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The Lord's Supper In The Early Church

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the origin and development of the Lord's Supper (or the Eucharist) as celebrated in the context of the Christian gathering during the first three centuries. Originally the Lord's Supper was celebrated as a full meal within the framework of the Sunday evening gathering. In the second half of the second century, the Eucharist, in a more modest form, was introduced into the morning gatherings on several days of the week, including on Sunday. The Eucharist was also celebrated in baptismal gatherings and at the tombs of deceased Christians. The origins of the Lord's Supper, how it was conducted and what it meant to the participants, are investigated. Finally, the tradition concerning Jesus' Last Supper is examined as to how it originated in the context of the celebration of the Lord's Supper and what its function was in this context.

Keywords: Christians; Church; Eucharist; Jesus'; Lord's Supper

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