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4792Re: [liturgy-l] Preparation for communion: fasting

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  • fcsenn@aol.com
    May 1, 2001
      In a message dated 4/30/2001 12:37:49 PM Central Daylight Time,
      atombomb@... writes:

      > We know that the
      > Eucharist was originally celebrated in the context of a meal of some
      > sort, so I am wondering whether the idea of receiving the Eucharist only
      > while fasting may have begun to develop when it was separated from the
      > meal itself, or was later. What documentation do we have?

      What we know is that the eucharist was not celebrated during a fast or on the
      fast day because feasting is incompatible with fasting. The eucharist was
      celebrated at the end of the fast. So, for example, the paschal fast
      observed by the Asian quartodecimans in the 2nd century was broken by the
      celebration of the eucharist at midnight after the Jewish passover meal was
      ended. This particular example does not have to do with a regular
      eucharistic fast such as developed later; it was Christians fasting while the
      Jews feasted in anticipation of celebrating the pascha of Christ from death
      to life as the fulfillment of the Jewish pesach. Later on we know that some
      Christians took the consecrated elements home with them so that they could
      self-commune when their personal time of fasting was ended. The idea was to
      eat and drink of the sacrament before receiving other food. My hunch is that
      a number of fasting/feasting practices finally coalesced into a system. But
      I have not researched it as such.


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