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Author Topic: Why do Orthodox claim that Jesus didn't use unleavened bread at the last supper?  (Read 12488 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 14, 2007, 09:42:30 PM »

While reading the list of Orthodox Church Synods and Councils I read that the Synod of Jerusalem declared that Jesus didn't use unleavened bread at the last supper...what is the reason for this? Wasn't the Last Supper during passover?

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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 11:03:35 PM »

I don't know. Personally I don't see it as important seeing as the Church used leavened bread for Holy Communion from the beginning.
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2007, 12:35:11 AM »

Wasn't the Last Supper during passover?

Nope.  Jesus was in the tomb when the feast of Passover began.  The synoptic Gospels speak of Jesus and his disciples preparing for the Passover meal.  The synpotics are not clear on the kind of meal that the "last" supper describes, they seem in the way they are written to suggest that it is a passover meal.  But this is impossible, because Jesus died the day before the Passover began.  However, the Gospel of John, which is generally much more accurate than the synoptics in terms of historical flow, is not ambiguous at all.  It refers to the meal clearly as a sader meal, and not a Passover meal.  It is also the only Gospel that refers to the Jewish concern that Jews put on the cross not be left to die during the "special" Sabbath, ie the beginning of Passover.  Soldiers broke the legs of those crucified with Jesus to make their death swifter, but found Jesus already dead.  (John 19:31-7.)
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2007, 07:41:39 AM »

While reading the list of Orthodox Church Synods and Councils I read that the Synod of Jerusalem declared that Jesus didn't use unleavened bread at the last supper...what is the reason for this? Wasn't the Last Supper during passover?
I'm astonished that people still ask this question.
Look at the time factor for the events which took place, and you will see that the Last Supper was not the Passover Meal:
1) Jesus and the disciples eat the Last Supper,
2) Jesus and the disciples crossed the Kidron Valley (John 18:1)
3) Jesus underwent the Agony in the Garden
4) Jesus was Arrested
5) Jesus was brought before Ciaphas
6) Jesus was taken from Ciaphas and brought before Pilate.
But St. John tells us that when Jesus was brought to Pilate the next morning (event No.6), the Jews who brought Him to Pilate would not enter the Praetorium, because doing so would render them unclean for the Passover:
"Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, so that they might eat the Passover." (John18:28)
St. John the Beloved Disciple (who witnessed the events himself first hand) clearly says that the events listed 1-6 took place before the Passover, so leavened bread was still used.
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2007, 08:27:41 AM »

Might I please point out that the law of Moses commands Passover to be kept in the after following the 14th of Nisan but everybody agrees the Lord was crucified on the 15th of Nisan.
Why is this?

Simply put, the Feast of Unleaved Bread began the day after Passover. The Law of Moses commanded all leavened bread to be gone by the time it begins. Hence, it was usually all cleared before the Passover. The first day of the Feast of Unleaved Bread was also an annual Sabbath.

By the 1st century, the custom had arisen that some Jews observed the Passover meal on the 14th (ie in the evening thereafter) and some would observe it on the day of the 15th (which when observed from sunset to sunset is the same day). Why this is I don't know but please tell me if you do? Roll Eyes

Clearly the Lord and the Apostles kept the Passover the evening before as Christ was to be laid in the Tomb the next day.

Hence, there is nothing illegal about Christ bringing out leavened bread when He did although it may have been seen as unusual.

{By the way, this was one of the issues that troubled me when entering the Orthodox Church but it's long been solved now Wink}

If it matters, I believe the Armenians prepare unleavened bread to become Holy Communion although it's nothing like the wafers Roman Catholics use. Can somebody confirm this please?

Interestingly, I have heard that the Ethiopians prepare unleavened bread to become Holy Communion on Covenant Thursday (ie Maundy Thursday) but otherwise prepare leavened bread. This would make sense theologically and from an historical perspective. Can anyone confirm this please also?

Thank you and hope that assisted Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2007, 09:08:28 AM »

Quite correct, Didymus.
The Passover Feast itself was celebrated after midnight on the 14th. The Last Supper occurred before this hour.
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2007, 10:22:47 AM »

Quite correct, Didymus.
The Passover Feast itself was celebrated after midnight on the 14th. The Last Supper occurred before this hour.

 Huh  Forgive me, but I don't read Didymus as being "quite correct", but rather muddying the waters.  What George says is right.  The meal shared by Jesus and his apostles happened well before the beginning of Passover, the well-known principle that sunset begins the next day notwithstanding, since Jesus died on the day of preparation. 
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2007, 12:03:55 PM »

Huh  Forgive me, but I don't read Didymus as being "quite correct", but rather muddying the waters.  What George says is right.  The meal shared by Jesus and his apostles happened well before the beginning of Passover, the well-known principle that sunset begins the next day notwithstanding, since Jesus died on the day of preparation. 

I agree. We are not at odds here. My reading has been that sunset is not the time marker for the Jewish feast itself (modern practice notwithstanding), but after midnight on the day (which is measured by sunset).
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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2007, 05:17:42 PM »



Does it really matter what was used at the Last Supper?  The early church both east and west used leavened bread at the Divine services.  The use of leavened bread changed in part of the church later on during the later half of the 1st millenium.

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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2007, 05:26:41 PM »

The OP isn't about which is the "right" bread to use, but rather, specifically asks which bread was used at the Last Supper.
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2007, 05:27:40 PM »


Does it really matter what was used at the Last Supper?  The early church both east and west used leavened bread at the Divine services.  The use of leavened bread changed in part of the church later on during the later half of the 1st millenium.

It mattered to the Synod of Jerusalem , 1583.  Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2007, 05:45:39 PM »

The OP isn't about which is the "right" bread to use, but rather, specifically asks which bread was used at the Last Supper.

Im not so sure "all" Orthodox claim this as the OP infers. My point is that whatever was used should not be a factor for validation of what is being used today be it leavened or nonleavened, or is it?
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2007, 06:17:23 PM »

Also, the Greek text of the NT in all four Gospels describes the bread at the Last Supper as artos (normal leavened bread).

As one priest friend of mine likes to say: "What would you do if you were at a restaurant and you asked for bread and the waiter gave you a saltine? Would you say: 'Well, really, how could he know the difference? Bread and saltines are so alike, and it's not like those words really refer to different things.'"
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2007, 07:38:44 PM »


Does it really matter what was used at the Last Supper?  The early church both east and west used leavened bread at the Divine services.  The use of leavened bread changed in part of the church later on during the later half of the 1st millenium.



Personally I always pictured it as unleavened bread, but that wasn't my main concern. It was the Orthodox Synod declaring that it wasn't unleavened bread. In any case, I agree that whether or not the bread is leavened does not effect the validity of the consecration.

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« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2007, 09:27:57 PM »

Hello,

Do the Orthodox view unleavened bread as invalid and incapable of being transformed into the Eucharist?
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« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2007, 09:32:22 PM »

    
Re: Why do Orthodox claim that Jesus didn't use unleavened bread at the last sup
« Reply #14 on: Today at 08:27:57 PM »
   Reply with quoteQuote
Hello,

Do the Orthodox view unleavened bread as invalid and incapable of being transformed into the Eucharist?

I hope not
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2007, 12:35:08 AM »

Hello,

Do the Orthodox view unleavened bread as invalid and incapable of being transformed into the Eucharist?

First of all, "validity" and "invalidity" are concepts essentially foreign to Orthodoxy.  Please see my post in the thread concerning the "validity" of Roman orders. 
We (Eastern Orthodox) would certainly not say that unleavened bread would not "work" in the sense that it would not become the Body of Christ just because it was unleavened.  But we think it is wrong to use it (which I suppose could prove problematic when it comes to relations between the Eastern Orthodox and the Armenian Orthodox,as well as the Catholic Church).
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« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2007, 12:44:06 AM »

Does it really matter what was used at the Last Supper?  The early church both east and west used leavened bread at the Divine services.  The use of leavened bread changed in part of the church later on during the later half of the 1st millenium.

It matters quite a bit to the Eastern Orthodox.  One condition of reunion between the Churches that the Orthodox would absolutley insist on is that the Roman Church would return to the earlier practice of using leavened hosts, similar to what the Western rite Orthodox use today.
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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2007, 12:46:30 AM »

If it matters, I believe the Armenians prepare unleavened bread to become Holy Communion although it's nothing like the wafers Roman Catholics use. Can somebody confirm this please?

Interestingly, I have heard that the Ethiopians prepare unleavened bread to become Holy Communion on Covenant Thursday (ie Maundy Thursday) but otherwise prepare leavened bread. This would make sense theologically and from an historical perspective. Can anyone confirm this please also?

This thread deals with those practices:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10855.0.html
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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2007, 06:53:55 PM »

Hello,

First of all, "validity" and "invalidity" are concepts essentially foreign to Orthodoxy.  Please see my post in the thread concerning the "validity" of Roman orders. 
We (Eastern Orthodox) would certainly not say that unleavened bread would not "work" in the sense that it would not become the Body of Christ just because it was unleavened.  But we think it is wrong to use it (which I suppose could prove problematic when it comes to relations between the Eastern Orthodox and the Armenian Orthodox,as well as the Catholic Church).
It seems from this post that you do have the concepts, even if you don't use the name. Validity and invalidity refers to "working" to become the Eucharist. For instance, a Betty Crocker double fudge nut brownie would not "work", that is it could not become the Eucharist, thus we say it is invalid (or more precisely, invalid matter). The issue of it being wrong to use is what we call licitness. If it is licit that means it is right and proper to use and in accordance with the law of the Church. If it is illicit, that means that it is wrong to use, even though it will "work".  Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2007, 06:54:38 PM »

Hello,

It matters quite a bit to the Eastern Orthodox.  One condition of reunion between the Churches that the Orthodox would absolutley insist on is that the Roman Church would return to the earlier practice of using leavened hosts, similar to what the Western rite Orthodox use today.
Would you say that this applies to the Armenians as well?
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« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2007, 03:12:15 AM »

Hello,
It seems from this post that you do have the concepts, even if you don't use the name.

Some Orthodox will use these terms, but IMHO they should not, because they are foreign to our ecclesiology.  Please refer to my posts in the other thread. 

Quote
Validity and invalidity refers to "working" to become the Eucharist. For instance, a Betty Crocker double fudge nut brownie would not "work", that is it could not become the Eucharist, thus we say it is invalid (or more precisely, invalid matter). The issue of it being wrong to use is what we call licitness. If it is licit that means it is right and proper to use and in accordance with the law of the Church. If it is illicit, that means that it is wrong to use, even though it will "work".  Smiley

I am somewhat familiar with Latin concepts like "validity" and "licitness".  Perhaps you are showcasing them here in order to help me better understand where you are coming from?   Thanks, I think I understand.  I certainly see value in trying to understand where others are coming from.  On the other hand, I see no reason why I should incorporate these concepts into my understanding of the nature of the Church, since I believe that they are foreign to Orthodoxy.

It's interesting that you are completely certain about complete impossiblity of using a brownie in place of the Eucharistic bread.  Certainly in most cases I would say that it would be at best very irresponsible and irreverent to use a brownie, but I would not like to speculate about the reality of its Eucharistic transformation if it were used.
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« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2007, 03:20:54 AM »

Hello,
Would you say that this applies to the Armenians as well?

I would assume so, but I don't know the ins and outs of any discussion between Oriental Orthodox of the Armenian persuasion and the Eastern Orthodox.  Perhaps someone else would be able to enlighten you better.
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« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2007, 01:06:42 AM »

The Last Supper did occur before the Passover of the Pharisees.  It however coincides exactly with the Passover of the Essenes, who disagreed with the Pharisees and the Priests about the calculation of Passover, and if I remember correctly the Essenes actually had the more accurate caculation.  It is entirely possible Christ was keeping this Passover and used unleavened bread as would have been customary.

"It matters quite a bit to the Eastern Orthodox.  One condition of reunion between the Churches that the Orthodox would absolutley insist on is that the Roman Church would return to the earlier practice of using leavened hosts, similar to what the Western rite Orthodox use today."

When was this decided?  The Latin Church had long been using unleavened bread before the schism and that includes many whom both the West and East honor as saints.  Even St. Photios, who was the biggest critic of its use, reconciled with a Rome that still used leavened bread.

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« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2007, 04:37:46 AM »

The Last Supper did occur before the Passover of the Pharisees.  It however coincides exactly with the Passover of the Essenes, who disagreed with the Pharisees and the Priests about the calculation of Passover, and if I remember correctly the Essenes actually had the more accurate caculation. 
Interesting. Is this a theory or established historical fact? Do you have any citations?
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« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2007, 04:56:17 AM »

Hello,
Would you say that this applies to the Armenians as well?
Yes.

The much vaunted Armenian use of unleavened bread actually only dates from a change in their tradition in the 6th century, introduced to uphold the monophysite teaching of the one nature of Christ.

Catholic apologists are generally not aware of this and like to claim, wrongly, that the Armenians have a continuous use of unleavened bread from the earliest centuries.

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« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2007, 05:04:30 AM »

The Latin Church had long been using unleavened bread before the schism
Not so.  Read Jungman and Emminghaus.  Rome herself (the Diocese, the city) did not begin to use unleavened bread until a few years *after* the Schism.

Quote
Even St. Photios, who was the biggest critic of its use, reconciled with a Rome that still used [un?]leavened bread.
Nope. Rome (the Pope and the Diocese of Rome) was not using unleavened bread at the time, although its usage was spreading through the rest of the Western Church.  Rome, conservative as ever, preserved the use of leavened bread long after much of the Western Church had changed to unleavened.

I'll dig around and post something from the two authors mentioned above.
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« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2007, 06:41:20 AM »

Dear Father Lance,

Here are those references...

 Fr. Joseph Jungman -- in his book The Mass of the Roman Rite -- states that:

"In the West, various ordinances appeared from the ninth century on, all demanding the exclusive use of unleavened bread for the Eucharist. A growing solicitude for the Blessed Sacrament and a desire to employ only the best and whitest bread, along with various scriptural considerations -- all favored this development.

"Still, the new custom did not come into exclusive vogue until the middle of the eleventh century. Particularly in Rome it was not universally accepted till after the general infiltration of various usages from the North" [Joseph Jungman, The Mass of the Roman Rite, volume II, pages 33-34]

Fr. Jungman goes on to say that, ". . . the opinion put forward by J. Mabillon, Dissertatio de pane eucharistia, in his answer to the Jesuit J. Sirmond, Disquisitio de azymo, namely, that in the West it was always the practice to use only unleavened bread, is no longer tenable" [Jungman, The Mass of the Roman Rite, volume II, page 33]

"Now, the fact that the West changed its practice and began using unleavened bread in the 8th and 9th century -- instead of the traditional leavened bread -- is confirmed by the research of Fr. William O'Shea, who noted that along with various other innovative practices from Northern Europe, the use of unleavened bread began to infiltrate into the Roman liturgy at the end of the first millennium, because as he put it, "Another change introduced into the Roman Rite in France and Germany at the time [i.e., 8th - 9th century] was the use of unleavened bread and of thin white wafers or hosts instead of the loaves of leavened bread used hitherto" [Fr. William O'Shea, The Worship of the Church, page 128].

"Moreover, this change in Western liturgical practice was also noted by Dr. Johannes H. Emminghaus in his book, The Eucharist: Essence, Form, Celebration, because as he said: "The Eucharistic bread has been unleavened in the Latin rite since the 8th century -- that is, it is prepared simply from flour and water, without the addition of leaven or yeast. . . . in the first millennium of the Church's history, both in East and West, the bread normally used for the Eucharist was ordinary 'daily bread,' that is, leavened bread, and the Eastern Church uses it still today; for the most part, they strictly forbid the use of unleavened bread. The Latin Church, by contrast, has not considered this question very important." [Dr. Johannes H. Emminghaus, The Eucharist: Essence, Form, Celebration, page 162]

"Thus, with the foregoing information in mind, it is clear that the use of leavened bread by the Eastern Churches represents the ancient practice of the undivided Church, while the use of unleavened bread by the Western Church was an innovation introduced near the end of the first millennium."

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« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2007, 07:35:16 AM »

Fr Ambrose,
do you mind if I steal those and post them on another forum?  police
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« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2007, 07:41:28 AM »

Fr Ambrose,
do you mind if I steal those and post them on another forum?  police
Well of course they are not my quotes but Jungman's and Emminghaus'.  I am sure they will not mind.   Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: November 19, 2007, 02:34:18 PM »

Father Ambrose,

Very informative.  Thank you.   Smiley
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« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2007, 02:54:31 PM »

Is it true that the Last Supper accounts in the Synoptics differ in terms of date than John's Gospel?  I find it all a bit complex, forgive my being dense.

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« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2007, 02:57:15 PM »

And one more question, are the two Greek words for bread artos(regular bread) and azymos for unleavened bread used consistently in ancient literature? In other words, does artosalways mean leavened bread?  The synoptics have Jesus and the disciples celebrating the Last Supper on the first day of unleavened bread.  Does this mean, according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke that they celebrated a supper with unleavened bread?

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« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2007, 03:53:48 PM »

Is it true that the Last Supper accounts in the Synoptics differ in terms of date than John's Gospel?  I find it all a bit complex, forgive my being dense.
Dear Joe,

You are not being dense!   Scholars say that we shall never be able to sort out whether it was leavened or unleavened bread at the Last Supper. 

We can however look at the consistent tradition of the Church and see that whatever was used at the Last Supper the Church prefers leavened bread.  The scholars also agree with this point.  Smiley

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« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2007, 04:26:28 PM »

prodromos,

Posting that on that other forum will result in a feeding frenzy by many RC's, there are many that don't have a opened mind...like me.

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« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2007, 05:46:19 PM »

Dear Joe,

You are not being dense!   Scholars say that we shall never be able to sort out whether it was leavened or unleavened bread at the Last Supper. 

We can however look at the consistent tradition of the Church and see that whatever was used at the Last Supper the Church prefers leavened bread.  The scholars also agree with this point.  Smiley



Let us assume that we can't determine whether or not leavened or non leavened bread was used at the Last Supper.  Was it the symbol of the Risen Christ that lead the early church to adopt leavened bread at the Eucharist both east and west or was it something else?

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« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2007, 06:24:07 PM »

Let us assume that we can't determine whether or not leavened or non leavened bread was used at the Last Supper.  Was it the symbol of the Risen Christ that lead the early church to adopt leavened bread at the Eucharist both east and west or was it something else?

ISTM that they probably didn't even think about it: they seemed to be using leavened bread from the beginning without debate (other practical debates are recorded in scripture; yes, this is an argument from silence, but it's all there is!).  It is only later that the debate rears up, and they begin to think about it.
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« Reply #37 on: November 19, 2007, 09:29:02 PM »

Yes.

The much vaunted Armenian use of unleavened bread actually only dates from a change in their tradition in the 6th century, introduced to uphold the monophysite teaching of the one nature of Christ.

Catholic apologists are generally not aware of this and like to claim, wrongly, that the Armenians have a continuous use of unleavened bread from the earliest centuries.



Actually, I've always been taught that our use of unleavened bread is ancient, predating the Chalcedonian schism and is not directly related to the Oriental Orthodox belief in the one composite nature of Christ.  The leaven represents sin and we leave it out to show that Christ was without sin. 



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« Reply #38 on: November 19, 2007, 09:59:34 PM »

Father John Erickson, in the article below, makes note of how the Armenian use of unleavened bread predates any schism, but later was given a polemical twist and a meaning that was probably not there at the beginning.


 http://www.svots.edu/Faculty/John-Erickson/articles/beyond-dialogue.html/

Starting in the middle of the eighteenth paragraph, is the following:

But as is pointed out so often, orthodoxia involves not only right belief but also right worship, and in antiquity and continuing in the Middle Ages many differences in worship that would not in themselves have been church-dividing came to be invested with new meaning, becoming symbols of division.


 Particularly instructive are the ways in which certain distinctive Armenian liturgical practices, such as the use of azymes (unleavened bread) and a chalice unmixed with water in the eucharist, come to be linked to Christological doctrine.  The origins of these practices are unknown, but they certainly antedate any division of the churches.  By late sixth century, however, they were becoming symbols of Armenian identity vis-a-vis the Greeks, who used leavened bread and wine mixed with warm water in the eucharist.  Refusing an invitation from Emperor Maurice to come to Constantinople to discuss reunion, Catholicos Movses II in 591 declared:  “I will not cross the River Azat nor will I eat the baked bread of the Greeks or drink their hot water.” [9]   By the late seventh century these distinctive liturgical practices, already symbols of national identity, have become even more potent symbols of Christological doctrine.  Reflecting the aphthartodocetism of Julian of Halicarnassus, which was then in the ascendency in the Armenian Church, Catholicos Sahak III (d. 703) writes:  “Now we profess the body of Christ [to be] incorrupt and all-powerful always and constantly from [the moment of] the union of the Logos.  This is why we take azymes [unleavened bread] for the bread of holiness with which we offer the salvific sacrifice, which signifies incorruptibility.” [10]   Then, after a barrage of typological and moral arguments supporting the use of unleavened bread, Sahak goes on in like manner to associate the unmixed chalice, free from the adulteration of added water, with the incorruptible blood of Christ.  The Byzantine Church quickly enough responded in kind.  The Synod in Trullo (691-92) almost certainly had Sahak’s treatise in mind when it decreed that any bishop or presbyter who does not mix water with the wine in the eucharist is to be deposed, on the grounds that he thus “proclaims the mystery incompletely and tampers with tradition” (canon 32). [11]   Very possibly Trullo also had Armenian liturgical practice in mind when it decreed “Let no man eat the unleavened bread of the Jews...” (canon 11).  In any case, in subsequent  polemical literature the issue of the bread and wine of the eucharist figures prominently, frequently to the exclusion of deeper theological reflection.  Thus, despite their common rejection of Chalcedon and the generally Severan orientation of their shared Christology,  the Armenian and Syrian churches in the Middle Ages sometimes attacked each other precisely because of such liturgical differences.  So also, as schism yawned between the Byzantine and Latin churches in the eleventh century, Byzantine polemicists transferred their anti-azyme arguments from the Armenians to the Latins, notwithstanding the latters’ manifestly Chalcedonian Christology.  Use of leavened bread and mingled wine, or conversely of unleavened bread and pure wine, immediately marked a community as either heretic or orthodox, no matter what Christological doctrine the community in question actually held!


    Other liturgical practices became equally divisive.  Consider, for example, the Trisagion:  “Holy [is] God!  Holy [and] mighty!  Holy [and] immortal!  Have mercy on us!”  The origins of this troparion are disputed, Non-Chalcedonians claiming an Antiochian provenance and Chalcedonians attributing it to a heavenly vision when earthquakes were threatening Constantinople in 438-39.  Even more disputed its interpretation.  To whom is the troparion addressed?  In its original form, it may have been addressed to Christ.  This, in any case, is how the Non-Chalcedonian Patriarch Peter the Fuller of Antioch understood the troparion when he interpolated the theopaschite clause “who was crucified for us” into it sometime between 468 and 470, i.e., at a time when many Chalcedonians regarded any theopaschite formula with deep suspicion.  Quickly enough the Trisagion became yet another bone of contention.  Among Non-Chalcedonians, Catholicos Sahak III went so far as to trace the origins of the Trisagion, interpolation and all, to St. Ignatius of Antioch at the end of the first century.[12]   In response to his claims, the Synod in Trullo (691-92) condemned the interpolation “as being foreign to true piety”; and by the time of the earliest Byzantine commentary on the Divine Liturgy, that of Patriarch Germanos I in the early eighth century, the troparion was being interpreted as addressed to the three persons of the Trinity, “Holy God” referring to the Father, “Holy Mighty” to the Son, and “Holy Immortal” to the Holy Spirit. [13]

    One final example illustrates particularly vividly the ease with which a minor liturgical difference can be transformed into a symbol of division.  In the Coptic, Syrian and Armenian liturgical traditions, a week of strict fasting - variously called the Fast of Heraclius, the Fast of Ninevah or the Forefast (Arachavorats) - preceeds the “Forty-Day” Great Fast of Lent.  The same week in the Byzantine tradition calls only for abstinence from meat, not from dairy products.  The historical development of the fasting practices of these various liturgical traditions is complex, but the differences between them were not the result of any dogmatic differences. [14]   Yet in the context of church division, these differences came to be given a polemical explanation.  Here is the rubric given in the Byzantine Triodion for Cheesefare Sunday, which introduces the week in question:  “During this week the accursed Armenians fast from eggs and cheese, but we, to refute their damnable heresy, do eat both eggs and cheese for the entire week.”  What one side does is enough to prompt the other to do the opposite!  We see here the tragic way in which our sense of ecclesial identity has, in the context of division, been formed by opposition rather than by reference to a common faith.  The characteristics by which we identify ourselves and our churches as “orthodox” all too often have been simply those extrinsic elements which make us different from others.


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« Reply #39 on: December 03, 2007, 06:52:22 AM »

The Significance of Leavened Bread

I found this link that I thought was very thought provoking,and affirms my belief in using the "leavened bread" in our Thanksgiving to God!!

http://www.prosphora.org/page27.html
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« Reply #40 on: December 03, 2007, 05:06:21 PM »

The Significance of Leavened Bread

I found this link that I thought was very thought provoking,and affirms my belief in using the "leavened bread" in our Thanksgiving to God!!

http://www.prosphora.org/page27.html

So, in reality, and using both arguments, when the Bread (be it leavened or unleavened) and the wine (be it diluted or not) makes little difference when both are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ anyway because they are not what they used to be?  Simple?  The argument becomes a mute point. Is this a suitable answer?

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« Reply #41 on: December 03, 2007, 11:20:35 PM »

Hello,

So, in reality, and using both arguments, when the Bread (be it leavened or unleavened) and the wine (be it diluted or not) makes little difference when both are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ anyway because they are not what they used to be?  Simple?  The argument becomes a mute point. Is this a suitable answer?
That seems like the summary of the Catholic Church's answer to me.
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« Reply #42 on: December 04, 2007, 02:31:29 AM »

Probably the best historical article on the Last Supper (along with an examination of the passover sedar in the first century) is found in Bible Review Magazine October 2001 issue.

Its entitled "Was the Last Supper a Passover Sedar" Bible Review magazine is the sister publication of Biblical Archeology Review and not associated with any religious group.

You can get a back issue at Logos.Com. I dont think i'm allowed to post a link directly to the appropriate page but its somewhere on Logos.com
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« Reply #43 on: December 04, 2007, 03:51:19 AM »

Actually, I've always been taught that our use of unleavened bread is ancient, predating the Chalcedonian schism and is not directly related to the Oriental Orthodox belief in the one composite nature of Christ.  The leaven represents sin and we leave it out to show that Christ was without sin. 
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Maronites and the Armenians have used unleavened bread from the earliest times. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05584a.htm
And with reference to your comment about leaven and sin, we see often quoted the words of St. Paul:
“This boasting of yours is an ugly thing. Do you not know that a little leavening has its effect all through the dough? Get rid of the old leavening to make yourselves fresh dough, unleavened loaves, as it were; Christ our Passover has been sacrificed. Let us celebrate the feast not with the old leavening, that of corruption and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (I Cor. 5:6-8).
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« Reply #44 on: January 19, 2009, 11:42:01 PM »

I just came across this reading St. Ignatius of Antioch to Magnesians 9-10:

If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord's Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death— whom some deny, by which mystery we have obtained faith, and therefore endure, that we may be found the disciples of Jesus Christ, our only Master— how shall we be able to live apart from Him, whose disciples the prophets themselves in the Spirit did wait for Him as their Teacher? And therefore He whom they rightly waited for, having come, raised them from the dead...Therefore, having become His disciples, let us learn to live according to the principles of Christianity. For whosoever is called by any other name besides this, is not of God. Lay aside, therefore, the evil, the old, the sour leaven, and be changed into the new leaven, which is Jesus Christ. Be salted in Him, lest any one among you should be corrupted, since by your savour you shall be convicted. It is absurd to profess Christ Jesus, and to Judaize. For Christianity did not embrace Judaism, but Judaism Christianity, that so every tongue which believes might be gathered together to God.
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