2 Comments

  1. Clay Baswell said:

    Matt
    Thanks for posting.
    First , i am not yet a Catholic. .. but am considering crossing the rubicon from my charismatic non-denominational roots to Find “my home in Rome”

    This issue of the priesthood is where I am currently hung up. ( I am fine with all the other major doctrinal issues that most converts from Protestantism usually have to grapple with early on but I am still seeking clarity on several things, the preishood being one of those).

    My question is more about the distribution of the Eucharist in the early church. As I understand it only a priest can invoke the sacred words whereby the bread and wine are transformed. I also understand that Paul being a missionary apostle often started many churches in The Greco Roman Empire including parts of Asia. According to Justin Martyr the practice of breaking bread and prayer ( here I assume the eucharist) was the primary means of the liturgy in the earliest days of the church, my question then being: how were these church plants able to practice regular Eucharistic worship if they didn’t have priest to do so? ( maybe I am assuming to much by thinking they didn’t have them, or know too little about church dogmas but it just appears from the Pauline Epistles he very infrequently addresses this topic. We only learn later on with the unfolding of church dogmas and doctrine who can and who cannot serve the Eucharist.)

    Also ant catechecial reference you can provide or continued reading in addition to afore mentioned Karlo Broussard’s Bible Blueprint For The Priesthood. are greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards

    – Clay Baswell

    October 18, 2016
    Reply
    • Matt Nelson said:

      Hi Clay. So good to hear from you! That’s a fantastic question. You are right – there can be no consecration of bread and wine, and resulting Eucharist, without a validly ordained priest. I see two possibilities in the early Church. First, Paul may have ordained priests in these small churches spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. The other possibility is that a consecrated host from another church could be brought to another church, and a sort of primitive lay service may have been conducted. This may have been similar to the old “fraction rite” tradition which I’ve written about in this post: http://www.reasonablecatholic.com/7-things-to-know-that-will-change-your-next-mass-experience/

      As for resources: Read Scott Hahn’s “The Lamb’s Supper” and Mike Aquilina’s “The Mass Of The Early Christians.” Also, read Bishop Robert Barron’s stuff at his website WordOnFire.org:http://www.wordonfire.org/search/?keywords=priesthood&search_submit=Go&simple_search=true

      And if there are any questions about the contemporary Mass you might check out Jimmy Akin’s ‘Mass Revision.’

      If you have any other questions feel free to email me through the CONTACT page above! Praying for you, brother.

      October 19, 2016
      Reply

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