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(6,849 words)

Author(s): Sfameni Gasparro, Giulia | Fritz, Volkmar | Häußling, Angelus A. | Schmidt-Lauber, Hans-Christoph | Plank, Peter | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Israel – III. Christianity I. Religious Studies The term comes from the Lat. “altare,” which is derived from “adolere,” “burn” (thus already Sextus Pompeius Festus, De verborum significatione, v. 14: “altaria sunt in quibus igne adoletur”). In addition to “altare/altaria”, the common term “ara” (from “areo,” “burn”) has the same meaning. Accordingly, the Roman altar could be defined as “place of fire” or “sacrificial hearth.” In Greek, there are a number of alternating terms. Of these θυμέλη/ thymélē and θυσιαστήριον/ thysiastḗrion (fr…

Agnus Dei

(330 words)

Author(s): Schmidt-Lauber, Hans-Christoph | Flynn, W.T.
[German Version] I. Liturgy – II. Music I. Liturgy Already at an early stage the Eastern Church describes the Eucharistic bread as Amnos (Lamb) and signifies the breaking of bread as Christ's sacrifice (John 1:29; Rev 5:6f.). The Syrian pope Sergius I (died 701) introduced the Agnus Dei – known from the Gloria and litany – as a frequently repeated chant for the breaking of bread. With the introduction of eucharistic wafers its use lapsed; the now three-fold acclamation changes to the Peace and closes with the petition “give us your peace.” Hans-Christoph Schmidt-Lauber Bibliography J.A. J…


(933 words)

Author(s): Kellermann, Mechthild | Schmidt-Lauber, Hans-Christoph
[German Version] I. Bible – II. Liturgy I. Bible Together with water, bread was the staple food in the ancient Near East and was prepared with barley, millet, spelt, or wheat. It was the task of the housewife to prepare fresh bread daily (Prov 31:15). She began before daybreak to crush, pound, and grind the grain on a grindstone, in a mortar, and later in a hand-mill, then to knead the dough in…

Eucharistic Prayer

(180 words)

Author(s): Schmidt-Lauber, Hans-Christoph
[German Version] From its first instance (Hippolytus, c. 215) until today, the eucharistic thanksgiving over the bread and the wine has a unified structure: a tri-partite dialogue, a salvation-historical preface (since the 4th cent., the sanctus), a christological post-sanctus with an account of the institution, anamnesis, epiclesis, a prayer for consummation, and doxology. Origins in the Jewish prayer after the meal ( birkat ha-mason: dialogue – praise of the Creator – salvation history – after 70 ce: prayer for the restoration of the ¶ temple) are clearly evident. For the …