LIFE RELIGION FAMILY

a place to come and discuss in peace, things of religion, life, and families

A SIMPLE QUESTION ASKED…….What did early Christian meetings look like..?

Posted by tawodi on March 22, 2012


As most of you know I spend time on the Military. com site. While there I and others are asked many questions about religion and the duties of Clergy in general. I took this opportunity to answer one and thought to bring it here for you to ponder and consider…. those very early days before we had sects and divisions, there was only one WAY to follow. that of Jesus the Massiach.

[QUOTE] Early Christian meetings were primarily centered around a shared meal. [UNQUOTE] CPL BUCKLEY.

That was one thing that would stand out. It was called a love feast in those times, something that still exists as Lay ministers and others can do this instead of consecrating the elements of the Eucharist, which they cannot. If the host is blessed by someone in the Apostolic line of succession, (something rather hazy today) then the laity can hold Communion services, which of course is considered a Sacrament.

Baptism is also a Sacrament and there are only two such in most protestant churches, unlike the Catholic Church which considers many rituals Sacraments….such as marriage for instance. In protestant churches the oath, between the woman and the man, is the Sacrament, not the ceremony.

Of course that is not true in some of them!

After the feast, they would discuss Scripture and since they had only what is now known as the Old Testament that was the Holy book under discussion. Most of these discussion centered around prophesy, as one can understand.

As Peter, Silas, Paul, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, (Saul of Tarsus) Ananias, Phillip, Mathias, and Matthew, travelled a bit and some of course on missionary journeys of many miles and great lengths of time, they exchanged ideas, letters and word of mouth communications with one congregation or another. They became known as “Followers of The Way” The symbol, as most know, was the fish…as per Jesus telling the first disciples, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men”

The Chrysanthamum and the Rose were also early symbols of Christianity as well. It was somewhere around 60 to 75 A.D. that the Cross started to be used as the Christian symbol of the sect. The Chrysanthemum was used on funerary things like Ossuaries and tomb markings, to symbolize the return of life with resurrection.

Three of these are still used today. The Cross of course the fish and the Rose. When some thing is to be kept secret for instance, a rose is placed in a tall vase on the table and then the conversation takes place. After the conversation the rose is burned and the vase is destroyed marking the end of the secret session. From this comes the phrase, “Under the Rose”, to imply the utmost secrecy of the subject at hand. Also the red of the Rose is used to designate the red color and sacrifice of the Sacred heart, as well as it being said that apparitions of Mary, are always accompanied by the scent of roses.

And so, the Followers of the way progressed to ever more formally conducted meetings of prayer, sermonizing, (teaching or “preaching” which means the same thing) and ritual. Which at first consisted of telling the sayings that the disciples and others who remembered Jesus as having said…. and then, finally, about 40 A.D. they began to be written down.

Before you jump my “stuff”. Let me explain that fragments from this period are still in hand with-in the Vatican library/museum, but are virtually useless for any purpose. They DO have over nine hundred fragments from those times but the earliest useful tracts, that exist today, are from about one fifty to two hundred A.D. as most already know.

About eighty years ago it was thought that one of the first copies of “Revelations” of St. John of Patmos had been found, but carbon dating left it in doubt as samples of enough size failed to be obtained, and so it goes.

So, as you can see…. those early meetings were much like today’s house gatherings of worshippers to feast, discuss, worship and share in the experience, of forming a relationship of a personal nature with God, and Jesus The Christ…to enrich their lives in understanding and fellowship.

Be well friends….Rev. Bruce……………………..Tawodi

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