On the night Jesus was betrayed, the last thing that he and the the disciples did was to celebrate the passover seda – the ancient Jewish custom to celebrate the liberation of the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt. at the end of that meal the youngest would ask the oldest ‘why is it we eat this meal’ and the elder would recount the story of the Passover and conclude the narrative with the words ‘tonight we have come out Egypt’. As they celebrated the meal together Jesus took the bread and broke it, and gave it to them saying ‘This is my body’ and he took the cup and gave it to them saying ‘This is my blood’ and then he said ‘Do this as my anamnesis (memorial) and I will be with you till the close of the age’.
The anamnesis is a greek term and it was used to describe the statement at the end of the passover seda when the old man said ‘tonight we have come out of egypt’. It is a sense, not of going back in history but rather of bringing the historic event into present reality.
When we listen to a piece of music, and it may carry our emotions, may be joy, may be sorrow, and although all that we have (on one level) is physical vibrations beating on our eardrums, we encounter things that are not physical at all. In the Eucharist we celebrate Jesus and his love for us. Through the tangible we touch the intangible, through the temporal we touch the eternal. In the bread and the wine we encounter to living God.