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Worship in the Early Church

Worship in the Early Church

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Worship in the Early Church

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  1. Worship in the Early Church • Worship in synagogue: main elements. • The Last Supper. • Early Christian liturgy: two parts. • Theology of the Eucharist. • Seminar. Worship in Didache & Justin’s 1 Apology.

  2. Worship in synagogue: main elements Prayers/ Hymns Readings from the Law and the Prophets Homily/ interpretation Synagogue at Masada fortress. Built by Herod the Great 37 BC- 4AD. Rebuilt by the Zealots after 73 AD.

  3. The Last Supper • Traditional Jewish elements: • Jewish meal (acc. to synoptics-- Passover seder) • blessing of bread & wine (thanksgiving) • New elements introduced by Jesus: • ‘words of institution’ • sharing in one cup Catacomb of Callistus, Rome. Early third c.

  4. The Last Supper: main aspects • Objects: bread, wine, table. • Actions: taking, blessing, breaking bread & wine and distributing them. • Words of institution: • “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” (Lk 22:15) • “This cup is the new covenant in my blood which is shed for you.” (Lk 22:20) Jesus reclining at the last supper

  5. Early Christian Liturgy • Christian liturgy (mass) is a combination of synangogal worship & Last Supper • Two main parts: • Liturgy of the catechumens (or: liturgy of the Word) • Liturgy of the faithful (or: Eucharist proper)

  6. Theology of the Eucharist • Imitation & memorial of the Last Supper. • Foretaste of the messianic banquet. • Proclamation & commemoration of the cross/ resurrection. • Real presence—encounter with Christ. • Means of theosis (participation in the life of God). • Sacrifice.

  7. Agape meal or Eucharist (or both)?Catacomb of Priscilla.

  8. Catacombs of Callistus. Gallery

  9. Typical ‘loculus’ (rectangular tomb)

  10. Seminar. Didache. • Written (most probably) in 2nd c. AD • Author & place: unknown • Manual for lay teachers/ clergy • Teaching about Two ways • Rules for Baptism, Eucharist, fast. • True/ false prophets

  11. Praying Woman. Catacomb of Priscilla. Rome, 3rd c.

  12. Burial chamber

  13. Seminar. Justin Martyr (100-165) • Prominent lay teacher and Christian philosopher • Had his own catechetical school in Rome • Wrote two apologies and The Dialogue with Trypho the Jew • Was beheaded in Rome under Marcus Aurelius

  14. Communion as a mystical encounter with Christ: first Christ’s Body; then His Blood.