Dear forum, I apologize if this isn’t the right place to post this new thread so Mods please move this thread if necessary.
A while ago I had put in my notes on the New Testament a verse that spoke of early Christianity where the early mass was celebrated on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I moved to another house and lost all of my bible notes. If someone can point to me the verse I am looking for I would really appreciate it.
Offhand, the closest I recall is Acts 2:46: Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together…" Of course, there were no Christian churches in those days, and no need or preparation for them until Christians began to be expelled from Temple and synagogues.
In the Book of Revelation in the eleventh Chapter we read about the two witnesses who stand before the God of the earth. These two witnesses are called the two olive trees and the two lampstands. Now some interpreters have declared that these two witnesses are actually two people. The only problem with this interpretation is two people are not going to turn the tide of evil that is in the world (what are they going to do, ride the planes every 10 minutes!). Another problem is God is not going to need a blast from the past to save us so another interpretation must be forthcoming. God needs “blasts” from the present so the interpretation that seems to fit Revelation 11 is who are the two witnesses. The answer lies to the verse that says they are the ones who stand before God. Now who can stand before God all the time and they are not from Heaven. There is only one answer and it is the Church and more specifically the Catholic Church and the Eastern Churches. Both the Catholic Church and the Eastern Churches stand before the God of earth (and Heaven) as they both celebrate the Mass and the Divine Liturgy at every time zone on the earth. These are the two witnesses, the two olive trees and the two lampstands because they constantly celebrate the great Sacrament of Holy Communion at every hour of every day and every week.
Just to let you know that the two witnesses that God may send out in Revelation 11 will come from these Churches and the actual witnesses will be more than two since the Scripture describe the two witnesses as the two Churches, Catholic and Eastern. That God has two great witnesses in His Church in both East and West means He can count on a way lot more than two actual witnesses!
Do you see that the Church that celebrates the Mass and the Divine Liturgy around the clock is the one that has “daily Mass”.
I don’t think these passages necessarily imply the existence of daily Mass in the first generations of Christianity. (Especially the Acts passages: ‘the daily distribution’ IMHO is better understood as a welfare project than ‘daily Mass’.) In fact, all early Christian sources do say is that they gather “on the first day of the week” for “the breaking of the bread.” You might note that for much of the year Jews also gather in the synagogue only once a week, on the Sabbath - after all, that’s the only day of the week people could actually gather together, since most of them worked from sunrise to sunset on the other days of the week. The New Testament, St. Justin Martyr, and the Didache all seem to only imply a Sunday-only Eucharist.
It’s only from the 3rd century onwards that we hear of more frequent communion, and the Fathers recommending the daily celebration of the Eucharist. But even then, frequent/daily Mass at first was more of a Western thing (we already have Tertullian talking about it); in the East, the faithful and monks (for various reasons) continued to have liturgies on Sundays only much longer. By the 4th century, after the triumph of the Church, you actually have in the East different practices: in Alexandria, North Syria, Asia Minor and Constantinople you had liturgies on Saturdays and Sundays; in Palestine, Cyprus and Mesopotamia, there were liturgies on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays; in Antioch, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; in Caesarea, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. By the 5th century, there were daily liturgies in Alexandria. But even then, St. Ambrose could still accuse Eastern Christians of communicating less frequently than they should.
You’d notice that aside from Sunday, these Eastern churches began to hold liturgies on the same days that fasts were held (Wednesday, Friday-Saturday) before extending them through the whole week. As early as the Didache you already have a recommendation that Christians should fast on Wednesday and Friday. (A bit later, the Friday fast was extended through Saturday - hey, it’s a nice build-up to Sunday.) The Ember days I think is a relic of this practice. I think they thought that it kinda fits in a way to have the Mass (where we can receive our spiritual food and drink) on days of fasting.
‘The Day’ in that context, and at that time, refers to the Second Coming. The Apostle is urging the new Christians to be faithful, so that they are blameless when the Lord Jesus appeared again in glory.
Jesus has already resurrected and appeared to His apostles, and ascended back to heaven. The 2nd coming is a complete mystery as to timing of a future event. 2000 years has gone bye since that epistle was written. It could be another million years from now or even a billion years till the 2nd coming. Or even longer. Or it could be tomorrow. In the meantime, the “Day” spoken of in the letter, is Sunday the Lord’s Day.