Review: The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth

The Lamb's Supper: The Mass as Heaven on EarthThe Lamb’s Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth by Scott Hahn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Scott Hahn was, until 1985, a self-described evangelical Calvinist minister who would have nothing to do with the celebration of Mass because it was idolatrous. He was also heavily interested in seeking to understand the Book of Revelation and the message that this book of the Bible was seeking to communicate to the ‘ordinary’ Christian.

Hahn eventually started attending daily Mass, sitting in the back seats with his Bible open, and it was there that he discovered something that the Church had always known: the liturgy, the Mass, is inherently Scriptural, and indeed the Mass features a large number of images lifted directly from the Book of Revelation. Hahn’s life was never the same again, and in 1985 he was received into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church.

This book represents Hahn’s delightfully written and easily accessible attempt to show the link between Mass and the Book of Revelation, and combines his intimate knowledge of Revelation with his newly discovered knowledge and love of the Catholic liturgy. It is the kind of book that any Catholic Christian would do well to read, canvassing, as it does, the powerful imagery and symbolism inherent in our most central act of worship.

My one critique – and it’s a minor point – is that towards the end of the book Hahn tends towards judgementalism about the practice of participants in the Mass, and the apparent lack of understanding of the significance of what they do, and therefore the lack of care that he has sometimes observed. There may or may not be some truth in what Hahn describes, yet the way in which he describes these observations reminds me of the zeal that is often present in the newly converted. Admittedly, this book was first published in 1999, and his subsequent books have moderated this zeal to a significant degree, yet it must be acknowledged as present in this current volume.

From the dust jacket:

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’s 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, this new book by bestselling Catholic author Scott Hahn will help readers see the Mass with new eyes, pray the liturgy with a renewed heart, and enter into the Mass for fully, enthusiastically, intelligently, and powerfully than ever before.

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