Order of the Mass 155 AD



I am struck by how this early account is duplicated by my non-Catholic church today and we do not call it Mass. I am finding it confusing.


There is something wonderful about the fact that the liturgy we maintain today still connects us to the communion of saints who have come before us.


But I want to honestly acclaim that my church is not a “liturgical” church in that sense and we do not profess a belief in the “Real Presence” as some do, yet, the Eucharisted or blessed bread and wine are consumed as His body and blood given for us even though we do not profess that the elements have become His actual body and blood. Our practice seems to mimic the Order of 155 AD.


But OUR Catholic Mass has the REAL Presence of Our Lord Jesus when Consecration takes place. We re-present the Crucifixion in an unbloody manner. We are present at Calvary and also at the Last Supper.


I know that is your understanding Cajun and I do not want to be disrespectful but those beliefs must be formulated from more than this early church account of how they practiced the breaking of bread.


As the footnote correctly states, each of the eight quotes listed here is taken from either Chapter 65 or 67 of Justin’s First Apology. It may be worth pointing out that whoever compiled this summary of the Order of the Mass has made certain discreet changes to the order of the eight items, and also that although the compiler has written, in the left-hand column, “A priest gives the homily,” Justin refers to the preacher as “the president of the brethren.” He doesn’t use the word “priest” here at all.



Curiously, since this summary of the Order of the Mass is clearly taken from a Catholic source, it leaves out any reference to Chapter 66 of the First Apology:

For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, “This do in remembrance of Me, this is My body; ” and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, “This is My blood;” and gave it to them alone.



You are correct that the graphic does re-order paragraphs 65 through 67, but the chronological order presented in the graphic does seem to be correct. From 67:

And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought, and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given, and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons. . . .

From “we rise together and pray” and “bread and wine and water are brought” is basically briefly recapping much of what was described in paragraphs 65 and 66 and places them in the order of the weekly assembly. Read these three paragraphs together, and I don’t think any misrepresentation is being made by the graphic about the order of the celebration.

As for the president, well, that could spiral off into another topic. Certainly Catholics consider the Priest who is celebrating to be the presider/president/celebrant of the modern mass. Justin’s letter was specifically a defense of Christianity to the Roman government in particular with the intent of presenting the practice of Christians simply, explaining we’re not atheists or cannibals or miscreants, not a detailed treatise on the faith.


I haven’t had a chance to look it up-- but do you know what the original Greek/Latin word used was?

I’m hearing “president” and I’m thinking “presider”, like, “The person who presides over the goings-on.”

So I’m thinking that it’s more of a modernization of how we perceive certain word usage— sort of like how “replace” to us means “substitution”, but “replace” to someone a few centuries ago means “do this action twice”.


Okay, so I’m reading:

The word translated “president” is proestotos.

So now we can have a discussion about the nuances of proestotos vs presviteros. :slight_smile:


@midori, does the word “proestotos” occur anywhere in the Septuagint? I’m pretty sure I looked it up once, and found a single occurrence, though I don’t remember in which book. In any case, I was looking again now and this time I couldn’t find it.




One of the reasons I love Mass is the feeling of connecting with antiquity.


When at Mass we are at Calvary and we are at the Last Supper. Jesus is in our midst. What a tremendous gift from Our Lord to do that for us.


When I start to think about it that Our GOD of our universe allows Himself to become a tiny host in the hands of the Priest so that we can receive Him it just humbles me and makes me realize what He does for me and what I need to do to be in a relationship with Him.


I would be sincerely interested in knowing what you feel you need to do to be in a relationship with Him.


Being in a relationship with God is not just “checking the boxes” on spiritual things I do:
reading Scripture
attending Mass
going to Holy Hour
going to Bible Study

Being in a relationship with God is just like being in a relationship with someone you love:
God knows me better than I know myself and He loves me more than I love myself so—

1.)I should give Him first thought of the day, thought all through the day and last thought at night
2.)Even though He already knows EVERYTHING going on in my life He still wants to hear about it all FROM ME. He wants to hear about the good, the bad and the ugly in my life. If it’s important to me it’s important to Him. I should bring it all to Him.
3.)Because He is my Creator I MUST give Him honor, Glory, Praise, Worship each and every day of my life (actually each and every moment of my life) should be about glorifying Him
4.)He is my Heavenly Father and as such as His daughter I should do His will. I should ask for His guidance on everything and do His will in all things.
5.)Because I love Him I should at each and every chance speak lovingly about Him to others and speak to Him about others.
6.)My life should revolve around HIM and I shouldn’t try to squeeze in time for Him when I get the chance.
7.) He IS the most important person in my life and I should act like it and live like it.
8.)My life should be an honor to Him. I want to hear Him say to me at the end “Good and Faithful servant!”


So does mine.



A very helpful link!

I didn’t see any references to the Septuagint. But I see that προεστωτος is used in the New Testament in four books.

In Thessalonians 5:

Ἐρωτῶμεν δὲ ὑμᾶς, ἀδελφοί, εἰδέναι τοὺς κοπιῶντας ἐν ὑμῖν καὶ προϊσταμένους ὑμῶν ἐν κυρίῳ καὶ νουθετοῦντας ὑμᾶς, καὶ ἡγεῖσθαι

Which I believe belongs to the bit that goes:

And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.

Three times in 1 Timothy Chapter 3:

πλήκτην, ἀλλὰ ἐπιεικῆ, ἄμαχον, ἀφιλάργυρον, τοῦ ἰδίου οἴκου καλῶς προϊστάμενον, τέκνα ἔχοντα ἐν ὑποταγῇ μετὰ πάσης σεμνότητος: ( εἰ δέ τις τοῦ ἰδίου οἴκου προστῆναι οὐκ οἶδεν, πῶς ἐκκλησίας θεοῦ ἐπιμελήσεται;) μὴ νεόφυτον… ἐν πᾶσιν. διάκονοι ἔστωσαν μιᾶς γυναικὸς ἄνδρες, τέκνων καλῶς προϊστάμενοι καὶ τῶν ἰδίων οἴκων: οἱ γὰρ καλῶς διακονήσαντες

Interestingly enough, I believe it goes along with this bit:

This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

[Where it starts off referring to the bishop as επισκοπής (did I type that right? I couldn’t copy-paste), but it later on references him as προϊστάμενον / προστῆναι / προϊστάμενοι .

In Romans 12:

ὁ παρακαλῶν ἐν τῇ παρακλήσει, ὁ μεταδιδοὺς ἐν ἁπλότητι, ὁ προϊστάμενος ἐν σπουδῇ, ὁ ἐλεῶν ἐν ἱλαρότητι. ἡ ἀγάπη

Which is part of the bit that’s “we’re many parts in one body of Christ” and it wraps up with:

Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Twice in Titus 3:

καὶ περὶ τούτων βούλομαί σε διαβεβαιοῦσθαι, ἵνα φροντίζωσιν καλῶν ἔργων προΐστασθαι οἱ πεπιστευκότες θεῷ. Ταῦτά ἐστιν καλὰ καὶ ὠφέλιμα τοῖς … αὐτοῖς λείπῃ. Μανθανέτωσαν δὲ καὶ οἱ ἡμέτεροι καλῶν ἔργων προΐστασθαι εἰς τὰς ἀναγκαίας χρείας, ἵνα μὴ ὦσιν ἄκαρποι.

Which I think is:

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men… And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.


“Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God… They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer, because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the Flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, Flesh which suffered for our sins and which the Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes. — Letter to the Smyrnaeans , Ch 6” - Ignatius of Antioch, lived until around 110 A.D. One of the first Bishops appointed by The Apostles - a contemporary of John The Apostle. He is also recorded as the first one to use the word ‘catholic,’ to describe The Church handed down from the Apostles, to distinguish it from varied teachings from other Christian faith communities which sprang up; which were not overseen by the Bishops, and taught many diverse things contrary to the Divine Revelation given through Christ. i. e. the gnostics.

The divisions in the Church all resulted from powerful people for governmental reasons,
and used the hypocrisies of persons and practices to gain power. The early Church taught disciples for up to 3 years; to ensure they learned the faith; and gradually taught the Eucharist, because, obviously by John Chapt. 6, it is difficult to understand; and the Romans used to call Christians, cannibals. God, by Grace shares the True Presence as true food;
and like Jesus Christ, Who ate The Bread and drank The Wine at the Last Supper said,
it is of The Spirit that the Teaching is from. It is not carving up The Incarnation and eating it.
But as the Word nourishes the mind, the Spirit nourishes our spirits; our bodies and souls,
are nourished with True Food and True Drink from Eternity. So all three aspect of a person can participate in the Divinity of Jesus Christ; in as far as cooperating with God’s Grace makes a person worthy.

It is very sad.
Jesus Christ prayed fervently in The Last Discourse that we are one as He and The Father are One.


Why is it not written in Latin , though it does seem very much like the OF?. :wink:

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