Wednesday, July 10, 2002

There is only The Church, and the Church is one

As I keep writing here, sometimes to the point of monomania, there is only the Catholic Church, which we should not set out to divide with extraneous inappropriate adjectives. In this morning's Office of Readings, we are given a passage from the Didache, the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, about the celebration of Eucharist and the oneness of the Church. (So I'm not alone in that belief...... sometimes here in the blogging world it would seem so.....)

This is what the Didache says:

Celebrate the Eucharist as follows: Say over the cup, "We give you thanks, Father, for the holy vine of David, your servant, which you made known to us through Jesus your servant. To you be glory for ever."

Over the broken bread say, "We give you thanks, Father, for the life and the knowledge which you have revealed to us through Jesus your servant. To you be glory for ever. As this broken bread scattered on the mountains was gathered and became one, so too, may your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. For glory and power are yours through Jesus Christ for ever." .......

When you finish the meal, offer thanks in this manner: "We thank you, holy Father, for your name which you enshrined in our hearts. We thank you for the knowledge and faith and immortality which you revealed to us through your servant Jesus. To you be glory for ever. ............ Remember, Lord, your Church, and deliver her from all evil. Perfect her in your love; and, once she has been sanctified, gather her together from the four winds into the kingdom which you have prepared for her. For power and glory are yours for ever." .............

On the Lord's Day, when you have been gathered together, break bread and celebrate the Eucharist. But first confess your sins so that your offering may be pure. If anyone has a quarrel with his neighbor, that person should not join you until he has been reconciled. Your sacrifice must not be defiled. ..........
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