Thirteen amateur actors will dramatize Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” in an unusual Maundy Thursday communion service at 7:30 p.m. today and Friday at a Santa Ana church.
Playing the role of Jesus’ disciples, the actors will re-enact what might have been said at Jesus’ last meal and will then serve communion to an audience of about 450 at Spurgeon Methodist Church, 1025 W. Memory Lane.
Inspired by the Laguna Beach Pageant of the Masters, the program was written by co-pastor Gwen Ehrenborg. “The theme we tried to capture is what (Leonardo) chose in the painting: Let’s all examine our own hearts. Would we betray Jesus, are we hypocrites or not? The conclusion is, no, we’re not.”
First offered last year, the performance was so popular that it is being repeated on two nights, Ehrenborg said.
A 30-voice choir will sing the Easter portion of Handel’s “Messiah.” The performances are free to the public; an offering will be made.
The word maundy comes from an old French word for the Latin mandatum novum , “a new commandment” which Jesus announced at the Last Supper to the disciples: “that you love one another; even as I have loved you.”
Communion services will be held today throughout the county’s Christian churches to mark the first of Christianity’s four holiest days: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.
Catholics today will celebrate another aspect of The Last Supper: the washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus.
Bishop Norman McFarland, head of the Diocese of Orange, will wash the feet of 12 parishioners at Holy Family Cathedral in evening services and a priest in nearly every parish in the county will hold the same ceremony during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.