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Other Ritual Actions In The Gatherings Of The Early Church

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Chapter Summary

During their communal assemblies, besides eating and drinking, reading and preaching, singing and praying, Christians performed various other actions which became more or less fixed rituals. This chapter examines these ritual acts, which include the holy kiss, the ordination of office holders, laying on of hands, anointing with oil, liturgical acclamations, collections and giving of alms, footwashing, exorcisms and healings. Besides the meal, the reading of authoritative texts, preaching, singing and prayer, there was a variety of actions in the communal gathering of early Christians, which, in the course of time, became fixed ritual acts: the holy kiss, the laying on of hands, footwashing, anointing, collections of money and offerings of food, liturgical acclamations, exorcisms and healings. Christians practised these rituals in a way comparable to how the same or similar ritual acts were performed at banquets held by Graeco-Roman clubs and associations.

Keywords: Christian; gathering; Graeco-Roman; holy kiss; reading and preaching; ritual; singing and praying



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