The Eucharist in the Didache (Clary book)

In 1975, Hughes Oliphant Old published his dissertation entitled The Patristic Roots of Reformed Worship. Old persuasively argues that we have every reason to take Calvin and his colleagues seriously when they claim patristic support for their liturgical ideas.

The Reformers deliberately developed their approach to worship by returning, first and foremost, to the scriptures but also to the fathers of the church, whom they regarded as fallible, though generally reliable, interpreters of the bible.

Unfortunately, the Reformers did not have at their disposal one of the earliest Christian documents that describes various liturgical customs in the ancient church, namely, the Didache.

With the fortuitous rediscovery of the Didache at the end of the 19th century, we have access to a critical resource for doing precisely what the Reformers aspired to do, namely, to reform the church’s worship in light of holy scripture and the customs of the ancient church.

My dissertation entitled The Eucharist in the Didache, which you can read here, is a modest attempt at continuing the important work of reforming the church’s worship in light of patristic customs.


7 thoughts on “The Eucharist in the Didache (Clary book)

  1. Michial

    So, would the Anglicans be close to the early liturgical forms? Didn’t Cranmer have resources that have been shown to accord with early practice?

    1. Post author

      Cranmer did have resources available to him that described patristic liturgical customs, and his Book of Common Prayer (the 1549 edition and especially the 1552 edition) were written with those patristic customs in mind. We have more resources available to us today (like the Didache) and know more about patristic worship today, and I think the work of revising the liturgy in light of scripture and patristic customs should continue. That is, we should continue the work that the Reformers started in the 16th century.


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