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The Origin Of The Weekly Gathering In The Early Church

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Chapter Summary

Insofar as the sources allow any inference, the periodical gatherings of Christians took place on Sundays; they could be held at various locations, although most took place in private houses. The choice of the Sunday as the day of their communal feasts is examined in detail in this chapter. The household setting, where most of the Christian gatherings were held originally, also provided the leadership of the church; besides, during the first and second centuries, there were itinerant officers who could preside at the Christian gatherings. The first sedentary officers were called bishops and deacons, or bishops and presbyters, without there being much difference between the bishops and the presbyters. In the second and third centuries the bishops became almost the only conductors of the Christian gathering; presbyters and deacons helped them. In the third and fourth century the presbyter obtained a more independent position as officiant of the Eucharist.

Keywords: Christian gathering; Church; Eucharist; presbyters; Sunday

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