Who presided at the early Eucharistic celebration?

HI,

I understand that Paul described the first Mass in Corinthians, Also, my understanding is that eucheristic celebrations happened in homes as people gathered to celebrate in the days before a formal mass. Give this, at the time there were not priests as we know them or parishes, thus who concecrated the Host, to follow Jesus’s teachings before the formal priesthood, and if the early church fathers were not “Priests” as we know them today, when and why did it come to pass that only Priests could consecrate the Bread and wine?

John

Dear J,

Who says there were no priests? St. Paul himself, was a priest. Other names were used such as “elders” and “presbyters.” There were bishops, presbyters and deacons. In the Letter of James we read: “Are there sick people among you? Let them send for the priests of the Church, and let the priests pray over them with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick persons and the Lord will raise them up. If they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them.” (James 5:14-16) For more see:

ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/PRIEST3.HTM

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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