The Early Church called the Eucharist a sacrifice

It is hard to argue with such a clear statement as that which we find in the Didache (written c. 100):

And when coming together on the Lord's own day, break bread and give thanks after confessing your transgressions. In that manner, your sacrifice will be pure. And do not let anyone coming with a quarrel against a brother join you until they get reconciled, in order that your sacrifice is not impure. For this has been spoken of by the Lord, "in every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice, for I am a great King," says the Lord, "and My name is wonderful among the nations." (Didache 14:1-3)

There is no interstice between 100 AD and the Apostolic period. The Gospel of John was probably taking its present form at the time and, according to some scholars, 2 Peter had not yet been written.

The Apostolic Church called the eucharist a sacrifice and had no problem with that sort of language.


Anonymous said…
Some scholars think that the Didache, aka "The Teaching of the 12 Apostles" may have been in use as early as 71 A.D. If we fail to understand the early Church, as many have, we can not recognize the true Church today.

Pope Benedict XVI has spoken often of the hazard/danger of being "without roots."

We can not see where we are going, if we do not know where we have been!

Milites Domini said…

Catholicism is rooted in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition - all ever-new, ever-relevant and ever-lasting. God willing, the Traditional Latin Mass will continue to spread throughout the world and be celebrated at all Parishes worldwide.

God bless.
Unknown said…
Why is it that to talk of the Mass as a sacrifice always lead many to declare "therefore restore the Latin Mass"? As a priest I use the present Sacramentary and never cease to use the expression "The sacrifice of the Mass.." To cofuse "mystery" with the use of a language no one understands is to degrade the true mystery of the Mass.
Fr Leslie
Ted Krasnicki said…
Fr. Leslie:
Sacrifice is so often linked to the TLM because it is an essensial element of this Mass while the Novus Ordo did a good job of playing down the sacrificial dimension of the Mass in favour of the meal dimension a la Protestantism. Take for example the Mass of the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday. The traditional propers all linked Christ's sacrifice to the Bread and Wine for that Mass. One of the greatest Graduals that had been used since the time of St. Gregory the Great for that Mass, the "Christus Factus Est" which speaks about Christ's sacrifice on the cross and therefore a comment on the Last Supper, and whose melody was fittingly borrowed from the gradual Secerdos Magnus (The Great Priest), by the way. This Gradual was taken away from this Mass in the Novus Ordo and a gradual that speaks about meal was substituted instead. This is typical of so much in the Novus Ordo, and even though there is a lip service paid to "Sacrifice of the Mass" in the new Sacramentary, the practical reality is different.

Ted K.

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