Avondmaal van de Heer, hoe (vaak) gevierd

Want wat ik heb ontvangen en aan u heb doorgegeven, gaat terug op de Heer zelf. In de nacht waarin de Heer Jezus werd uitgeleverd nam hij een brood, sprak het dankgebed uit, brak het brood en zei: 'Dit is mijn lichaam voor jullie. Doe dit, telkens opnieuw, om mij te gedenken.' Zo nam hij na de maaltijd ook de beker, en hij zei: 'Deze beker is het nieuwe verbond dat door mijn bloed gesloten wordt. Doe dit, telkens als jullie hieruit drinken, om mij te gedenken.' Dus altijd wanneer u dit brood eet en uit de beker drinkt, verkondigt u de dood van de Heer, totdat hij komt. 1 Kor. 11:23–26.


Now concerning the Eucharist [Thanksgiving], give thanks in this manner: First, concerning the cup: “We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David your servant, which you made known to us through Jesus your Servant; to you be the glory forever.” And concerning the broken [bread]: “We thank you, our Father, for the life and knowledge which you made known to us through Jesus your Servant. To you be the glory forever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let your church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. For yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever.” But let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist but those who have been baptized into the name of the Lord. For concerning this also the Lord has said, “Do not give that which is holy to the dogs.” But after you are filled, give thanks in this manner. Didache (c. 80–140, E), 1.379, 380.

Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Ignatius (c. 105, E), 1.89, 90. Having ended the prayers, we greet one another with a kiss. Then there is brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water. He takes them and gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe. . . . And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those whom we call deacons give to each of those present the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, to partake of. And they carry away a portion to those who are absent. And this food is called among us the Eucharist [Thanksgiving]. And no one is allowed to partake of it but the one who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is living as Christ has commanded.
Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.185.

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 us and exhorts us to imitate these good things. Then we all rise together and pray. And, as we said before, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought. Then, the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability. And the people assent, saying “Amen.” Then, [the Eucharist] is distributed to everyone, and everyone participates in that over which thanks have been given. And a portion of it is sent by the deacons to those who are absent. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.186.

According to custom, in the dispensing of the Eucharist, some direct that each one of the people individually should take his part.
Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.300.

Those heresies employ bread and water in the oblation, not according to the canon of the church. For there are those [heretics] who celebrate the Eucharist with mere water. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E), 2.322.

When the Lord’s Body has been received and reserved, each point is secured. Tertullian (c. 198, W), 3.687.

 Surely your [unbelieving] husband will know what it is that you secretly taste before eating any food. And if he knows it to be bread, no doubt he will believe it to be that which it is rumored to be. Tertullian (c. 205, W), 4.46,47.

In congregations before daybreak, we take from the hand of no one but the presidents the sacrament of the Eucharist—which the Lord both commanded to be eaten at mealtimes and commanded to be taken by all alike. . . . We feel pained should any wine or bread fall on the ground— even if it is our own. Tertullian (c. 211, W), 3.94.

Some, either by ignorance or simplicity, in sanctifying the cup of the Lord and in ministering to the people, do not do that which Jesus Christ, our Lord and God . . . did and taught. . . . When anything is prescribed by the inspiration and command of God, it is necessary that a faithful servant should obey the Lord. . . . Know, then, that I have been admonished that, in offering the cup, the tradition of the Lord must be observed. Nothing must be done by us but what the Lord first did on our behalf. So the cup that is offered in remembrance of Him should be offered mingled with wine. For when Christ says, “I am the true vine,” the blood of Christ is assuredly not water, but wine. Neither can His blood by which we are redeemed and quickened appear to be in the cup—when there is no wine in the cup. . . . We find in Genesis also, in respect of the sacrament in Noah, this same thing was to them a precursor and figure of the Lord’s passion. He drank wine and became drunk. . . . Also in the priest Melchizedek we see prefigured the sacrament of the sacrifice of the Lord. . . . It says, “And Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine.” . . . By baptism, the Holy Spirit is received. Therefore, those who are baptized and have received the Holy Spirit are allowed to drink of the Lord’s cup. . . . The cup should be mingled with a mixture of wine and water. . . . The cup that the Lord offered was mixed, and it was wine that He called His blood. Therefore, it appears that the blood of Christ is not offered if there is no wine in the cup. The Lord’s sacrifice is not celebrated with a legitimate consecration unless our oblation and sacrifice correspond to His passion. …  As often as we drink it in remembrance of the Lord, we do the same thing that the Lord also did. So we find that we are not observing what was commanded unless we also do what the Lord did. By mixing the Lord’s cup in like manner, we do not depart from the divine teaching. For we must not at all depart from the evangelical precepts. And disciples should also observe and do the same things that the Master both taught and did. . . . Neither the apostle himself, nor an angel from heaven, can preach or teach anything other than what Christ has once taught and His apostles have announced. Therefore, I very much wonder where this practice has originated. That is, contrary to evangelical and apostolic discipline, in some places water is offered in the Lord’s cup. But water by itself cannot represent the blood of Christ. The Holy Spirit also is not silent in the Psalms on the sacrament of this thing, when He makes mention of the Lord’s cup and says, “Your inebriating cup, how excellent it is.” Now the cup that inebriates is certainly mingled with wine. For water cannot inebriate anybody. And the cup of the Lord inebriates in the same way as Noah also was intoxicated by drinking wine, in Genesis. However, the intoxication of the Lord’s cup and blood is not the same as is the intoxication of the world’s wine. . . . The Lord’s cup inebriates those who drink it in such a manner as to make them sober. It restores their minds to spiritual wisdom. . . . The cup of salvation having been drunk, the memory of the old man is laid aside. And there arises an oblivion of the former worldly life. . . . Therefore, in consecrating the cup of the Lord, water alone cannot be offered, even as wine alone cannot be offered. For if anyone offers wine only, the blood of Christ is dissociated from us. Yet, if the water is alone, the people are dissociated from Christ. But when both are mingled and are joined with one another by a close union, there is a complete spiritual and heavenly sacrament. Thus the cup of the Lord is indeed neither water alone, nor wine alone. . . . Certainly that priest truly discharges the office of Christ who imitates that which Christ did. He then offers a true and full sacrifice in the church to God the Father, when he proceeds to offer it according to what he sees Christ Himself to have offered. . . . Does anyone perhaps flatter himself with this notion: that although in the morning, water alone is seen to be offered, yet when we come to supper, we offer the mingled cup? However, when we come together for supper [i.e., the love feast], we cannot call the people together to our banquet, so as to celebrate the truth of the sacrament in the presence of all the brotherhood. Nevertheless, it was not in the morning, but after supper, that the Lord offered the mingled cup. Should we then celebrate the Lord’s cup after supper, so that by continual repetition of the Lord’s supper we may offer the mingled cup? It behooved Christ to offer about the evening of the day, so that the very hour of sacrifice might reveal the setting . . . “And all the people of the synagogue of the children of Israel will kill it in the evening.” . . . However, we celebrate the resurrection of the Lord in the morning. Cyprian (c. 250, W), 5.359–5.363.

The boy ran for the presbyter. But it was night and the presbyter was sick and was, as a result, unable to come. However, I had issued an injunction that persons at the point of death, if they requested it, . . . should be absolved in order that they might depart this life in cheerful hope. So the presbyter gave the boy a small portion of the Eucharist, telling him to steep it in water and drop it into the old man’s mouth.
Dionysius of Alexandria (c. 262, E), 6.101.

[The bishops are] the ambassadors of God, who have . . . imparted to you the saving body and precious blood of Christ, . . . who have made you partakers of the holy and sacred Eucharist. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.412.

When they wish to repent, we receive the pagans into the church to hear the Word. However, we do not receive them to communion until they have received the seal of baptism and are made complete Christians. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.414.

After this, let the sacrifice follow, the people standing and praying silently. And when the oblation has been made, let every rank by itself partake of the Lord’s body and precious blood, in order. Let them approach with reverence and holy fear—as to the body of their king. Let the women approach with their heads covered, as is becoming the order of women. But let the door be watched, lest any unbeliever, or one not yet initiated, should come in. Apostolic Constitutions (compiled c. 390, E), 7.421, 422.

© OTR 2023