The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on EarthHardback
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- Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell
- Format: Hardback | 174 pages
- Dimensions: 142mm x 211mm x 20mm | 318g
- Publication date: 25 November 1999
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0385496591
- ISBN 13: 9780385496599
- Sales rank: 53,288
Bestselling author Scott Hahn sheds new light on the Mass, offering readers a deeper appreciation of the most familiar of Catholic rituals . Of all things Catholic, there is nothing that is so familiar as the Mass. With its unchanging prayers, the Mass fits Catholics like their favorite clothes. Yet most Catholics sitting in the pews on Sundays fail to see the powerful supernatural drama that enfolds them. Pope John Paul II described the Mass as "Heaven on Earth," explaining that what "we celebrate on Earth is a mysterious participation in the heavenly liturgy." The Lamb's Supper reveals a long-lost secret of the Church: The early Christians' key to understanding the mysteries of the Mass was the New Testament Book of Revelation. With its bizarre imagery, its mystic visions of heaven, and its end-of-time prophecies, Revelation mirrors the sacrifice and celebration of the Eucharist. Beautifully written, in clear direct language, bestselling Catholic author Scott Hahn's new book will help readers see the Mass with new eyes, pray the liturgy with a renewed heart, and enter into the Mass more fully, enthusiastically, intelligently, and powerfully than ever before.
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SCOTT HAHN holds the Fr. Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990, and he is the founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. In 2005, he was appointed as the Pope Benedict XVI Chair of Biblical Theology and Liturgical Proclamation at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Dr. Hahn is also the bestselling author of numerous books, including" Reasons to Believe," and "Rome Sweet Home" (coauthored with his wife, Kimberly), and is editor of the "Ignatius Catholic Study Bible and Letter & Spirit: A Journal of Catholic Biblical Theology." Some of his most recent books are "Many Are Called," "Consuming the Word, The Catholic Bible Dictionary," and "Signs of Life." He lives in Steubenville, Ohio.
By Nicola Mansfield 09 Mar 2011
Reason for Reading: I love Scott Hahn's writings and plan to read as much of his work as possible. This is his most popular book so I decided to read it next.
This book has both a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, something that is always important to me when reading Catholic non-fiction. Going back to the early Christian's for inspiration Hahn shows us how they used the Book of Revelation to understand the Mass. The two are connected to such an amazing degree that Hahn's easy to read lay person voice makes everything he explains abundantly clear. Hahn uses a heavy foundation of Old Testament scripture and explains thoroughly the need for sacrifice in the OT Jewish religion. This increasingly sheds light on Jesus' role as "lamb" in the New Testament, in Revelation and in the Mass. Hahn shows how Revelation is divided into two parts at Chapter 11 equalling the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. When "we lift up our hearts" we literally are lifting them up to heaven and the Mass is the one place and time that we experience Heaven on earth.
I have my monthly missal on my bedside table and as I was reading this book, I found myself grabbing it and reading through the actual words of the Mass as Hahn explained meanings of certain parts. I know my responses and I take them seriously. I always get tears when I say "I am not worthy ..." but Hahn made me see them again in a new light, such as examining the "Holy, holy, holy". But more than this, Hahn had me reading the priest's lines and truly grasping what is happening at Mass with new eyes. Every Catholic knows that Jesus, the angels and saints are with us at Mass but by reading this book you'll fully understand when, where and why. This is certainly a book that bears repeated readings. It is a short book, but I took my time with it usually only reading a chapter a night to mull it over (ok sometimes two). Just writing this review makes me want to go to Mass! This is a book every Catholic should read especially if you have fallen into the rut of following the routine and not paying attention to what you are doing and saying. You are missing the most wonderful part of being Catholic, the Mass, Heaven on earth. Read, read, read this book!
Hahn, a Protestant minister who converted to Roman Catholicism, has written extensively about the Catholic faith in previous books (A Father Who Keeps His Promises, not reviewed, etc.). Here he examines the relationship between the Divine Liturgy and the Book of Revelation. Attending his first Mass, Hahn was struck by the word used to describe Jesus: lamb. Not the majestic, awe-inspiring language we usually reserve for God. But the Book of Revelation calls Jesus lamb, too, 28 times in 22 chapters. This was Hahn's first inkling that the key to understanding the Mass was Revelation, and the key to understanding Revelation was the Mass. His was not a new insight, but if Christians in the know have long understood the connections between Revelation and the Mass, most average church-goers would cock an eyebrow quizzically at the suggestion that the last book of the Bible has anything to do with bread and wine. Hahn's exploration of the connections between them is marred by superficiality, exemplified, but not limited to, a penchant for peppering the text with cute, near-pun subheadings, such as "Well Bread" and "Moriah Carry." Still, if taken in the (light) spirit in which it is offered, this is worthwhile addition to one's eucharistic library. (Kirkus Reviews)