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Chapter Summary

The aim of this study was to give a reconstruction of the earliest history of the Christian gathering. The main objective was to trace the origins of the early Christian gathering within the context of the Mediterranean culture during the first century CE. The second purpose is to examine the development of the Christian gathering during the first two and a half centuries of its existence. The weekly gathering of the early Christians proves to conform to the pattern of the periodical group supper in the Graeco-Roman world. The Christian gathering consisted of a meal and a contiguous symposium, although it cannot be ascertained in all cases precisely when the meal ended and the symposium began. In the first centuries of the Christian Church, besides the eucharistic meal, there were a number of other actions Christians could perform in their communal gatherings: the holy kiss, exorcisms and healings.

Keywords: Christian gathering; eucharist; Graeco-Roman world; Mediterranean culture; Sunday evening



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