On the night before His Crucifixion, Jesus Christ met with His Apostles for what he knew would be the final time. He expressed his deep love for them by washing their feet and teaching them through word and example how to love others.
He instituted the sacrament (see Luke 22:19–20), as known and represented in beautiful artwork as The Last Supper.
Jesus blessed and broke bread said, “This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. He then blessed and passed wine … This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:19–20).
During sabbath services members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints partake of the Sacrament, which provides an opportunity to ponder and remember with gratitude the life, ministry, and Atonement of the Son of God, and renew our baptism covenant. The broken bread is a reminder of His body and His physical suffering—especially His suffering on the cross. It is also a reminder that through His mercy and grace, all people will be resurrected and given the opportunity for eternal life with God.
The wine (we substitute with water) is a reminder that the Savior shed His blood in intense spiritual suffering and anguish, beginning in the Garden of Gethsemane and concluding on the cross.
I love reading the stories of the hymns, their origins and the lives of the poets and composers who gave us these sacred musical gifts. I often ponder the congregational hymn that was chosen for us to sing prior to the sacrament. This always helps me feel closer to my Savior, and I have a deeper reverence for His love and sacrifice.
Mabel Jones Gabbott (October 23, 1910 – February 13, 2004) was an American Latter-day Saint poet and hymn writer. She authored dozens of hymns, and many treasured Childrens Songbook hymns. One of her hymns dedicated to the Sacrament is “We Have Partaken of Thy Love“.
We have partaken of thy love,
O Lord, this sacred hour;
We have renewed our covenants
And felt thy cleansing pow’r,
And felt thy cleansing pow’r.
Let us go forth refreshed, resolved
To serve our fellowmen,
Forgive our neighbors, live thy word,
Until we come again,
Until we come again.
Raising to thee in song and word
Our praise, most holy One,
We ask thy benediction, Lord,
Thru thy Beloved Son,
Thru thy Beloved Son.
Text: Mabel Jones Gabbott