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Chpt2  Spreadingthe Messagepgs29 45

Chpt2 Spreadingthe Messagepgs29 45






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    Chpt2  Spreadingthe Messagepgs29 45 Chpt2 Spreadingthe Messagepgs29 45 Presentation Transcript

    • Beginnings of Sacramental Life (pg 39)
      • Sacraments are founded on Christ and through them we experience the presence of Christ/God
      • Each sacrament in someway shows us the paschal mystery (Jesus’ dying and rising)
      • The sacraments are efficacious --- the people do not do anything, it is all God’s handy work. We celebrate God’s life in us when we celebrate a sacrament
    • Sacraments # 2
      • The word sacrament comes from the Latin sacramentum , the initiation rituals of the Roman army
      • The Greek word is mysterion meaning having many facets or layers
      • The word was meant to imply that people enter into the mystery of God’s holy life by participating in the ritual
      • For example…the Eucharist was at one time, the ending of a real meal. People would renew the breaking of the bread at the end of meal celebrated after returning from the synagogues.
    • Sacraments # 3
      • These real meals sometimes got a little out of hand and by the end of the meal the people had enjoyed a little too much food and too much wine. St. Paul criticizes the early Church members who did not show the Eucharist the proper respect and keeping in mind those who were not properly fed
      • Over time the Eucharist became more of ritual than an actual meal and later became what we know today.
    • Sacraments # 4
      • Likewise, baptism was a real bath
      • New Christians were fully immersed in a river or pool
      • Later special buildings were built over a river or stream so that baptisms could be done year round
      • Slowly the ritual changed to simply the pouring of water over the head
      • The change in the formula does not change the meaning or the union with Christ
      • There was no set number of sacraments and at one time there were as many as 30 rituals being called sacraments. Seven sacraments were decided in the 13 th century
    • Initiation into the Church (41)
      • The fear of persecutions sometimes required drastic measures for preparation
      • Often preparation time took 1-3 years
      • Those wishing to become Christians were called catechumens and they had to learn from a sponsor
      • Often they would have to give up the friends and even their occupations
      • They would join the communities on Sundays and remain only up to the end of the readings. This was called the Mass of the Catechumens. Today this is called the Liturgy of the Word
    • Initiation # 2
      • The catechumens then left the church service and went with their instructor who would discuss the readings and the ritual
      • As they moved along in their studies they took on the name the elect (the chosen ones)
      • They would “retreat” go someplace for prayer and meditation and fasting. At first only for
      • a few days and gradually longer and longer.
      • This became the season of Lent.
    • Initiation # 3
      • After Lent was over and the community gathered at the Easter Vigil, the catechumens were welcomed into the Church
      • Usually they were immersed, signed with oil (confirmed) and then received Eucharist with the community. They were now called neophytes
      • Their instruction continued on as mystagogy further learning and assimilation into the community.
    • One Body, Different Functions
      • Jesus left no blueprint of what he envisioned as the Church [Gee thanks!]
      • Jesus did set up twelve leaders
      • He also set one of those to be the head leader– Peter
      • Matthias was chosen to replace Judas by an assembly of about 120. So there was definitely some structure developing
      • Local churches had ‘overseers’ (bishops) or even groups of elders
    • One Body… # 2
      • Always the apostles, and later the overseers, prayed over others, laid hands upon them and commissioned them for their various functions. This was early Holy Orders, which was later made into a formal ritual
      • Bishops were appointed to care for certain church area, deacons were to serve various people’s needs (ministry to poor and sick)
      • Presbyters were appointed to head local churches. These became present day priests
    • Women in the Early Church
      • First, Jesus was known for treating women equal to men… contrary to local custom
      • He had twelve chosen followers… this is not to say that he did not have many women followers as well
      • Peter had women assistants in his ministry
      • Paul as conservative as he was, considered women important to the ministry of the Church
    • Women in the Church # 2
      • Paul in his Letter to the Romans, names one Phoebe as a ‘deacon’ at the church of Cenchraea
      • Prisca and Aquila worked with Paul and apparently ran a ‘house-church’
      • Mary, Andronicus and Junia [Paul calls them ‘my relatives’] are “prominent among the apostles.” Rom 16:1-7
      • Church leaders today grapple with this idea and have stated that women cannot be ordained but must be treated as “full and active members as from the beginning.”