Author Topic: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?  (Read 2420 times)

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Offline simplygermain

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When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« on: November 30, 2009, 03:45:57 PM »
My cousin, a messianic jew, has an issue with us celebrating on Sundays instead of Saturdays. Otherwise he would be more inclined to go to an EO church to check it out. He wondered why, we as a church, would practice DL on that day and says the Romans offered incense to Caesar on "SUN"-Day.

my questions:

When did we begin doing this?

Scriptural or other references, to back it up?

Is any of this stuff about the Romans true?

Historical references would be much appreciated for any claims...

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Offline GammaRay

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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 03:49:41 PM »
Historical references about the Romans offering Caesar incense would also be great.

EDIT: I have an article in Greek which quotes the Early Church speaking of the Eucharist on Sunday, but it doesn't cite their works.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 03:50:29 PM by GammaRay »
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 03:51:30 PM »
Simple answer:  The reason we celebrate the Divine Liturgy on the first day of the week is because our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week.  I believe Acts 20:7 also speaks of the Apostle Paul preaching at a Sunday (a.k.a. the Lord's Day in most non-Germanic languages) Liturgy, so there is biblical precedent for this practice.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 03:54:09 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 03:53:05 PM »
The old Catholic Encyclopedia has a fantastic article on Sunday replete with historical references.
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Offline pensateomnia

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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 04:33:27 PM »
First of all, you have to realize that it is only called "Sunday" in English. In many languages, including the languages of the early Christians (e.g. Greek & Latin), it is called "The Lord's Day."

All of the early sources speak of Christians observing The Lord's Day on the first day of the week.

1. Scriptural references: Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2.
2. Didache 14 (Dated by Anglo scholars between 80 and 120)
3. St Ignatius to the Magnesians (c. 108)
4. Pliny the Younger's letter to Trajan (c. 112)
5. Epistle of Baranabas 25 (c. 120)
6. St. Justin Martyr's Apology 67 (c. 140)

And, of course, many others from the late second century onwards.

Some scholars speculate that the very earliest Christians (i.e. those in the first 10 to 15 years) went to the synagogue on Saturday to hear the readings and then held their distinctly Christian Eucharistic gatherings on Sunday. According to this line of thought, such activity continued until about 49 AD, when even the Jews in the diaspora decided to bar the Christians from attending the synagogue, since said Jews considered the Christians to be heretics. The ensuing street brawls caused the Emperor Claudius to kick the Jews (including Jewish Christians) out of Rome in 49 AD, as attested to in Suetonius' Life of Claudius and in Acts 18:2. After that, the two communities separated pretty quickly throughout the Empire. For example, some of the Jewish Christians who had been expelled from Rome ended up living with St. Paul in Corinth. At first, he would go to the synagogue to try to convert the Jews. As Acts 18 says, eventually the Jews got mad at him and "abused" him, so he cursed the Jews and declared that he would only focus on the Gentiles. No more synagogue going after that. Hence, in 1 Corinthians (which St. Paul wrote a few years after he cursed the Jews and left Corinth), St. Paul naturally assumes the Christians there would be meeting on the first day of the week (not at the synagogue on the Sabbath).
« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 04:59:05 PM by pensateomnia »
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Offline ozgeorge

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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2009, 05:09:08 PM »
All of the early sources speak of Christians observing The Lord's Day on the first day of the week.
1. Scriptural references: Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2.
It is also believed that the Revelations received by St. John in the Apocalypse were received while he was "in the Spirit" during a Sunday Liturgy (Apocalypse 1:10).
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Offline Basil 320

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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2009, 06:53:20 PM »
In Greek" "Kyriaki;" the Lord's Day.
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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2009, 10:56:29 PM »
First of all, you have to realize that it is only called "Sunday" in English. In many languages, including the languages of the early Christians (e.g. Greek & Latin), it is called "The Lord's Day."

Oddly enough, in Japanese Sunday(日曜日) means "Sun-day." The same is for Monday(月曜日), which means "moon-day." It's just one of those strange things! :P

But it's obviously that these "Saturday-only" Christians' claims fall short.

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Offline Vlad

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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2009, 02:35:08 AM »
Its mentioned in the Bible that we celebrate on the lords day. Which is Sunday because he rose from the dead on Sunday.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2009, 02:38:31 AM »
Its mentioned in the Bible that we celebrate on the lords day. Which is Sunday because he rose from the dead on Sunday.
Other than the reference I made to Acts 20:7, can you point out, for the sake of this discussion, any other places in the Bible that speak of Christians celebrating the Liturgy on the first day of the week?
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Offline witega

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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2009, 02:56:25 AM »
Its mentioned in the Bible that we celebrate on the lords day. Which is Sunday because he rose from the dead on Sunday.
Other than the reference I made to Acts 20:7, can you point out, for the sake of this discussion, any other places in the Bible that speak of Christians celebrating the Liturgy on the first day of the week?

That the first century Christians called Sunday 'the Lord's Day' (Rev 1:10, not to mention the early second-century witnesses pensateomnia already quoted) is fairly telling--Sunday may be 'Kyriaki' in modern Greek, but before Christians got hold of it, the day was
'heméra helíou' (as witnessed in the St. Justin Martyr cite where he uses the pagan term because he is explaining Christian practice to pagans).
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Offline simplygermain

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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2009, 02:31:37 PM »

Sunday may be 'Kyriaki' in modern Greek, but before Christians got hold of it, the day was
'heméra helíou' (as witnessed in the St. Justin Martyr cite where he uses the pagan term because he is explaining Christian practice to pagans).
Isn't heliou' Greek for Sun? What does 'heme'ra mean?
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Offline Fr. George

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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2009, 02:42:56 PM »
Isn't heliou' Greek for Sun?

More properly, "of the sun," as it is in the possessive case.

What does 'heme'ra mean?

Day.
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Offline pensateomnia

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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2009, 02:47:47 PM »

Sunday may be 'Kyriaki' in modern Greek, but before Christians got hold of it, the day was
'heméra helíou' (as witnessed in the St. Justin Martyr cite where he uses the pagan term because he is explaining Christian practice to pagans).
Isn't heliou' Greek for Sun? What does 'heme'ra mean?

heme'ra means "day". In this case, heliou means "of the sun" since it is in the genitive. Thus, heméra helíou means "Day of the Sun" or Sunday.

Edit: Opps....didn't see Fr. George's response. Weird.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 02:48:53 PM by pensateomnia »
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Offline Father H

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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2009, 09:57:49 PM »
All of the early sources speak of Christians observing The Lord's Day on the first day of the week.
1. Scriptural references: Acts 20:7 and 1 Corinthians 16:2.
It is also believed that the Revelations received by St. John in the Apocalypse were received while he was "in the Spirit" during a Sunday Liturgy (Apocalypse 1:10).

Indeed you are correct.  May we all be in the Spirit on every Lord's Day, before the throne of the Alpha and Omega, receiving from the book received from the right hand of Him who sits upon the throne, among the witnesses too numerous to count, in the midst of incense arising with the prayers of the saints before the throne, and then partaking of the Great Supper of the Lamb, and experiencing the grace of New Jerusalem.   

Offline GiC

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Re: When did the church start Divine Liturgy beginning on Sundays?
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2009, 10:30:46 PM »

Sunday may be 'Kyriaki' in modern Greek, but before Christians got hold of it, the day was
'heméra helíou' (as witnessed in the St. Justin Martyr cite where he uses the pagan term because he is explaining Christian practice to pagans).
Isn't heliou' Greek for Sun? What does 'heme'ra mean?

heme'ra means "day". In this case, heliou means "of the sun" since it is in the genitive. Thus, heméra helíou means "Day of the Sun" or Sunday.

Edit: Opps....didn't see Fr. George's response. Weird.

Sounds like we need more threads on linguistics to keep you involved in the conversation. ;)
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