Eucharistia Recovered

A Stewart Todd

Stewart Todd seeks to recover a proper understanding of eucharistia, by which he refers to the Great Prayer at the Communion Service. Todd affirms that the expression ‘“breaking of bread” may be [regarded as] the oldest designation of Christian worship’, with this presupposing and including eucharistia. However, Todd notes that by the early second century the term eucharistia has supplanted the “breaking of bread” as the accepted designation of the Christian Sunday act of worship, as evidenced in; the Didache, the Epistles of Ignatius and Justin Martyr’s Apology. Thereafter, Todd seeks to establish that the New Testament references to eucharistia and eucharistein reflect a quasi-liturgical usage, and draws particularly upon J.Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus. Following on from this, Todd seeks to establish the ‘content of the early eucharistia’ and does so through an examination of ‘Our Lord’s own eucharistia’, on the assumption that the Last Supper was set in the context of a Passover meal. Thus, he contends that the primary emphasis in the prayers associated with Passover meal is that of ‘blessing’ in which there is a ‘recognition or anamnesis of the action of God’, with these prayers being ‘the embryo of later Eucharistic prayers’. This form of blessing, ‘and perhaps content’, is then carried over into Christian Eucharistic celebration. Therefore, Todd contends that ‘the eucharistia of the Church was in the nature of a grace or blessing [and]…was at the heart of the Eucharist’.

Volume 01, Number 02 Nov 1971, p34
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