Christian worship. Justin Martyr was a pagan philosopher of the second
century who came to embrace the Christian faith and wrote vigorously as an
apologist in defense of the gospel.
At the end of the prayers, we greet one another with a kiss. Then the
president of the brethren is brought bread and a cup of wine mixed with
water; and he takes them, and offers up praise and glory to the father of the
universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and gives thanks
at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things
at his hands. When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the
people present express their joyful assent by saying "Amen" ("Amen" means "so
be it" in Hebrew) . . .
Then those whom we call deacons give to each of those present the bread and
the wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and
carry away a portion to those who are absent.
We call this food "Eucharist," which no one is allowed to share unless he or
she believes that the things which we teach are true, and has been washed
with the washing that is for remission of sins unto a second birth, and
living as Christ commanded . . . For the apostles, in the memoirs called
Gospels composed by them, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon
them: that Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, said, "This do in
remembrance of me, this is my body"; and that, in a similar way, having taken
the cup and given thanks, he said, "This is my blood"; and gave it to them
- Justin Martyr (100?-165) from the FIRST APOLOGY, as collected in EERDMANS'
BOOK OF CHRISTIAN CLASSICS: A TREASURY OF CHRISTIAN WRITINGS THROUGH THE
CENTURIES, compiled by Veronica Zundel, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985, p. 12.
[If early Christian documents are of interest to you, may I suggest that you
take a look at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at www.ccel.org. You
will find a huge collection of writings dealing with theology and church
history. When you get to the home page, click on "Church Fathers" or
"Classics" in the left-hand column.]
Have a great week.
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary