Didache 9: a liturgical church

Here we see that very early in the Christian church (possibly before the some books of the NT came into their final forms--as we have them today) it was customary for pre-composed formulae to be used during various parts of the worship. We see here that the eucharist (thanksgiving) was celebrated weekly, unlike the practice of many evangelical and charismatic churches today.

Also notice: here the wine is taken first, and then the bread. Also: the 'words of institution' are not included. I am speaking about the narrative from Matthew where we read about the Last Supper. Finally: communion, as then and is now, must only be for those who have been baptized.

Very interesting material:

Didache Chapter 9.—The Thanksgiving (Eucharist)

1. Now concerning the Thanksgiving (Eucharist), thus give thanks. 2. First, concerning the cup: We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David Your servant, which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory for ever. 3. And concerning the broken bread : We thank You, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory for ever. 4. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Your kingdom; for Yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever. 5. But let no one eat or drink of your Thanksgiving (Eucharist), but they who have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, Give not that which is holy to the dogs.


Rob said…
I love the Didache.

Maybe the words of institution were not included because they were A) in scripture or B) forbidden to write down (because of persecution?) It would be interesting to see what others say of this lack in the text.
E. Twist said…
I think they are assumed in the prohibition of giving it to any unbaptized persons. It refers to the elements as "Holy". This is certainly further than your typical Protestant would go today.


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