Tertullian on the Eucharist

Note two things especially: in the late 2nd C. the Christians already call the table an "altar", and they take special care of the elements. This is from HERE.

Tertullian [ca. 200/206 AD] in his treaties on Prayer [6,2], quotes John 6 in connection with a spiritual understanding of the Lord's prayer "give us this day our daily bread." In a spiritual sense Christ is our daily Bread, presumably because of the practice of the daily reception of the Eucharist.

Later in that same treatise [19,1] he writes;

Likewise, regard to days of fast, many do not think they should be present at the sacrificial prayers, because their fast would be broken if they were to receive the Body of the Lord. Does the Eucharist, then, obviate a work devoted to God, or does it bind it more to god? Will not your fast be more solemn if, in addition, you have stood at God's altar? The body of the Lord having been received and reserved, each point is secured: both the participation in the sacrifice and the discharge of duty.

Regarding worship on the Lord's Day Tertullian also writes; [The Crown [3,4] AD 211]:

We take anxious care lest something of our Cup of Bread should fall upon the ground.


FrGregACCA said…
St. Ignatius of Antioch, around AD 110, writes: "Make certain, therefore, that you all observe one common Eucharist; for there is but one body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and but one cup of union with his blood, and one single altar of sacrifice." Epistle to the Philadelphians 4, emphasis added.

Even earlier, the author of Hebrews writes, "We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat." This at least arguably refers to the eucharist.
Rob said…
Abu Daoud:

Question for an Anglican - When the Church of England was formed, was the altar turned into a table initially, later, or not at all?

Rob (A US Catholic almost totally ignorant of other people's traditions!)
Abu Daoud said…
Rob, it depends what you mean by the "Church of England", if we simply use ecclesia anglicana then it was originally Celtic in its feel and was then heavilly influenced by Latin Christianity with the mission of St Augustine of Canterbury. In all of these cases it would have been an altar.

During the Reformation the altars were mostly replaced with tables. During the Oxford movement (18th. C.) many of the altars were restored.

The debate within Anglicanism is this (among others), which is truer form of Anglicanism? The pre-Reformation Catholic (and Orthodox until the schism) form with the altar, or the Reformation version which was, at times at least, iconoclastic.
Rob said…
-During the Oxford movement (18th. C.) many of the altars were restored.-

So, are there still "traditional" Anglican masses which use altars, etc?
Abu Daoud said…
Yes, all over the world, but not in all churches. And some of those masses are said in churches that are, liturgically, anglo-catholic, but theologically heretical. That is the saddest thing. The liberals adopted the anglo-catholic liturgy but not the solid theology.
Lucian said…
Hmm.. so that's why the fast-days are aliturgical.. never knew that..

I mean, I knew that, just that I had no idea it dates back to the 2nd or 3rd centuries.. Hmm.. :-\

We take anxious care lest something of our Cup or Bread should fall upon the ground.

And he's not alone in doing that..

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