Eucharist Pre-Constantine Era V

  1. Irenaeus of Lyons (130-200)

Against Heresies (AH)

-Fulfillment of OT offerings

  • Malachi pure sacrifice 1:11 & AH 4.17.5; sacrifice of Abel (Gn 4:7, AH 4.18.3)

  • A real transformation occurs when bread & wine receive the invocation of God (AH 4.18.5)

  • “When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made” (AH 5.2.3)

  • Eucharist “no longer common bread”— gives our bodies “the hope of resurrection to eternity,” and “establishes our opinion” (AH 4.18.5)

Separation of Body & Blood, consecrated separately, mingling wine & wine drop of water is our humanity, we are a part of sacrifice, priest does not receive until portion of  the Host with Precious Blood, receives the Resurrection. So too for us.

Beginning of New Year, Resolutions, one with spirituality, meditating on gift of Eucharist, fruit always in season

  1. Tertullian (160-225)
  • North African eucharistic understanding and practice[1]

  • Eucharist is a sacrifice in which Christians participate when they stand at the altar De Oratione 19

  • “It is to God’s altar, together with a display of good works and amid the singing of psalms and hymns, that we are to bring this prayer” (De Oratione 28.1), a sacrifice in the Spirit offered by priests (De Oratione 28.3). It is a true thanksgiving (Adversus Marcionem 1.23)

  • Eucharist in a real and substantial manner

Jesus made the bread his own body when he said, ‘this is my body,’ affirming the “reality [substantia] of his body,” and similarly, sealing the New Testament in his blood in the cup (Adversus Marcionem 4.40).

“Christ is our bread because Christ is life and bread is life” and thus has become our daily bread as we pray in the Our Father (De Oratione 6).

It is not common food, and thus “the body feeds on Christ’s Body and Blood so that the soul also may be fattened on God” (De Resurrectione Carnis 8.2)

Ritual Practices

Kiss of peace

Idolators should not receive communion

Must be received with reverence lest any wine or bread being cast upon the ground (De Corona 3)

Marcion took out Jewish parts, OT God of wrath, evil, oppressive versus NT God of Mercy

[1] Texts from Lawrence J. Johnson, Worship in the Early Church: An Anthology of Historical Sources, Vol.1 (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2009), 112-145. On Tertullian and the Eucharist see Patout Burns and Robin Jensen, Christianity in Roman Africa: The Development of Its Practices and Beliefs (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2014), 234-245.