The early Church and the Eucharist

It is hard to argue with such a clear statement as that which we find in the Didache (written c. 100):

And when coming together on the Lord’s own day, break bread and give thanks after confessing your transgressions. In that manner, your sacrifice will be pure. And do not let anyone coming with a quarrel against a brother join you until they get reconciled, in order that your sacrifice is not impure. For this has been spoken of by the Lord, “in every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice, for I am a great King,” says the Lord, “and My name is wonderful among the nations.” (Didache 14:1-3)

There is no interstice between 100 AD and the Apostolic period. The Gospel of John was probably taking its present form at the time and, according to some scholars, 2 Peter had not yet been written.

The Apostolic Church called the eucharist a sacrifice and had no problem with that sort of language.

The Eucharist is a sacrament with Jewish roots. In Judaism, the Messiah was suppose to cease all sacrifice except for the thanksgiving sacrifice, which was to go on forever. “Eucharist” is Greek for thanksgiving. The Eucharist is a thanksgiving sacrifice, it is the thanksgiving sacrifice which the Messiah was suppose to perpetuate; it is not the sacrifice that the Jews celebrated, though, for the sacrifice was fulfilled by Christ, the spiritual fulfillement of the Passover, inseperably united to His Death, the physical fulfillment of the Passover: In other words, the sacrfice of the Lamb of God is the literal fulfillment of the redemption of Israel, whereas the memorial and re-presentation of His sacrifice - the Eucharist, the thanksgiving sacrifice - is the spiritual fulfillment of the Passover, for it is unbloody, whereas the one on the Cross was bloody.

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