Worship and Sacraments: the Development of the Eucharist and the Ritual of Christian Marriage

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| Worship and the Sacraments: The Development of the Eucharist | Lisa Thomisee Mayo | | | | July 13, 2012 | The teaching of the Christian church establishes the origin of the Eucharist at the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples. It was then that Jesus took bread, broke it and gave it to his disciples and instructed them to eat it as it was his body. Jesus also took a cup, gave it to his disciples telling them to drink from it as it was the cup of the new covenant in his blood. The purpose of this paper is to trace the development of the Eucharist within the Christian church. The earliest written description of the Christian Eucharist is found as explained in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-20) and as the Apostle Paul explains it in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Paul describes it as eating the bread and drinking the cup of the Lord in celebration of the Supper of the Lord as related to the Last Supper of Jesus which had occurred about 25 years previously. Paul indicates that in celebration of the ritual, the command to do so is fulfilled. In the Acts of the Apostles it is recorded that the early Christians met together for the breaking of bread as a type of ceremony. (Acts 2:42) Justin Martyr in the second century writes of the oldest account of a Eucharistic ritual that is depictive of the rite as it is practiced in the church today. Other writings such as, the Didache, offer a brief look at the manner in which the early Christians administered the Eucharist. Details of the ritual were also found in writings by Tertullian around the year 200. The Eucharist had become an important element of Christian worship by the 4th century after the conversion of Constantine. [1] Life in the early Christian church was conducted in Holy Spirit-filled community with many of the practices and rituals
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