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The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth Hardcover – November 9, 1999

4.8 out of 5 stars 564 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth reawakens a surprising ancient view of the Eucharist, as the harbinger of the supernatural drama described by the New Testament book of Revelation. Catholic theologian Scott Hahn thinks that many worshippers receive the sacrament of communion without ever considering its links to the end of the world, the Apocalypse, and the Second Coming. Hahn wants to change our minds; he wants us to know that "The Mass--and I mean every single Mass--is heaven on earth." Literally. So, Hahn declares, "Now heaven has been unveiled for us with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ ... Jesus Christ Himself says to you: 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me' (Rv. 3:20)." Hahn's enthusiasm, as evident even from these short quotes, is considerable--and infectious. Furthermore, he delivers his arguments with great levity (demonstrated in chapter titles such as "Oath Meal"), which makes The Lamb's Supper quite a tasty read. --Michael Joseph Gross

From Publishers Weekly

As with his earlier Rome Sweet Home, Hahn's The Lamb's Supper seeks to bring scriptural exegesis and Roman Catholic ritual tradition into fruitful dialogue. The central thrust of this piece is that Catholic liturgy offers the best interpretive paradigm for studying the Book of Revelation. Hahn divides his subject matter into three main sections, considering in turn Scripture in the canon of the Mass, various interpretive approaches to the Book of Revelation and the mutual illumination of the Catholic Mass and John's Apocalypse. Apart from vapid section titles (e.g., "Guided Missal," "Resisting a Rest" and "The Need to Heed the Creed"), which detract from the serious themes presented, Hahn treats the material quite competently, and he is candid in his enthusiasm for both biblical liturgics and liturgical exegesis. Hahn's work is a fine introduction to eucharistic theology for the Catholic layperson, offering a crash course in the history of sacrificial worship in ancient Israel. The book has an ecumenical appeal, especially for Lutherans and Anglicans desiring to better acquaint themselves with Catholic ritual and the New Testament. The only consideration noticeably absent from Hahn's liturgical review of Revelation is whether the doxological splendors of the Mass are marred or made manifest in the hastily prepared English translations of the Latin Rite issued in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 174 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1st edition (October 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385496591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385496599
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (564 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is a must read for Christians in general, but most importantly for Catholic lay people like myself. Before entering into the heart of his work, Dr. Hahn presents a Biblical perspective on the presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist that every Catholic should read and understand. But the most significant contribution of this book is the way in which it exposes the relationship between St. John's Revelation and the Church's celebration of the Liturgy. While Hahn claims that these truths have been held by the Church since the beginning of Christianity, almost all of this information was new to me as a cradle Catholic. This book has truly transformed the way in which I approach every Mass. With the possible exception of some poorly chosen subtitles, The Lamb's Supper is nothing less than 5 stars!
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Format: Hardcover
I've read a lot of books on religious subjects, but very few as good as this one. "The Lamb's Supper" makes better sense of the Book of Revelation than any one of dozen or so titles that I've read on the subject in the last twenty years. Even more, it has changed the way I approach the Mass. Over the last few weeks, since reading "The Lamb's Supper," I've come to a much greater appreciation of what I've been doing as a cradle Catholic for over fifty years--going to Mass, where we share in the worship of heaven, in the presence of our Lord, alongside the holy saints and angels. I never really knew that, and I don't think that most Catholics do. But surely they should! There's something else. Speaking personally, I don't always find it easy to pray. That is probably where "The Lamb's Supper" has been the greatest help, in getting me to pray more and better. That's why I think that "The Lamb's Supper" is destined to become one of the truly great Christian Classics of this century, even though it will never displace my all-time favorite, "The Imitation of Christ".
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Format: Hardcover
What a delightful, wonderful, interesting, thought-provoking, and inspiring book this one is. Evangelical Biblical scholars have pondered the meaning of John's Book of Revelation for a long time.
For too many, they read it as the "end times." Dr. Hahn did the same thing, as a Presbyterian minister.
It wasn't until he became Catholic that he began to see Revelations as a blueprint for the Mass. Hahn demonstrates how Revelation gives us a glimpse of Heaven and of Mass. The premise of the book is that Mass itself is a little slice of Heaven on Earth.
What Hahn offers is not something new. This is what the Church has taught for centuries. Yet, Hahn presents it as only he can.
Hahn offers not only a beautiful view of Revelation, but also of Mass. It is a view that too few Catholics take to heart.
Not only is this a simply delightful book, but it's also a short book - one that could easily be read in one sitting.
I highly recommend it. Catholics will gain a new appreciation for Mass and all that they have taken for granted. Non-Catholics will appreciate an alternative view of The Book of Revelation.
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Format: Hardcover
Around the year 95, the Roman government banished a Christian to a rocky penal colony in the Aegean Sea for the capital crime of prophesying.
The sentence did not have the desired effect.
From the isolated island, Patmos, the Christian, a man named John, went right on foretelling the future. Only now, instead of addressing small bands of hiding church members in hushed and rushed meetings, he had time to write out full accounts of his offending visions. These centered around the return of a deceased Jewish man -- an obscure, itinerant religious teacher who had been tortured and executed as a criminal six decades prior -- as king of all creation.
The particulars of his visions, which John said had been delivered to him by an angel, were by turns terrifying and glorious. Passages on murderous, multi-headed beasts alternated with descriptions of docile cherubs adoring the Almighty; inconsolable wailing over deadly plagues preceded joyful flourishes from triumphant trumpets.
Apocalypses, or revelations, were not new. The Hebrew Scriptures and oral traditions were steeped in them. But where those had been carefully guarded by elders and high priests, John made it clear that his revelations were to be read immediately by the addressee churches (seven congregations in Asia). His goal in writing seemed to be exhorting his brothers and sisters in the Christian faith to persevere no matter how severely they might be persecuted for their beliefs and practices.
That didn't mean John made the precise significance of his letters obvious. He had to couch some of his visualizations in code language because despotic emperors of the day demanded to be worshiped as gods by citizens and subjects alike.
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Format: Hardcover
This little gem offers an interpretation of Revelation that is altogether different from anything I've ever read on the subject.
Pre-mil, post-mil, Whore of Babylon, Mark of the Beast -- who cares! Scott Hahn presents an exegis of St. John's heady closure to the New Testament to which a mere mortal can relate. It's the Mass, who'da thunk it!
Hahn digs into Church history and dusts off an ancient interpretation of the Apocalypse. He demonstrates the fact that the Liturgy with which all Catholics are familiar, and many non-Catholics criticize, is the worship occurring in Heaven. The Mass is, in a sense, an experience of heaven on earth. Hahn's realization of this, as a Presbyterian attending Mass for the first time, is inspiring. His chapter on Understanding the Parts of the Mass is remarkable in its clarity, tracing the Order of the Mass through the Ages and in various Rites. The titles of some sections are somewhat goofy, "Guided Missal," and "Give Him an Offering He Can't Refuse," for instance, but they are part of the charm of this work.
I thought that it slowed at points, but at a little over 150 (little) pages, the book is easily enjoyed in an evening. I recommend it especially to RCIA candidates and sponsors, but really to anyone who wants a fresh yet ancient perspective on the Mass.
I guarantee that the hair on the back of your neck will stand on end when you hear: "Lift up your hearts," and later "join with choirs of angels in heaven in their unending hymn of praise!"
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