab ‘cut in half.’

The four (1, 2, 3, 4) essential stages of exit from Egypt and the preparation (0) and the completion (0’) are as follows:

0.  the time of oppression in Egypt and God’s revelation at the burning bush (1:1-6:1).

  1. the time of ten signs (‘plagues’) in Egypt (6:2-11:10).
  2. the time of the feast of the lamb; then also God kills the first-born of Egypt (12:1-13:16).
  3. the time of passage to the sea and between its waters (13:17-14:31).
  4. the time of singing hymns in honor of God after the passage (15:1-21).

0’. the time of the march to God’s Mount Horeb, to Sinai (15:22-18:27).

Ex 1-18 meets the literary requirements imposed on ancient treaties in the XVI-XII century before Christ. The treaty consists of six successive parts:

0.historical prologue, showing the previous relations between both sides
1., 2., 3., 4.report on the four-element covenant-making ceremony
0’.legal epilogue, regulating mutual relations of contractors in everyday life

In the middle of the treaty – between prologue and epilogue – there was a report on the covenant-making ceremony. Covenants were made not by signing the document but through a liturgical celebration: on a day previously set, the contractors celebrated the four-element covenant ceremony together. Each consecutive part of the ceremony was described in the consecutive part of the treaty (from 1 to 4).

The ceremony proceeded as follows:

  1. Presentation of both contractors, with the eastern exaggeration to show the stronger contractor’s majesty, his superiority over other rulers, and his ability to defend the weaker partner. The same purpose was also served by listing gifts that stronger promised to convey to weaker at the end of the ceremony, after an irrevocable covenant-making act.
  2. Handing over the basic covenant law by a stronger contractor to a weaker one; the weaker one accepts the law by taking it.
  3. Irrevocable act of covenant-making [39]: contractors pass between the halves of the cut animals laid on the ground soaked with their blood. The weaker contractor, passing by, announces conditional blessings and curses (if he is faithful to the covenant, he will be a participant of these blessings; if he is unfaithful, of these curses).
  4. Commemoration of the covenant by planting a tree or raising a mound. Fulfillment of the promises made in the first part of the ceremony: the sovereign hands over the promised gifts, the vassal now regards the sovereign as its king.

2.2.Passover as a four-part covenant renewal ceremony and as the exit from Egypt being performed now.

God led Israel out of Egypt not through a single act crushing the Egyptians but in four successive stages to simultaneously celebrate a four-element covenant-making ceremony [40] with Israel. The annual celebration of Passover takes the form of a liturgical ceremony of renewing this covenant.

The difference between the ceremony of making and renewing the covenant is:

Passover is the renewal of a covenant that was irrevocably made between the sea’s waters being divided only once in history. Passover makes Passover being present, i.e., it introduces the participants of the celebration to the historical time of the consecutive four stages of liberation, which are elements of the covenant-making [41]. It introduces into:

  1. in part 1 and only in this part 1: the time of their stay with the Fathers in Egypt, the time preceding their paschal feast; the time when God, the mighty ruler, initiates the ceremony of the covenant-making, giving promises to Israel (in Passover, it is the time of a religious story – the time of haggadah),
  2. in part 2 and only in this part 2: the time of the Paschal feast with the Fathers in Egypt, the time of the Lord’s intervention towards the first-born of Egypt, the time filled with obedient acceptance and fulfillment of the law of Passover, the law of covenant (in Passover it is the time of eating the lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs),
  3. in part 3 and only in this part 3: the time of departure with the Fathers from the place of eating the paschal feast, the time of God’s passage (in the signs of fire and cloud) and Israel between the divided waters of the sea, the passage being an irrevocable act of making a covenant (in Passover it is the time of eating the unleavened Afikoman),
  4. in part 4 and only in part 4: the time of singing the hymns with the Fathers after the passage of the sea, the hymns raised by the Spirit of the Lord in the hearts and on the lips of the saved; the time of praising with Fathers the Lord as the King who has given His people all that He had promised in part 1: The Lord became God for Israel, Israel became the Lord’s People; the Lord has given Israel the Promised Land and freedom (in Passover it is the time of singing hymns).

One should emphasize: God himself is the author of the ritual of the Passover as the ceremony of the renewal of the covenant, whose treatise is Ex 1-18. God wanted to ‘speak’ to the Chosen People in the language of human culture, the language of the ancient covenants, when, successively entering into history, according to His plan, performed the work of bringing them out of captivity in four main stages, preceded by a preparatory stage, crowned by a stage completing the whole of His plan. The Passover, in the language of the liturgical signs, passes on this ‘speech’ of God to the next generations of believing Israelites.

To understand the Passover liturgy is essential to be aware of that [42]:

A careful study of all the acts and words of the Passover rite reveals a certain difficulty in recognizing the truth that each subsequent part of the Passover represents the next stage of the Exodus from Egypt, described in consecutive pericopes of 1-18.

First, one should note that Passover has four parts, and Ex 1-18 has six parts. This difficulty one solves in two ways:

However, it is now necessary to note a significant problem related to Passover’s first part as a covenant ceremony. The purpose of the first part is to present contractors, including graces of the stronger contractor to the weaker one, given to him until the day of covenant-making. This goal is precisely achieved in the first consolidated part of the Book of Exodus (1:1-11:10): it describes only the events from before the Passover feast. On the other hand, if the researcher does not devote enough time to analyzing the first part of The Passover Haggadah, it will seem to him that this goal is not precisely achieved in the first part of Passover. It is because of one mentions here not only those interventions of God for Israel that Ex 1:1-11:10 describes, but also those which took place during the feast and after it – the first part of Passover lists all the Lord’s graces until the time when King Solomon erected the temple at Zion (but not later)!

Does this observation prove that Israel’s whole history up to Solomon’s time is already presented in the Passover rite in the first part? (The rite so understood would have the logic of a theatrical performance, in which, however, after the first part there would be a move back in history to the time of the Passover feast in Egypt that is made present by the second part of the Passover rite).

This difficulty should be solved as follows:

The listing of all the Lord’s favors until the time of the temple’s construction testifies to the fact that the author of the Paschal rite recorded in The Passover Haggadah lived in the temple times and knew that the Passover has the logic of the ceremony of the renewal of the covenant [43], not making it. Therefore, he presents in the first part of Haggadah God as the sovereign whose all the merits did up to the covenant renewal day were to be specified. In this way, in the first part of the Passover, the time before the day of feasting in Egypt is made present, though the liturgical way (i.e., liturgical sign) of making it present is as follows: one tells about all the favors of the Lord until the day of renewal of the covenant in the times of King Solomon’s temple.

It is only by distinguishing the sign from what it represents that we can see [44] that the consecutive four groups of historical events that make up the whole work of Israel’s liberation from Egypt are made present successively in the paschal rite because they are the sequential four elements of the ceremony of renewing the covenant.

3.The four parts of the Passover ritual as the making present the ceremony of making the covenant of Passover/Exodus.

Introduction.

The Passover rite has four main parts, in which 14 successive points are arranged: 5 points in the first and the second part, and 2 points in the third and fourth parts [45].

The fourteen points of the rite are to remind us of the date of departure from Egypt: On the 14th day of the month Abib (the month of ear-forming, or growing green), the Israelites were to prepare the Passover (cf. Ex 12:6) to begin the feast in honor of the Lord after the sunset, i.e., when the 15th day began, according to the Jewish calculation.

The four main parts of the rite also have deep meaning: they are built according to the same principle according to which in the Ancient East, in the four-part celebration, covenants were made in the XVI-XII centuries before Christ, i.e., in the period when the historic year of departure from Egypt falls.

Just as the four-stage exit from Egypt (cf. Ex 6:1-15:21) is included in the clamp ‘preparation – conclusion’ [46] (1:1-6:1 and 15:22-18:27), so the Passover has the clamp which consists of two elements: ‘before-seder’  [47] (removal of acid from the house, lighting a candle) and ‘after-seder’  [48] (until the morning prayers, singing in honor of God, meditating on God’s miracle of bringing Israel out of Egypt).

One will now discuss the four parts of the Passover in detail. It is necessary to note that it is not only a matter of listing the liturgical details but also of getting to know the essential feature of the divine liturgy, which the Eucharist also has. In fact, the Passover, according to the plan of God, was established not only to constitute the most important means of communication between Him and Israel but also to constitute the biblical-liturgical type [49] for the Eucharist. One can understand the Eucharist only if he understands the Passover. The four main parts of the rite of the Eucharist will be specified according to Luke 2:42, where this rite is hidden [50].

First, it is necessary to discover with amazement that the Jews, following Rabbi Gamaliel [51], express a deep conviction that the entire Passover liturgy is moving them truly (and not only imaginatively) into the past, into the time of leaving Egypt! So the people who are in covenant with God (only the circumcised can take part in the Passover), and belonging to a different historical time than the time of leaving Egypt, are, thanks to the supernatural action of God, transferred in a way that is inaccessible to the senses into reality several dozen centuries distant: they leave Egypt together with the Fathers!

This amazing knowledge about the existence in our world of a supernatural ‘time vehicle,’ whom the Passover is, one must furthermore supplement with the most important information: The Passover does not take them somehow only generally into the past, into the whole exit from Egypt but in a different way. Each of these consecutive four main parts of this liturgy carries them sequentially into the time of the consecutive stage of the exit from Egypt. It is an extremely valid completion to Israel’s deep faith in the miracle that takes place each time they celebrate the Passover liturgy – they genuinely become participants of four consecutive sets of events that, from the point of view of their lifetime, seem to belong to reality once and for all finite, inaccessible to them.

To deepen the understanding of this ‘time vehicle,’ whom the Passover is, it is worth carrying out the following brief reasoning. Well, one knows that during the celebration of the Passover liturgy, its participants’ historical time of life runs as always. Therefore, the set of four consecutive parts of the Passover liturgy is a short history – the history of the celebration of the Passover by a given community, the history closed in several hours of their celebration. If we name this group of four consecutive parts of the liturgy a ‘mini-history,’ then, to express the essential property of the Passover liturgy, one can briefly say as follows:

As the liturgical making present of the four-stage history, the Passover is a mini-history of the making present of the four stages of this history.

Or even shorter:

The Paschal making present of the history is a mini-history of making present of a part of this history.

In this sentence, the term ‘making present’ should be understood according to Gamaliel’s faith presented above, as a proper relocation of the community into a distant historical time and space of the historical event.

This concise statement means that the Passover makes Exodus’s history from Egypt present in the way that it is a sequence of passage from the making present of one main stage of Exodus from Egypt to the next one. This mini-history has only four ‘events,’ and each of these ‘events,’ being the made presence of one of four main stages of Exodus, contains many particular sub-events from one stage of distant history of Exodus from about the fifteenth century BC. One will discuss these in detail below.

Speaking about Passover, one should remember one more fact. Behold, on one particular day around the 15th century B.C., God began to carry out the plan of liberating the Israelites from Egypt in such a way that not only carry out the liberation but, at the same time – following the regulations customarily accepted by rulers of that epoch – carry out four consecutive elements of the ceremony of making His covenant with Israel.

Therefore, when speaking about the Passover as the making present of the history of Exodus from Egypt, one must remember that it is simultaneously the making present of the ancient covenant-making ceremony. Therefore, the Passover as a mini-history of four ‘making present’ is composed of four ‘events,’ each of which takes its participants into one successive stage in the history of Exodus, which is at the same time one of four successive stages in the ceremony of the covenant-making.

As the liturgical making present of the four-stage history, the Passover is a mini-history of four acts of making-present of this story’s stages.

As the liturgical making-present of the four-stage covenant-making ceremony, the Passover is a mini-history of four stages of this ceremony.

3.1.The first part of the Passover – The time before the Passover meal in Egypt – Presentation of both contractors.

Introduction.

The first part in the four-part structure of the Passover, the equivalent of Ex 1:1-11:10 in the structure of Ex 1-18, serves to present God and Israel as covenant parties, with an emphasis on the greatness, grandeur, and generosity of the stronger one, and on showing the merits of the stronger partner toward the weaker one (cf. Ex 1:1-6:1). It also presents the promises made to the weaker partner by the stronger one when He initiates the ceremony of the covenant-making, namely (cf. Ex 6:7-8): He announces the covenant-making, promises the gifting of land and freedom, declares His commitment to defending the weaker partner against his enemies.

In Ex 6:2-11:10, the required emphasis on presenting a stronger counterparty is realized in an unusual way through the miraculous ten signs (cf. particularly meaningful statement in Ex 10:1-2). In turn, the requirement to present a weaker counterparty is fulfilled by the placed genealogy of Moses and Aaron (cf. Ex 6:13-27). It is placed in the middle of the narrative and thus utterly inexplicably from the action dynamics point of view, since ‘nobody knows why’ [52] it interrupts the description of quickly changing events. However, this genealogy is in the right place there, quite just because of the requirement enclosed in the ancient covenant treaty’s literary scheme of 16th-12th centuries B.C. to present a weaker contractor.

In the first part of the Passover, the presentation of God (primarily through the haggadah, i.e., the story in the 5th point) and Israel (especially in the 3rd point, impossible to interpret without reference to the teachings of the rabbis) is also realized. The first part of the Passover is made up of five points.

3.1.1. Kaddesh (קַדֵּשׁ): recitation of Kiddush.

Kiddush is a blessing. In the beginning, after all the Passover participants have gathered in a ready room with a table set, the first cup of wine is poured, but it is not the time to be drunk now. The leader raises it up and pronounces two blessings: one over the wine and the other over the feast. After the blessing, everyone drinks the first cup of wine while sitting down, leaning on the left side as a sign of freedom. The Haggadah emphasizes that Passover is celebrated by free people – those who have become free thanks to covenant with God.

3.1.2. Urechatz (וּרְהַץ): washing of hands.

The leader of the supper washes his hands. It can also be done – in different traditions – by other participants of the ceremony.

3.1.3. Karpas (כַּרְפַּס): eating of the parsley (having dipped it in salty water).

Karpas is a green vegetable that should be eaten after immersing in salty water or vinegar. Karpas is eaten for the presentation of a weaker contractor [53].

3.1.4. Yachatz (יַחַץ): breaking the middle matzah to have Afikoman.

The leader takes the middle of the three specially prepared matzoth and breaks it into two unequal parts. The larger one he wraps in a special napkin, hiding it under the pillow on which he supports. Hidden unleavened bread will serve in the third part of Passover as Afikoman.

Some people have a habit of putting the Afikoman on their shoulders for a while (according to Ex 12:34, which says that the Fathers, hastily leaving Egypt, carried a dough on their shoulders) and reciting: “Biwhilu Jacaku mi Micrajim” (you were leaving Egypt in a hurry) [54], which refers to the biblical record from Deut 16:3: בְחִפָּזוֹן יָצָאתָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם. One should emphasize that this custom as a liturgical sign does not mean that the Passover participants are now, i.e., in the 1st part of the Passover, participating in the departure from Egypt!

It is not until the 3rd part of the Passover that the participants are taken onto the way to leave Egypt. Whereas all signs of the 1st part serve to make present the time before the departure – the time which in Egypt served to present the contractors, including the weaker contractor’s difficult situation from which the stronger one leads him out. One must therefore read the described gesture of the positioning of the Afikoman on the shoulder in the same key as the sign above mentioned of eating Karpas: while commemorating the state of slavery, from which God will lead Israel, it shows, above all, the greatness of the stronger contractor, God, who (as the Passover will remind in parts 2, 3 and 4) in the successive stages of His plan defeated the Pharaoh, and thus led His people out of this state. This sign, therefore, is at the same time an explanation of the Afikoman – an announcement of its role in the third part of Passover, when its consumption will serve to make present the exit from Egypt.

3.1.5. Maggid (מַגִּיד): telling the story about Exodus from Egypt.

Initially, the leader shows the tray with unleavened bread that remained after breaking Afikoman away and speaks of them as “the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt” [55]. The time spent in captivity in Egypt is highlighted here again. The second cup of wine is now being poured, but it will take a long time to drink it: until the end of the haggadah [56]. Now the children ask traditional questions, then the prayer follows, and then the chairman begins the haggadah, that is, the story of Israel: the story begins with Terah, father of Abram, and ends with fifteen of the many graces that God has given Israel, leading her from Egypt to the Promised Land [57].

To point 1.5. of The Passover Haggadah formally belong a few more acts, which are explanations and prayers, that is, elements characteristic for the 1st part, but which one must also regard as elements of the 2nd part, which focuses itself on the realization of what point 1.5. explains here. These acts are as follows:

3.1.6. Comments on the first part of the Passover and of the Eucharist.

Speaking in the language of St. Luke’s notions from Acts 2:42, the first part of Passover as the teaching of messengers-Apostles (ἡ διδαχὴ τῶν ἀποστόλων) realizes the first part of the covenant-making ceremony. It presents (through the haggadah) God and the People as contractors. The scope of events, which it mentions from the history of their mutual relations, is not limited to the day of covenant-making but crosses up (‘actualizes’) to the day of Passover celebration [60].

The first part of Eucharist is also the ‘teaching of the Apostles,’ in which God (through the lector, cantor, minister of the Gospel and homily) presents Himself and the People as contractors of the New Covenant, at the same time applying actualization to the readings of the Holy Bible’s text. It is the first part of the liturgy of the word.

3.2.The second part of the Passover – Time of the Passover Feast in Egypt – Approval of the law of the covenant by the weaker contracting party.

Introduction.

In the second part of Passover, one eats unleavened bread and bitter herbs as the food-symbols ordered by God to the Israelites in Egypt, and then eats ordinary food, remembering that there should be no acid in it. The analogy of this second part of the rite to the pericope of law (Ex 12:1-13:16)  [61] is strongly evident in these customs. One has highlighted below those elements that bear witness to the purpose of this second part: the obeying of the covenant law, a law given to Israel by God in Egypt.

3.2.1. Rachtzah (רַחַץ): second washing of hands.

It is the second washing of hands (cf. 1.2). Washing hands is a custom practiced by Jews before eating. During Passover, this action is accompanied by a blessing: “Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the universe, who sanctified us by your commandments (בְּמִצְוֹתָיו) and commanded us (וְצִוָּנוּ) to wash our hands.” The Book of Exodus does not contain such a command. Hence it should be concluded that in this blessing, the author of The Passover Haggadah, inspired by God, emphasized the goal of the whole second part: the acceptance of the covenant law.

3.2.2. Motzi and Matzah (מוֹצִיא מַצָה): two blessings over matzoth.

The leader recites the blessing, holding in his hands all three unleavened matzoth, viz. bread (without a piece set aside as Afikoman), expresses his gratitude to God for “the bread He brings out of the earth.”

Then the leader puts aside the lower unleavened bread and says a blessing above the others, in which he thanks God for ordering them to eat unleavened bread (cf. Exodus 12:15-20): “Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the universe, who sanctified us by your commandments (בְּמִצְוֹתָיו ) and commanded us (וְצִוָּנוּ) to eat matzah.” Now he breaks off piece by piece from the unleavened matzoth (upper and half of the middle one) for everyone, and everyone eats, leaning on the left side, for a sign of freedom.

One should note that this element is visually similar to the breaking and separating of Afikoman in the third part of Passover and the breaking and separating of the Holy Host in the third part of Eucharist. However, this similarity does not mean that it is a gesture of the same meaning! No! In this second part of Passover, all acts serve to carry out the second part of the covenant renewal ceremony and therefore serve to accept the covenant law, the law which, among other things, prescribes the consumption of bread without acid.

3.2.3. Maror (מָרוֹר): eating the bitter herb (having dipped it in salty water).

The leader immerses a small amount of bitter herbs (i.e., Maror) in charoset [62], recites a blessing in which he expresses gratitude to God for the command to eat bitter herbs (cf. Ex 12:8): “Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the universe, who sanctified us by your commandments (בְּמִצְוֹתָיו) and commanded us (וְצִוָּנוּ) to eat the Maror.” Now everyone eats bitter herbs [63].

Comparing consumption of herbs in 3.1.3 (Karpas) and 3.2.3 (Maror) , one can see that each point of rite fulfills the purpose of its part: presentation of contractor in 3.1.3; acceptance of law in 3.2.3. The external similarity of the liturgical sign can be misleading for an interpreter. However, awareness of this danger makes him capable of reading precisely the purpose of each part and belongingness of this sign to a particular part.

3.2.4. Korekh (כּוֹרֵךְ): Eating the sandwich made with matzah, bitter herb and charoset.

According to Hillel’s custom of temple times, one prepares a unique ‘sandwich’: he places bitter herbs on the rest (lower) of the unleavened bread. In Hillel’s time, there was also lamb meat on such a sandwich. This custom was a meticulous means of fulfilling God’s command to eat lamb-Passover with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (cf. Ex 12:8).

Before consumption this time, there is no blessing but a confession of obedience to the Holy Tradition; this confession is analogous in meaning to a blessing [64]. One eats ‘a sandwich,’ leaning on the left side as a sign of freedom.

3.2.5. Shulchan Orekh (שֻׁלְחָן עוֹרֵךְ): eating of the festive meal.

In the previous three points of this second part of Passover, there has been the fulfillment of God’s commandments given to the Fathers for the feast in Egypt at night 15. Abib. Now the participants of the Passover will eat without obeying any special laws except not to consume anything with acid (see Ex 12:15.19).

3.2.6. Comments on the second part of the Passover and of the Eucharist.

One should note that the second part of the Passover rite is analogous to:

Speaking in the language of St. Luke’s notions from Acts 2:42, this second part of Passover as ‘fellowship’ (κοινωνία), i.e., the fellowship of the table, is the realization of the second element of the ceremony of covenant-making: when the Passover participants form a unique community by eating dishes ordered by God, they accept the covenant law.

The second part of the Eucharist is also ‘fellowship’ – it was originally ‘a community of the table’ (cf. 1Cor 11:20f), taken from Passover. As a consequence of emerging abuses in eating and drinking during this fellowship, the Apostles decided to transform it into a community of prayer and collection of donations for the poor. So in the Eucharist is only a different form but the same ‘fellowship,’ being the second element of the covenant ceremony, viz. accepting the covenant law. Since the New Covenant’s fundamental law is to love God and neighbor, the profound logic of signs of the second part of the Eucharist is identical with that of the second part of the Passover: believers accept the law from God in the second part of both rites. In the Eucharist: the command to love brothers (expressed by praying for brothers and supporting them in need). In the Passover: the command to eat unique symbolic-food at night on the 15th of the month Abib, namely, lamb with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.

At the same time, one should note that contrary to the first association: Consumption of the Passover lamb is not an act that makes present an irrevocable act of covenant-making (that is, the counterparties’ act of passing [65] between halves of animals). It is not as in the Eucharist, where the act of covenant-making consists of eating the body and drinking the blood of Jesus as the Lamb taking away the sins of the world (cf. Jn 1:29.36; Acts 8:32; 1Pet 1:19) and as our Passover (cf. 1Cor 5:7).

The Lamb eaten in the Passover does not prefigure Jesus as the Lamb. The community eats the Lamb during the second part of Passover to accept the law of the covenant. This covenant is being made present by the whole consisting of the four parts of Passover liturgy. It is precisely the appropriateness of Passover’s consecutive parts (as the four-element rite of the covenant renewal) with the Eucharist’s consecutive parts (as the four-element rite built on the Passover rite) that makes us realize how illusory this first association is. It is not until the unleavened bread of the Passover, the Afikoman, that prefigures Christ as the Bread Releasing Himself to Death that we may have eternal life.

However, ahead of what one will discuss in the next section of the article, it should be emphasized: The rabbinical explanation, which makes us understand Afikoman as a liturgical representation of Passover Lamb and its last bite, is a preview of the Lamb whom one eats during the third part of Eucharist. This rabbinical view is this important preview only thanks to a genuinely excellent decree of God!, since, as a result of thorough scientific research, the rabbinic explanation of Afikoman turned out to be inconsistent with the etymology of the word ‘Afikoman,’ and with the name of the point ‘Tzafun,’ in which one eats Afikoman in the frame of the third part of Passover. One will discuss it below.

3.3.The third part of the Passover – Time of leaving Egypt and crossing the sea (Ex 13:17-14:31) – Irrevocable act of covenant-making.

Introduction.

This part consists of two points: Tzafun and Barekh. It is a fundamental part of Passover as a ceremony of covenant renewal. Both its correct extraction from the set of many detailed liturgical acts of Passover rite, as well as an understanding of its essential content, are the result of many lexical analyses of The Passover Haggadah [66], which often was leading to correcting of its inadequate explanations.

3.3.1. Tzafun (צָפוּן): eating of the Afikoman.

Afikoman, i.e., a piece of unleavened bread, hidden in the first part of the Passover (צָפוּן in Hebrew), is now being found. It is usually done by children, who receive a prize for finding Afikoman. Then the leader breaks Afikoman and distributes piece by piece to each of the participants of the Passover. Everyone, leaning on the left side as a sign of freedom, eats Afikoman. In the remarks in The Haggadah, this is indicated here: Afikoman should be eaten before midnight, and nothing else can be eaten after it [67].

Contrary to comments [68], Afikoman does not symbolize the lamb-Passover, and the name ‘Afikoman’ cannot be interpreted as a distorted Greek expression for ‘dessert’! It is the Hebrew word אֲפִיקוֹמָן  [69], which is a combination of two Hebrew words אֲפִיקוֹ + מָן, which means: ‘its bottom is manna’ or ‘its bottom, manna’ or ‘bottom of the sea,’ [70] pointing to the unleavened (non-acid – like manna) bread that the Israelites ate as they were passing through the bare bottom of the Sea of Reeds:

Carrying on their shoulders an unleavened dough in vessels, the Israelites were as if covering the exposed bottom of the sea with manna. Therefore, consuming Afikoman during the Passover means for them that now, while consuming, they participate in the passage on the bare bottom of the Sea of Reeds. At the same time, this passage by the sea is an act of covenant-making. Therefore, consuming the Afikoman is a special act – participation in the irrevocable act of the covenant-making.

Why does not one eat anything after the consumption of Afikoman? It is because the march out of captivity happened so suddenly that the Israelites did not have any food supplies other than unleavened dough (cf. Ex 12:34), so they baked unleavened cakes on their way (Ex 12:39). Only this food was eaten on the way from the place of the lamb consumption to the place of passage through the Sea of Reeds and further to the place where God started giving manna (cf. Ex 16), which replaced unleavened bread. After the Afikoman consuming, nothing is eaten: not because it is a dessert, but because the rite in this means evokes the reality of the march out from captivity.

It is worth adding that the Hebrew sentence in The Treatise Pesahim X.8 in Mishnah, containing the word אֲפִיקוֹמָן and quoted in The Passover Haggadah in an answer for the wise son, is incorrectly translated in various ways. For example, in Jastrow’s dictionary [71]: “After the Paschal meal, one must not wind up by saying, ‘Now to the after-meal entertainment.’” The correct literal translation reads as follows: “At the time of Passover, there are not any ‘those who open wombs’ after the consumption of paschal Afikoman,” which means: during Passover, after eating unleavened Afikoman, there is no custom of offering the first-born animals to God (first-borns are ‘those who open wombs’), although in the pericope of the law in the Book of Exodus, which is a model for the Passover rite, after the order to consume only unleavened bread as a sign of departure from Egypt (13:3-11) there is a description of the laws prescribing offerings of the first-born victims (13:12-16) [72]!

The word צָפוּן – the name of this rite point – hides a connection with the place of crossing the Sea of Reeds: according to Num 33:7 בַּעַל צְפוֹן. The words צָפוּן (hidden) and צְפוֹן (north) differ only by vowel signs, added only six centuries after Christ. Originally it was the same word צפון in both texts.

One should also remind that in the 1st part of Passover, the word יַחַץ as a form of the word חצה is the name of the 4th point, within which the leader broke the middle matzah and separated most of it as Afikoman. Thus Afikoman already refers to the passage through the Sea of Reeds at its bottom, between its broken waters [73].

Finally, one should emphasize that although Afikoman is connected – as a consumable product – with the 2nd part, which consists entirely of acts of eating, however, Afikoman does not belong to that part! The Book of Exodus puts the border between the time of consumption before leaving Egypt and the time of consumption after that breakthrough. The Book of Exodus emphasizes that unleavened bread as the food of the time after going out is the Passover’s food-sign of the same importance as the Passover’ lamb, the food of the time before going out [74]!

One should note that although the third cup will be filled in the next point (3.2.), it does not mean that only then will the third part of the rite begin [75].

3.3.2. Barekh (בָּרֵךְ): thanksgiving for the food; prayers for Elijah and Messiah.

Unfortunately, the comments to this point indicate the relationship of thanksgiving prayers only to the consumed Paschal supper in the second part of the rite. However, the prayers’ content proves that here Israel thanks God for the food of the second part (the food of the supper in Egypt) and the third part (the food of the departure after supper). If God did not make the cakes carried out on the shoulders of the Israelites enough for the first stage of the journey, the fleeing would be starved, without even reaching the Sea of Reeds, let alone the other side.

Thanksgiving for the food of the way is connected with another dimension of this point: the prayer that God would come down to them this very night, come with His salvation to lead all Israel under the Prophet Elijah and/or Messiah towards messianic times, towards eternal life.

The course of this point:

One pours the third cup of wine first. According to some versions of The Haggadah [76], Psalm 126 is now to be recited [77].

The next act is the third washing of hands [78].

It is followed by the recitation of ‘Birkat hammazon’ (בִּרְכַּת הַמָּזוֹן – ‘blessing of the food’ [79]). This prayer is much longer and thematically extended in comparison to its version not intended for the Passover but only for the end of a meal [80]. Here the Passover participants first thank God for food and salvation, and then they ask for these goods, and especially for their salvation in this day of the Passover celebration; then they ask for peace and rebuilding of Jerusalem; then they ask the Lord to shatter the yoke from their necks and bring them with their raised heads to their land; then they ask God to send them the Prophet Elijah with the news of salvation, and to bless the host in whose house they ate Passover; then they ask for the grace in the eyes of God and people; and they ask for them to remain until the Messiah comes and the life of the world to come [81].

The content of this prayer is not only the thanksgiving for food, but first of all, it is the entrusting the whole existence of the People into the hands of God, who now (by the power of the liturgy!) crushes their yoke and brings them out of Egyptian captivity, and, providing food, leads them among the terrible hostile powers to the shore of freedom, one day to lead them to the world to come.

The blessing over the wine is then recited, and everyone drinks the third cup of wine, leaning on the left side as a sign of freedom.

According to some traditions, one fills the cup for Elijah now, and Elijah can immediately come (to lead them into the future world) when the door is opened. One opens the door now, and one requests that the Lord will now pour out His wrath (חֲרוֹן) on nations. It is a liturgical sign of the Passover participants’ passage through the 3rd stage of the Exodus from Egypt. It is because, after the supper of the Passover lamb (which was made present by the 2nd part of the rite), Israelites had to open the door (closed so far according to the command of God – cf. Ex 12:22) to begin their departure from Egypt under the guidance of God in the hope that He will protect them from enemies. So it happened: “In your great majesty you overthrew your adversaries; you loosed your wrath (חֲרוֹן) to consume them like stubble” (Ex 15:7) – the free Israelites announced in their song immediately after the passage to the other side of the sea.

After this, one should close the door to close the third part of the rite and simultaneously end the Passover community’s presence in the historical time of exit from Egypt and crossing the sea.

3.3.3. Comments on the third part of the Passover and of the Eucharist.

Speaking in the language of St. Luke’s notions in Acts 2:42, the third part of Passover as the breaking of bread (ἡ κλάσις τοῦ ἄρτου) is the realization of the third part of the covenant ceremony, viz. of the irrevocable act of the covenant-making (cut – כרת).

It is worth emphasizing that everyone consumes from one bread (Afikoman) and one cup:

Consumption from the third cup is separated from the consumption of the Afikoman with long prayers [82]. Both these acts, emphasizing the liturgical community’s unity, together form the framework for the whole third part of the rite as the presence of time of passage of all Israel through the sea. It is not only the passage of Fathers but also of all Passover participants from all generations up to the end of the world, regardless of place and year in which each of them takes part in Passover celebration. The prayers recited between these two framework acts of consumption are modeled on the blessings customarily pronounced by the weaker contractor during the transition between the two parts of animals cut into halves [83].

The third part of the Eucharist is also ‘breaking of bread.’ The priest breaks and distributes to all the Body of Christ and distributes the Blood of Christ. Everyone eats from one Body and drinks from one Cup (cf. 1Cor 10:16-17). At this moment, the passage with Jesus Christ, Incarnate God, through the middle of the darkness of Abyss-Death, is made. This passage through the ‘Red Sea’ of Blood of Jesus with ‘Unleavened Bread – His Body’ is an already irrevocable act of making the New Covenant – the realization of the third part of the ceremony of the covenant-making. The act of procession with gifts at the beginning of the third part and communion procession at the end of the third part are signs of the passage taking place. The procession is accompanied by singing – the equivalence of prayers of the third part of the Passover.

One more, very significant, must be added to these analogies: there is anticipation in both liturgies. Since it needs a longer explanation, one will discuss it in a separate, fourth point of this article.

3.4.The fourth part of the Passover – Time after the passage of the Sea of Reeds – Fulfillment of the promises of the covenant; commemoration of the covenant.

Introduction.

This part consists of two points, the first of which has a particularly solemn character of thanksgiving, while the second is the finale of the official Passover rite.

3.4.1. Hallel (הַלֵּל): recitation of the second part of Hallel.

Psa 114-118 (or 115-118) is sung, then Ps 136 with the additional prayer preceding it, then a very long prayer, “Let the soul of every living being bless your name, O Lord, our God […]”.

According to some Jewish traditions, it is now time to finish the whole rite with words: “Next year in Jerusalem! Others still here continue to praise God, listing the miracles performed by God on various paschal nights [84], and only then end this point (but not yet the whole) with the above words.

3.4.2. Nirtzah (נִרְצָה): final singing.

Now you have to say: ‘Next year in Jerusalem! Then the blessing on the wine is recited, and the fourth cup of wine is drunk. Then the blessing of God’s goodness is pronounced. Finally, the leader announces: “So we have fulfilled the order of the feast according to the customs and regulations. We reminded the order so that we could do it happily”. There is a great concern for preserving the order (seder, rite, order) according to which the Passover is to take place.

In many ‘Haggadas,’ the above formula is followed by a/. Religious and didactic listing “Who knows one?, who knows two? […] who knows thirteen?”, b./ a story One kid Goat– a symbolic representation of God’s care for Israel.

3.4.3. Comments on the fourth part of the Passover and the Eucharist.

Speaking in the language of the notions of St. Luke in Acts 2:42, the fourth part of the Passover as ‘these prayers’ (αἱ προσευχαί) is the realization of the fourth element of the covenant ceremony: when the participants of the Passover praise God through the singing of psalms, hymns, and songs, they participate in the joy of the Fathers, endowed by God as a stronger contractor of the covenant, the Fathers singing the hymn (Exodus 15:1-21) on the shore of freedom – after crossing the Sea of Reeds. The covenant is commemorated by the record in the hearts of all Passover participants.

The fourth part of the Eucharist is also ‘these prayers’ – the adoring of God, Jesus Christ, received in Holy Communion, the receiving from God the gifts of the New Covenant, of which the most precious is the bestowal of Holy Spirit.

3.5.After-seder, or prayers after the official rite of Passover.

Introduction.

The rite of the Passover ends with the thirteenth point (the singing of psalms as the equivalent of hymn singing after the passage of the Sea of Reeds – cf. Ex 15:1-21) and the fourteenth point closing the whole. However, closing the seder does not mean that the liturgy participants already have to go apart. Why?

3.5.1.Biblical grounds for the time of grace during the after-seder.

After singing the hymns (cf. 15:1-21), Israel went to Horeb persistently (cf. 15:22-18:27), and during this very time – during the long, almost two months [85] of the ‘post-liberation’ phase, one by one received wonderful gifts from God: laws (cf. 15:23-27), manna and quail (cf. 16:1-36), water from the rock (cf. 17:1-7), salvation from the hostile Amalekites (cf. 17:8-16), implementation in thanking God for salvation (cf. 18: 1-12), the constitution of the structure of judges [86] (cf. 18:13-27). Therefore, before God began a new phase of relationship with Israel through the covenant at Sinai (cf. 19:1ff), He excellently completed the original covenant with Israel, made between the cut sea waters and formally ended with the singing of hymns after the passage of the Sea of Reeds. It is reflected in Passover.

Here the rabbis point out [87] that the end of the rite, according to Haggadah, does not force the participants of the Passover to go out. On the contrary: it is worth reciting the Song of Songs, continue to meditate on all the wonderful circumstances of leaving Egypt, so remaining on the worship of God until dawn. By remaining until dawn in the paschal singing and teaching until dawn, contemporary Jews show their faith in their real, actual participation in the departure with the Fathers from Egypt – they do not sleep, because the Fathers were only at dawn fully [88] endowed with freedom by God (cf. Ex 14:24 ff)! This practice, performed by pious Jews, is ‘after-seder.’

That is why in some Jewish traditions, a Prayer for dew [89] is recited within the framework of the after-seder. It shows a combination of thoughts about Abyss with celebrated Passover, with participation (through liturgy) in the salvation of Israelites by the Lord, in the act of leading them through the waters cut. For example: “Dew gladdens the valley and its grass. […] You, Lord, are the eternal Mighty One, who resurrects the dead; in your power is to save. The greatest depths of the abyss are thirsty for her drops; all the green pastures yearn for her”.

The after-seder is a particular reference to Ex 15:22-18:27 as the last part of this literary, historical, and theological whole that Ex 1-18 is with what it describes. It is worth recalling that Himself God convinces us that Ex 1-18 stands as a whole. It is so since, by God’s order to Moses, one made – according to the ‘pattern from above,’ that is, according to the ‘divine type’ (cf. Ex 25:40 – κατὰ τὸν τύπον) – a six-arm candlestick for the tent of the meeting. In numerical relationships that define its six arms’ lengths, this candlestick hides the same relationships as these binding the verb forms in the six pericopes [90] of Ex 1-18. Here, therefore, one can look in a new way at Moses’s spiritual depths, of whom we know that he was a man genuinely united with God, and that is why all that he established in the liturgy of Israel led people to the light of the knowledge of God [91].

Like Ex 15:22-18:27 is the sixth pericope of Ex 1-18 being the literary whole and the biblical foundation of the Passover, analogically is with the after-seder as the sixth part of the whole composed of the before-seder, the four-part rite of Passover, the after-seder. Therefore, not only the Passover but also the after-Passover (after-seder) is a time of grace. Namely, it is a time as abundant in God’s grace as the time of the journey described in Ex 15:22-18:27, in which the already free Israelites have traveled from the shores of the Red Sea to the foot of Mount Sinai (where the next, extremely significant event was to take place, namely, the covenant of ‘Ten Words,’ which is, however, already a new whole, both literary and theological [92]).

3.5.2.Remarks on prayers in the time of after-Passover and after-Eucharist.

The spiritual path of Israel, described in Ex 15:22-18:27, which states as an argumentation for the fruitfulness of prayer after the Passover, is a biblical type of prayer that the first Christian communities, continuing the Passover tradition of Israel, used to practice after each Eucharist [93].

In the Eucharist in the original Church’s times, the ‘after-seder’ counterpart were prayers, prophecies, teachings, and healings – occurring after the official celebration (cf. 1Cor 12-14) [94]. Just as, after the passage of Sea of Reeds, Israel not only sang the hymn at the end of covenant rite but also went persistently, enriched by God with more and more new gifts, so prayers of the 4th part of Eucharist, although end celebration of its official rite, do not finish the time of grace [95] abundant in God’s gifts given by the Holy Spirit.

1Cor 12-14, Acts 13:1-3; 20:6-12 testify about the ‘after-seder’ as a special ‘time of grace’.

Over the years and centuries, the salutary practice to continue prayer after Holy Mass has disappeared, to the detriment of believers’ devoutness, to their openness to the gifts of God, which He wants to give in this ‘time of grace.’ Both the first centuries of Christianity and the testimony of many saints and the calls of many 20th-century popes confirm the salutary results of persistent prayer after Holy Communion and after Holy Mass [96].

4.An explanation of liturgical making present, anticipation, and ‘remembrance’ in the third part of the Passover and Eucharist.

Introduction.

Understanding the rite of the Passover and the Eucharist is incomplete if one does not see that God, the principal author of the liturgy, gives one of two functions to each liturgical sign:

  1. Reminding and explaining the salvific event
  2. Making the salvific event present, that is, making us participants in that event

It is worth giving examples that are particularly important in the Passover and the Eucharist.

An important example of these two different functions in Passover is the difference between the signs in the first and third parts of the rite:

  1. Reminding (in the first part of the Passover): the leader breaks the middle matzah and preserves the obtained greater part of it as an Afikoman; the leader talks about the crossing through the Red Sea – these signs resemble and explain the crossing through the Red Sea, but do not yet make the Passover participants present at the place and time of the crossing.
  2. Making present (in the third part of the Passover). The leader breaks Afikoman into pieces and distributes, and then all of them eat Afikoman – this sign makes them present together with their Fathers in the passage with God through the divided waters of the sea. Therefore, this sign makes them participants of the act of making the Passover/Exodus covenant – in the passage through the Abyss of the Red Sea. The explanation of Hillel in The Passover Haggadah [97] speaks about this: “In every generation, a man must so regard himself as if he had been liberated from Egypt. […] The Holy One, blessed be He, redeemed not only our fathers from Egypt, but He also redeemed us with them”.

An important example of these two different functions in the Eucharist is the difference between the signs in the first and third parts of the rite:

  1. Reminding (in the 1st part of the Holy Mass): reading from the Scriptures about the death of Jesus reminds us of this event, explains it.
  2. Making present (in the 3rd part of the Holy Mass): consecration and Holy Communion – makes us truly present at the Death of Jesus, the time and place of His Death. This sign, then, makes us participants in the act of making a covenant of the New Passover / New Exodus – an act made in the passage of the whole New People with Jesus through the Abyss-Death.

This distinction allows the correct reading of the many liturgical signs of the Passover rite and the Eucharist rite. However, in order to fully understand the complexity of the two liturgies, it is necessary to see in the basic six-element literary schema of Ex 1-18, on which the four-element Passover rite was built, what more God wanted to include in it for the revealing by this means the truth about the special characteristics of the two liturgies, namely about the making present and the anticipation.

It is because the Book of Exodus 1-18 contains two descriptions of Israelites’ exit from Egypt. The second description, very extensive, is the whole pericope 13:16-14:31. The first description is contained in the law pericope (12:1-13:16 – the third pericope of Ex 1-18), representing Fathers’ Passover feast before leaving Egypt. Why did the biblical writer include in its framework the first description of Israelites’ exit from Egypt, their first steps on the way, carrying the dough in the kneading troughs (cf. 12:29-39)? Why did he do so, although the description of exit seems to be out of place? – after all, this pericope represents the time before the exit, not the exit!

By order of God as the true Author of Holy Scriptures [98], this description was included by the biblical writer for literary reasons (to make the law pericope coherent) and, at the same time, for the theological reasons, extremely important for the New Passover. Namely, he applied the term Father’s Feast in Egypt not only to the eating of lamb alone but also to everything that he included in this pericope, divided into four parts. In this way, he imposed a four-element structure on this description – the one that it was later imposed on the Passover rite, according to the logic of the four-stage ceremony of making the Passover/exodus covenant.

Thanks to this, the Fathers, who were eating unleavened Afikoman within the third part of such extended reality of ‘Passover supper,’ took part – thanks to liturgical anticipation’s power – in this crossing of the sea, which would take place not until then three days later. Then, in the fourth part of Passover supper, they – thanks to liturgical anticipation’s power – were already singing the hymn of glory to God at the shore of freedom [99].

This observation’s implications for understanding the reality of the Passover and the Eucharist will be presented below.

4.1.Liturgical ‘making present’ as a transfer into the time of the original feast.

We already know that the essence of the Passover rite is that each of its four parts actually, non fictionally, transfers its participants into the one, consecutive stage of Exodus and covenant-making ceremony. Similarly, the Eucharist rite transfers its participants into the four consecutive stages of Jesus Christ’s Exodus, which is also the realization of the ceremony of making the New Covenant in His passage through the Abyss-Death. These four consecutive stages transfer its participants: 1. into the time before the Last Supper, when Jesus teaches and makes miracles, 2. into the time of the Last Supper when Jesus celebrates His Passover 3. into the time when Jesus goes from the Cenacle to Golgotha and from there to the Abyss, 4. into the time of glory, where Jesus goes out from the Abyss in the act of Resurrection, then appears to His disciples, then goes to the Father in Heaven and sends with Him the Holy Spirit to the community of the Church which stays on prayer.

The third part of the Passover as the ‘breaking of bread-Afikoman’ realizes the third part of this ceremony: the irrevocable act of making a covenant by crossing the Abyss of the Red Sea.

The third part of the Eucharist is also ‘breaking of bread.’ The priest breaks and distributes to all participants the Body and distributes the Blood of Christ. Everybody of the eating and drinking participates in Jesus’ Death, which means that they pass with Jesus Christ, Incarnate God, through the middle of the darkness of Abyss-Death. It is the passage through the ‘Red Sea’ of Jesus’ Blood as an already irrevocable act of New Covenant-making. It is the realization of the third part of the covenant-making ceremony.

It is now necessary to add to this knowledge what results from an in-depth analysis of the law pericope (12:1-13:16) in the Book of Exodus. This pericope, representing Fathers’ supper in Egypt as part of Exodus, is composed literarily in such a way that:

  1. it imposes on this original Fathers’ supper also a structure made up of four parts, that is, the structure that every Passover supper today has [100],
  2. it points out that the third and fourth parts of this supper of Fathers made them participants of the third and fourth parts of Exodus (crossing the sea and singing of glory) [101].

It follows that God inspired the biblical writer to show that every Passover supper is always identical to the Fathers’ supper in Egypt because it has the structure of that original liturgical supper.

Therefore, it is not only true that Jews of all times with Fathers go through consecutive four stages of Exodus, transferred there by the power of God in a manner unnoticeable to the senses, but it is also true that Jews of all times take seats at the Passover Supper with Fathers in Egypt, transferred there by the power of God in a manner unnoticeable to the senses.

First of all, Israel’s Fathers who feasted in Egypt already took part in all four consecutive parts of Exodus, and thanks to it, their successors in faith took part with them, transferred there by the power of God from the more or less distant future. ‘The future’ means the time in relation to Passover supper in Egypt time.

The focal point of the Old Covenant is the time of the Fathers’ Passover supper on the night before leaving Egypt. All the paschal celebrations of all times and places of the world converge into that Passover supper in Egypt. Israel eating the Passover in Egypt is whole there; it is genuinely a whole divine assembly (קָהָל – Ex 12:6), which Septuagint often refers to as ἐκκλησία and which the Scriptures of the New Covenant use to describe the Church gathered at Jesus’ Passover Supper (cf. 1Cor 11:18).

It is of great importance for the theology of the New Passover of the Lord Jesus because it shows that each Holy Mass transmits the participants to Him, who is celebrating the New Passover in the Upper Room on the night before His departure into the mortal fight for eternal life for us. Thus, in this central place of Jesus’ life, believers gather, called by Him from all places and times, and there they take part in His celebration with Him. They are together the genuinely holy convocation, the Church – ἐκκλησία.

In the third part of this Supper, Jesus anticipatively passes through Death on Golgotha, remaining in the Cenacle. In the fourth part of the Supper, Jesus anticipatively enters into the Glory as the Risen One while remaining in the Cenacle. This anticipative, real entry of Jesus into Death, and then into Glory, does not mean that after the end of the liturgy, Jesus no longer has to go to Death in order to pass through it to Glory.

4.2.The difference between the words for ‘remembering’ in the first and third parts of Passover.

The text of The Passover Haggadah, which is intended for prayer reading during the third part of Passover, contains many Hebrew words of the root זכר – the verb ‘to remember,’ the noun ‘remembrance’ (here in the form: וְזִכְרוֹן – ‘and remembrance’). These words are associated with phrases such as: ‘save us’ (וְהוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ), ‘the word of salvation’ (וּבִדְבַר יְשׁוּעָה) – which is related to God and which will be repeatedly expressed in the prayer praising Him as merciful: הָרַחֲמָן הוּא.

In the Polish liturgical text of the Passover’s first main part, there is often a very apt phrase ‘in remembrance’ to make participants aware that, by eating a lamb, matzah, and bitter herbs ‘in remembrance,’ they are genuinely transferred into the ‘time remembered’ by God, the time of the Fathers [102]. On the other hand, in the third main part, the word translated as ‘memory’ or ‘remember’ is used to express the act of Israelites, reminding God about themselves while celebrating the Passover.

It is the most characteristic prayer of the third main part of the Passover [103], where its very beginning refers terminologically to the burnt sacrifice that rises, as smoke and smell, up to God’s throne in heaven (cf. Lev 17:8):

Our God and the God of our Fathers let there arise (יַעֲלֶה), come and reach You, let it appear before You, let it be graciously received, let it find a hearing, appreciation, remembrance and thought of us, the remembrance of our fathers, remembrance of the Anointed One, son of David, Your servant, the remembrance of Jerusalem, Your holy city, and the remembrance of whole Your people, the house of Israel – for salvation and happiness, for grace, love, mercy, life, and peace on this day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread [104]. Remember us today, Eternal One, our God, for our good; remember us (וּפָקְדֵנוּ) [105], Lord the God, in it [106] for blessing and save us to life. With the word of salvation and mercy, cover us and grant us Your grace, and have mercy on us and save us, for our eyes are turned to You, for You are a gracious and merciful [107] God.

This act of reminding oneself to God refers to Him as the stronger partner of the covenant, that is, a sovereign who has committed himself to defend the weaker partner in case of danger. Since liturgy has moved participants to past times, to time of exodus with Fathers from the Egyptian captivity, therefore, all the dangers of such a distant event become quite real participation of the Jews celebrating the Passover, who came to the Fathers in an extrasensory way from their historical time (today: from the 21st century).

Therefore, the third part of Passover focuses on remembrance as a request to God that He may remember about the Passover participants and grant them salvation. They ask for intervention on their behalf when they are in a mortal threat from enemies and from the sea element through which they must pass they with the Fathers to the other side. The last part of the Birkat hammazon [108] prayer places emphasis on this aspect of remembering.

Thus, in the third part of the Passover, focused on breaking and eating Afikoman, all Israelites ask God to intervene on their behalf. They do so because, by the feast liturgy power, they already participate in that dangerous passage through the abyss of the sea. Simultaneously their request also embraces the passage into which, after the end of Passover Feast in Egypt (represented by Ex 12:1-13:16), the Fathers entered (historically, really), beginning the third part of Exodus (represented by Ex 13:17-14:31) – and into which all Israel enter in the time of after-seder!

It is of great importance for understanding ‘the remembrance’ in the third part of the Eucharist.

4.3.Application of the meaning of the words for ‘remembering’ in the Passover third part to explain the Eucharist third part.

The above-discussed kind of ‘remembrance’ as ‘reminding of oneself to God’ in the third main part of the Passover has an essentially important role to play in explaining in accordance with God’s intention the Eucharist third part, in the framework of which Jesus Christ instituted ‘in remembrance’ the breaking of the Bread (of the New Afikoman) and the drinking the Cup (cf. Lk 22:19; 1Cor 11:24-26).

Contemporary exegetes and liturgists mistakenly identify this Jesus Christ’s remembrance (ἀνάμνησις), strictly defined in the Bible, with the recall of a past saving event to the present of liturgical celebration, that is, as a ‘special kind of remembering,’ called as ‘making present.’ This kind of remembrance is characteristic of the first main part of Passover and the phrase עַל שׁוּם מָה used in this part. However, it is imperative to discover today that there is a second kind of ‘remembrance,’ characteristic of the third part of these two liturgies (represented by the words of the root זכר in the Passover, represented by the word ἀνάμνησις and the expression εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν in the Eucharist) and only this kind of ‘remembrance’ is the correct explanation of Jesus Christ’ remembrance, according to His intention.

Only this kind of ‘remembrance,’ which is characteristic of the third part of the Passover – which is, indeed, the biblical type of the Eucharist – can explain the ‘remembrance’ celebrated in the third part of the Eucharist [109]. It is also so because this type of ‘remembrance’ preserves that fundamental dogma of faith, which declares that we genuinely participate during the Eucharist in the saving event – in the Death of Jesus. The last statement requires an explanation.

As in-depth analyzes showed [110], Jesus’ command to His disciples, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me,’ cannot be understood as referring to the liturgical reality, in which His disciples after His Ascension would do the same in order to make ‘special commemoration’ of what did He as the Savior of humankind. One could call this commemoration ‘special’ because of its power of ‘making present.’

The words of Jesus’ command are, above all, an explanation of His liturgical act of transubstantiation, related to breaking of Afikoman in Cenacle and the words spoken then: ‘This is My Body that is giving out for you.’ They explain what He, as the minister of His Sacrifice, does during the liturgy: Jesus, who is in the Cenacle, offers this sacrifice as a Memorial Victim, offers to the Father as a special kind of sacrifice, described in the Old Testament (cf. e.g., Lev 24:5-9) as לְאַזְכָּרָה, and in Septuagint as εἰς ἀνάμνησιν.

Jesus offers Memorial Sacrifice within the framework of the third part of the New Passover, which means that He asks Father to bear in mind His Son, who is passing now, within this part of the Passover, through the abyss-death and making a covenant through this act, just as God made the covenant by the passage between divided waters of the Red Sea abyss [111]. By offering this kind of Memorial Sacrifice, Jesus asks Father to bear Him in mind when He will experience this passage through death within the historical time of the after-seder (after-Eucharist, after the Last Supper) in a dozen or so hours. Jesus’ ask means that Father, bearing Him in mind, will also see Jesus’ mortal state in Abyss and bring Him out of that place of the death (cf. Heb 13:20), into which Jesus will descend from the height of the Cross impaled into Golgotha – which, through anticipation, already takes place in the Cenacle, precisely within this third part of the liturgy.

One should emphasize that Eucharistic ‘the making present,’ understood as the transfer of the participants of the Eucharist to the time of the Death of Jesus, is also in force when we understand the ‘remembrance’ in a new way indicated here, that is, as ‘the reminding about Himself to Father by Jesus.’ However, this ‘making present’ is here thanks to the different principle than that one erroneously interpreting the expression ‘in remembrance’ as ‘making present.’

Here Jesus, commanding, ‘do this in remembrance of me’ (Lk 22:19) – τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν – indicates that this Bread and Wine, eaten by the participants of the Eucharist gathered around Him, are His Memorial Sacrifice as a special prayer rising to the throne of the Father in heaven and offered in the Upper Room by Jesus being in an existential state of readiness to fight against the devil [112].

Essential is that it is not Jesus sitting in the glory of heaven that offers this Sacrifice, but Jesus in Cenacle. This kind of Sacrifice, known to the Israelites and the other peoples of the ancient East – the ‘sacrifice of remembrance,’ ‘Memorial Sacrifice’ – only makes sense if the person making it is in mortal danger and therefore reminds God about himself, the person who is in an extremely challenging situation.

Jesus offers this Sacrifice so that the Father will respond to it after a few hours with His divine intervention during His struggle against the Devil, the Abyss’ self-proclaimed ruler. Jesus, having offered this Memorial-Offering within the framework of the New Passover, will come out of the Cenacle to fight the final battle against the Devil. The Father will grant Jesus the victory, remembering about Him while He is entering the darkness of the Abyss, and will lead Jesus out of it as the new, true its ruler, who defeated the Devil by the power of the Father. As the Fathers of the Church stressed [113], it is necessary to remember that the victory of Jesus over the Devil bases on the possibilities of the human nature of Jesus. As a man, He turns out to be stronger than the Devil because He opens Himself up to the supernatural help of the Father to which human nature is capable of opening itself. Therefore, this struggle of Jesus as a true man is a model and source of strength for us, His followers, so that we can follow Him on the way to heaven, the way leading among many struggles against the Devil’s powers.

Since the Eucharist participants eat the Memorial Sacrifice, it means that they are in the Cenacle with Jesus preparing to go out to fight against the Devil, and not with Jesus sitting in the glory of heaven. Moreover, since they are with Jesus in the Cenacle, this fundamental dimension of ‘making present,’ which belongs to the theology of the Eucharist, is fulfilled – they are truly transferred into the past time, the time of Jesus offering Himself in salvific sacrifice in the Cenacle. They are first and foremost with Jesus in the Cenacle. Thanks to their presence in the Cenacle with Jesus celebrating the four-element liturgy of the New Passover, they are present also in the third part of the liturgy with Him dying on Golgotha.

All the believers of all times and places gather during the Eucharist with Apostles in Upper Room with Jesus-celebrant [114]. Just there, in Upper Room, in the third part of His New Passover, they become, through the power of the liturgical anticipation, participants of the salvific event belonging to the future in relation to the moment of the historical time of celebrating this sacrifice by Jesus in Upper Room.

It is evident from this that the time of Jesus in Cenacle is the focal point of the Universe history, not the time of any of us. However, we usually think egocentrically about our participation in the Sacrifice of Holy Mass as participation in Jesus Christ’s events passed from the point of view of our celebration time.

Therefore, the Eucharist participants are present with Jesus in the Cenacle, and at the same time, during the third part of the liturgy, they are with Him, who is dying on Golgotha. This situation is because the Bread and Wine, which Jesus in the Cenacle during the third part of the liturgy offers as a Memorial Sacrifice, are Jesus Himself dying on the Cross [115]. It tallies with the meaning of the Greek expressions used in the words of consecration, which by the participles of the present tense express the fact that Jesus’ body ‘is being given,’ His blood ‘is being poured forth’ (cf. Lk 22:19-20):

τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ σῶμά μου τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν διδόμενον
This is my body that for you is being given
τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐν τῷ αἵματί μου τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐκχυννόμενον
This cup is the New Covenant in My Blood that for you is being poured forth

The presence of Jesus dying on His own hands, offering the Memorial Sacrifice in the Cenacle, is the anticipatory presence of His Death, His passing through the Abyss-Death.

The biblical argumentation for the divine act of anticipation is the above-mentioned literary procedure of the biblical writer, who in the framework of the pericope Ex 12:1-13:16, representing the Passover supper, incorporated the passing through the abyss of waters, the event historically belonging to about what the next pericope 13:17-14:31 tells.

Therefore, Jesus Christ’ Divine power has established, in the Cenacle, the truly Divine Liturgy of the New Passover. This Divine liturgy was able to make that in the future fundamental event of Jesus’ Death on Golgotha truly participated with Jesus all Apostles gathered in Cenacle, as well as all believers who, in a way invisible to senses and incomprehensible to the mind, were transferred there by Divine power from those places and times of future human history in which priests of Christ celebrate His Eucharist.

Thanks to God’s amazing power, the Apostle John was the first to genuinely participate with Jesus in the ‘Golgotha event’ twice: for the first time together with the other Apostles in the Upper Room, for the second time several hours later with Mary and the women at Golgotha. The other Apostles did not then participate in the ‘Golgotha event’ on Golgotha because they fled; the opportunity to this was given them not until when they celebrated subsequent Eucharist. It is given to all those who not only participate in the Eucharist but also, after its conclusion, practice after-Eucharist prayers, just analogically as devout Israelites practice after-Passover prayers.

In the summary of the analyses presented, one must conclude that the existence of an analogous and typological relationship between the rite of Passover and Eucharist is biblical proof of the truthfulness of unwavering faith of the Catholic Church in the real – though not perceptible sensually – physical, bodily transfer of the participants of the Eucharistic liturgy to the place and time of the Death of Jesus on the Cross at Golgotha.

To this heritage of faith, one must add what has been presented in this article based on the Bible but prior has already been astonishing theologians [116] performing scientific observations and reasonings. Each Eucharist makes the priest-celebrant and the faithful gathered around him participating in this liturgy of the New Passover, which Jesus celebrates in the Cenacle before going to the final battle against the Devil. It is into the time and place of His celebration that all generations of His faithful always descend to participate with Apostles in anticipation of His Death at Golgotha in the third part, and then in the fourth part, in the glory of Jesus as Risen One, to whom Father responded with His Divine effective salvific intervention.

The post-Passover time, devoted by devout Jews to prayer, is the post-liturgical making present the third and fourth parts of the exodus – the two stages, in which they were already participating in the Passover liturgy by anticipation.

Analogically, the post-Eucharist time is the post-liturgical making present of the third and fourth parts of Jesus’ exodus – the two stages in which the believers have already been participating in the Eucharistic liturgy by anticipation. However, this time after Eucharist infinitely exceeds the time after Passover, as long as the substantial presence of Jesus-Host, which the participants of the Eucharist ate and which is truly still in their guts, exceeds the reality of the liturgical sign of Afikoman, unleavened bread that does not hide that substantial presence of the Lord of the Universe, Incarnate for our salvation, Jesus the Messiah.

Summary.

This article aimed to show the basic scheme which determines the logic of the Passover liturgy. One has shown that for this rite, consisting of four main parts and customarily practiced by pious Jews between the preparatory (before-seder) and the complementary (after-seder) parts, the basic schema is the literary structure of the canonical text of the Book of Exodus 1-18. Furthermore, one has shown that the biblical text of Ex 1-18 is not only an exciting story about the historical intervention of God in the history of Israel in order to bring her out of Egyptian captivity around the 15th century B.C., but it is simultaneously the historical covenant treaty from about the 16th to the 12th century before Christ.

This treaty is a valid document which, according to the rules of the countries of the ancient East, confirms the covenant-making between God as sovereign and Israel as a vassal. The covenant-making ceremony is described in four consecutive stages by four pericopes: Ex 6:2-11:10; 12:1-13:16; 13:17-14:31; 15:1-21. Furthermore, Ex 1:1-6:1 is the historical prologue for the whole of the four pericopes, and Ex 15:22-18:27 its epilogue. These two frame pericopes describe, respectively, the events before the covenant-making (before-covenant part) and the events after the covenant-making (after-covenant part).

After celebrating the mandatory rite of Passover, pious Jewish families continue to pray in the after-seder part until the morning. In this way, the Jewish believers express the conviction of their genuine and not merely imaginary participation in the salvific events into which the liturgy introduced them. Because their Fathers, going through the Red Sea at night, reached the other side of the sea not until morning (cf. Ex 14:27-31) and there, by the grace of God, became entirely free, it is a reason why today they continue praying after Passover rite until the morning to sing the hymn of praise to God together with the Fathers (cf. Ex 15:1-21), even though they did so already in the fourth part of the Passover.

The article also shows the theological significance of the literary structure of the law pericope (Ex 12:1-13:16) for confirming the meaning God has attached to a liturgical whole, i.e., the Passover rite with before-Passover and after-Passover. It is essential to note the particular significance of the statement that the Passover supper of Fathers in Egypt is the focal point of time for the whole of Israel.

It is to place and time of their Supper that all generations of Israel are transferred by God’s power (in a way that is imperceptible to the senses) to celebrate the four-element Passover together. Because in the third and fourth parts of this supper in Egypt, the Fathers participated in crossing the sea and singing glory thanks to liturgical anticipation, and after leaving Egypt after supper, they were crossing the sea and singing glory historically, thus they were doing it for the second time. Therefore, during after-seder after Passover, pious Israelites with Fathers participate for the second time in Exodus’s last two stages.

The same logic of liturgical celebration is valid for the Eucharist. The central point of time for New Israel is Last Supper, to which, by the power of God, the Eucharistic communities are transferred from all places and times to participate with the Apostles in the New Passover, which Jesus celebrates before leaving the Cenacle and going towards the gates of Abyss-Death.

Jesus Himself, and with Him also all those believers gathered from all places and times, participate anticipatively in His salvific and covenant-making passing through Abyss-Death in the third part of this Eucharistical celebration, and in His glory in the fourth part. Therefore, in analogy with the custom of pious Jews after Passover, the continuance of the prayer after Eucharist is genuine participation in the historical realization by Jesus of those last two stages of His Exodus in which the liturgical assembly already anticipatively participated during Eucharist.

In God’s plan, the experience of His grace and notable presence during prayers of post-seder of Israel is an announcement of grace that He gives during prayers after each Eucharist of New Israel.

It takes place an increasingly intense making of the prayer community members as sons and bestowing them with the gift of the Holy Spirit [117] thanks to the grace that God so generously gives during Eucharist and ‘after-Eucharist,’ which immediately follows the Eucharist. This liturgical whole – the Eucharist and the after-Eucharist – is the special place for realizing the divine act of salvation to His beloved People, the most opportune time for the spiritual growth of the community of the Church as the Body of Christ [118].

Because of this highly important typological relationship between the Passover and the Eucharist, this article, when discussing the elements of the Passover rite, shows the analogies between them and the Eucharist elements. In the end, the knowledge of the reality of Old Covenant, though of great value in itself [119], serves to deepen the understanding of this miracle which the Holy Mass as the Passover of New Covenant is and which Christ intentionally built on the foundation of the Passover of Old Covenant.

Above all, one shown that the Eucharist has the same four-element structure as the Passover. Both structures are the covenant renewal structures, in which the irrevocable act of covenant-making has the same form of liturgical sign: the eating of the same unleavened bread (Afikoman or the Body of Christ), the drinking of the same cup (wine or the Blood of Christ).

As the four-stage exit from Egypt is enclosed by the frame ‘preparation – completion,’ so the frame for the Passover and the Eucharist is ‘before-seder’ and ‘after-seder.’ Before beginning the official liturgy, each of its participants should take time to prepare himself to enter into liturgical solemnity personally. After the official liturgy, this wonderful meeting with God should continue for some time in prayer, either of the whole community or each individual.

One needs to know functional changes in the life of the believers which should appear as the result of the presented in the article structure of the Passover, its six-element literary base, the four-element structure of the law pericope (Ex 12:1-13:16), and the complementary new understanding of the Eucharistic ‘remembrance’ (ἀνάμνησις – Lk 22:19; 1Cor 11:24.25). Namely, it results for the New Passover participants that it is especially necessary to renew in the communities of the Church the awareness of that whole, which consists of the preparation for the liturgy, the liturgy itself, and its prayerful completion (traditionally called ‘thanksgiving’ [120]).

It is necessary to teach Eucharistic communities to include in the daily plan not only liturgy but also its prayerful continuation immediately after its official conclusion [121].

Only liturgical prayer understood and practiced in this way is characterized by focusing on God and not on matters or people who wait just after its conclusion. Only then, too, does the community fully open itself to God’s revelation [122] and strengthening in a grace time which God linked in His plan to the whole of the six stages of leading the People out of the bondage of sin and bringing to a profound spousal union with Christ.

It is worth noting that if God wanted the communities to have the practice of immediately setting out into the world with the good news after the Eucharist, He would not have established such deep typological relations between Passover and Eucharist, not build the Passover and post-Passover as a whole encounter with Him. Unfortunately, in the past and today, a mock need for immediate preaching good news becomes a wrong argument justifying the abandonment of prayers after the Eucharist!

It is worth recalling that among the four main parts of both rites, the third part is of particular importance, and it has a sign of unleavened bread broken by the sacred liturgy leader, distributed to all participants, consumed by them. Unleavened Afikoman, broken and eaten, introduces the participants to the place and time of making the Passover/Exodus covenant in the passage of God and all Israel between the divided waters of the Red Sea to the shore of new life. Similarly, the sign of broken Bread-Body of Jesus introduces the Eucharist participants into the place and time of making New Passover/Exodus covenant in the passage of God Incarnate, Jesus, and all of New Israel through the middle of the darkness of Abyss-Death to the shore of new life [123].

It is necessary to rediscover in pastoral practice the meaning of dogmatic knowledge about the Eucharist. One of the fundamental concepts is ‘making present.’ In connection with it, during the analysis of Passover as real God’s time machine, one shown that by God’s power, the liturgy participants truly become participants of the salvific events, which, from the point of view of human nature, belong to a history inaccessible for them, because closed once and for all. As a new claim concerning this liturgy, we proved that making present the four-stage history of Exodus from Egypt does not occur in an unordered way (in this case, one could understand liturgy as an unspecified reality for participation in the entire event at once, unintelligible, defined only vaguely). We proved that making present the four-stage history of Exodus carries out in a well-ordered manner – as a four-element sequence of making present of the next stage. Each consecutive liturgical realization of making present transfers participants into the next stage of this history.

In connection with it, we have shown that the same principle is in the Eucharist. The Eucharist rite transfers its participants into the four consecutive stages of Jesus Christ’s Exodus, which is also the realization of the ceremony of making the New Covenant in His passage through the Abyss-Death. These four consecutive stages transfer its participants: 1. into the time before the Last Supper, when Jesus teaches and makes miracles, 2. into the time of the Last Supper when Jesus celebrates His Passover 3. into the time when Jesus goes from the Cenacle to Golgotha and from there to the Abyss, 4. into the time of glory, where Jesus goes out from the Abyss in the act of Resurrection, then appears to His disciples, then goes to the Father in Heaven and sends with Him the Holy Spirit to the community of the Church which stays on prayer.

As indicated in the analysis of the third part of Passover and its typological meaning for the third part of Eucharist, the making present of Jesus’ Sacrifice during this part consists of making the participants real witnesses of Jesus’ Cross Sacrifice on Golgotha.

The subsequent analyses, however, shown that in Passover and Eucharist, ‘making present’ is, above all, a transfer to time of original liturgical celebration: in Passover – into the time of Fathers’ Supper in Egypt; in Eucharist – into the time of the Last Supper as New Passover, which Jesus celebrates in Cenacle before going out to fight a battle against the Devil. Thus, in addition to having ‘power to make present’ (that is, the power to bring man to the place and time of the past salvific event), the liturgy also has another property – ‘power to anticipate’ (that is, the power to bring man to the place and time of the future salvific event) [124]. In both terms, it is essential that ‘past time’ and ‘future time’ are from the point of view of ‘reference moment’ in historical time where the original liturgy was celebrated. So, ‘reference moment’ for the Passover is the Fathers’ liturgy time in Egypt; ‘reference moment’ for the Eucharist is Jesus’ liturgy time in Cenacle.

Therefore, the Eucharistic ‘making present’ moves the Holy Mass participants first to the Cenacle, makes them witnesses of what Jesus does in the four parts of the whole liturgy, and not only of what this liturgy makes present in the four subsequent parts. Therefore it makes them also witnesses of that third part of His Last Supper in Cenacle, when Jesus offers the Memorial Sacrifice as a special kind of sacrifice, being a prayerful call to the Father for His memory about Him at the time when He will come out of Cenacle and fight ‘to the death and life’ against the Devil. In the third part of the liturgy, Jesus, through liturgical anticipation, in a sacramental manner, makes this Sacrifice present in the Upper Room, which he will perform once, historically, in the future, after leaving the Upper Room, at Calvary.

One has shown – in connection with the so understood, anticipatory, participation in Christ’s Sacrifice during the Eucharist – that the time immediately following the Eucharist is a time of grace in which believers gathered as a praying community genuinely participates in Jesus’ exodus. Strictly, they participate immediately after the Eucharistic Supper in Jesus’ passing from the Cenacle to Golgotha and into Abyss-Death; this passing is the third stage of His exodus. Believers should prayerfully proclaim the passage of Jesus-Anathema across the Abyss-Death (cf. 1Cor 11:26a) [125] and do it until He comes to them as the Lord of glory (cf. 1Cor 11: 26b; 1Cor 12-14) [126] to complete the fourth and final stage of His Exodus.

In the first centuries of the Church, this coming of Jesus as Lord of glory manifested itself in particular charismatic gifts, which the Holy Spirit was giving in a way to be sensually perceived (cf. 1Cor 12-14). The return to that practice of after-Eucharist prayer need not necessarily imply the same form of sensual exposure of the Eucharistic presence of Christ and His Spirit. However, such community prayer after-Eucharist would undoubtedly constitute a full form of the Church’s openness to that divine activity which the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls “‘the sacramental economy,’ which is the communication (or ‘dispensation’) of the fruits of Christ’s Paschal mystery in the celebration of the Church’s ‘sacramental’ liturgy” (No. 1076).

The Eucharist is built on the Passover but surpasses it because the New Afikoman consumed during the third part of the Eucharist is no longer ordinary unleavened bread, but the Lord of the Universe himself, hidden under the veil of ordinary food [127].

In the New and Eternal Covenant, announced by the Prophet Jeremiah (31:31f), everything receives a new quality, a new brilliance. After all, the New Covenant was made not between the material waters of the Red Sea, but in the ‘Red Sea’ of human Blood of the Incarnate God, Jesus the Messiah [128], still awaited by Israel every year in the Passover.

The following listing helps to see once again the analogies shown in the article between the scheme of the Passover liturgy (i.e., preparation for the Passover, the four parts of the Passover, the prayers after it) and the stages of Exodus from Egypt. Moreover, the scheme consisting of the preparation for the Eucharist, the four parts of the Eucharist, and the prayer after it – can easily be superimposed on these schemes.

Preparation – 4 parts of Passover – Completion

0. Before-seder.

  1. Passover haggadah, Psalm 113-114 (Hallel, part 1), homily.
  2. A feast of the lamb and then a secular banquet.
  3. Breaking of Afikoman and eating it. Thanksgiving for food.
  4. Song in honor of God as King of Israel – Hallel (part 2).

0’.After-seder.

Preparation – 4 parts of Exodus – Completion

0. Preparation for Exodus and covenant-making (Ex 1:1-6:1)

  1. God reveals Himself to Moses. Plagues (Ex 6:2-11:10)
  2. Passover feast with a lamb with bitter herbs and unleavened bread (Ex 12:1-13:16).
  3. Israel’s transition to the abyss of sea water and through the abyss (Ex 13:17-41:31).
  4. Song in honor of God as King of Israel (Ex 15:1-21).

0’.After covenant-making (15:22-18:27)