How did they follow Jesus' command, "Do this in remembrance of me"?
How did they celebrate the Lord's Day?
What would they recognize in today's Mass?
The answers may surprise you.
In The Mass of the Early Christians, respected author, scholar, and television host Mike Aquilina reveals the Church's most ancient Eucharistic beliefs and practices. Using the words of the early Christians themselves -- from many documents and inscriptions -- Aquilina traces the history of the Mass from Jesus' lifetime through the fourth century. That the Mass stood at the center of the Church's life is evident in the Scriptures, as well as the earliest Christian sermons, letters, artwork, tombstones, and architecture. Even the pagans bore witness to the Mass in the records of their persecutions.
These legacies from the early Church bear witness to the same worship Catholics know today: the altar, the priest, the chalice of wine, the bread, the Sign of the Cross ... the "Lord, have mercy" ... the "Holy, holy, holy" ... and the Communion.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great book on history of the Catholic Mass. Very informative on the differences between the way the Catholic Mass was celebrated by the first Christians and the way the Mass is celebrated today.
After a brief introduction, the author has collected brief segments from various Early Church Fathers on how they celebrate and think about the Mass.I really enjoyed the book, it is readable, even for non-theologians. The quotes come from a variety of people, famous and not as much, Christians and non-Christians. It was fascinating to see how similar the Mass I go to today is to what was celebrated in the first couple of centuries. The last chapter was also one of my favorites as the author combines the info from the previous chapters to narrate what it would have been like to go to Mass in the first couple of centuries.
Well written documentary of the history of the Mass. Shows that today's Eucharist is much the same as the early Christians celebrated it. It should help our non-Catholic brothers understand why we celebrate the Tradition.