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frantz said -
Some times I wonder how much of the "liturgy" of Communion, as it is called by some, is actually a later addition by the leaders of the third or fourth century church instead of original words of Jesus of Nazareth.
I guess it depends on which denomination you are looking at. Most of the Eucharistic liturgy of the Catholic Church comes directly from scripture
The layout of the Liturgy of the Eucharist goes as follows:
•Holy, Holy, Holy (Isa 6:3; Rev 4:8);
Blessed is he… (Ps 118:26; Mark 11:10)
•Words of Institution (Mark 14:22-24; Matt 26:26-28; Luke 22:19-20; 1Cor 11:23-25)
A- “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again” (cf. 1 Thess 4:14-15; 1 Cor 15:3-23)
B- “Dying you destroyed our death…” (1 Cor 16:22)
C- “When we eat this bread…” (1 Cor 11:26)
D- “Lord, by your cross and resurrection…” (Luke 4:42)
•Lord’s Prayer (Matt 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4; cf. Mark 14:36; Gal 4:6)
•Doxology: "for the kingdom, the power, and the glory..." (after Matt 6:13 only in some biblical manuscripts; cf. Rev 4:11)
•Greeting of Peace (John 14:27; 16:33; 20:19-20; 20:26)
•Lamb of God (John 1:29, 36; cf. Rev 5:6-13; 22:1-3)
•Communion Preparation: “Lord I am not worthy…” (Luke 7:1-10)
Not only that but he Mass in general matches very closely to the one described by Justin Martyr who lived in the early 100's
St. Justin wrote to the pagan emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) around the year 155, explaining what Christians did:
"On the day we call the day of the sun, all who dwell in the city or country gather in the same place.
The memoirs of the apostles and the writings of the prophets are read, as much as time permits.
When the reader has finished, he who presides over those gathered admonishes and challenges them to imitate these beautiful things.
Then we all rise together and offer prayers* for ourselves . . .and for all others, wherever they may be, so that we may be found righteous by our life and actions, and faithful to the commandments, so as to obtain eternal salvation.
When the prayers are concluded we exchange the kiss.
Then someone brings bread and a cup of water and wine mixed together to him who presides over the brethren.
He takes them and offers praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and for a considerable time he gives thanks (in Greek: eucharistian) that we have been judged worthy of these gifts.
When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all present give voice to an acclamation by saying: 'Amen.'
When he who presides has given thanks and the people have responded, those whom we call deacons give to those present the "eucharisted" bread, wine and water and take them to those who are absent."
St. Justin, Apol. 1, 65-67: PG 6, 428-429; the text before the asterisk (*) is from chap. 67.
The liturgy of the Eucharist unfolds according to a fundamental structure which has been preserved throughout the centuries down to our own day. It displays two great parts that form a fundamental unity:
- the gathering, the liturgy of the Word, with readings, homily and general intercessions;
- the liturgy of the Eucharist, with the presentation of the bread and wine, the consecratory thanksgiving, and communion.
The Mass also aligns with the worship service we see described symbolically in the book of Revelation as can be seen in Scott Hahn's book "The Lamb's Supper, The Mass as Heaven on Earth".