The Didache

The Didache was an early Christian handbook, helping the community it came from discern some practical aspects of the Christian faith: how to show love for one another, when to take in wandering prophets, when and how to baptize, how to celebrate the Eucharist, and otherwise. It is sixteen chapters, and was written between 100 – 325 A.D. Simply, it represents how one Christianity community did these things back then.

(Chapter 1: Two Ways)
There are two ways, one of life and one of death, but a great difference between the two. The way of life, then, is this: First, you shall love God who made you; second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you. Of these sayings the teaching is this: Bless those who curse you, pray for your enemies; fast for those who persecute you…

(Chapter 7: Baptism)
And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before….

(Chapter 10: Prayer After Communion)
But after you are filled, give thanks this way: We thank You, holy Father, for Your holy name which You did cause to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which You modest known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory for ever. You, Master almighty, did create all things for Your name’s sake; You gave food and drink to men for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to You; but to us You did freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Your Servant. Before all things we thank You that You are mighty; to You be the glory for ever. Remember, Lord, Your Church, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in Your love, and gather it from the four winds, sanctified for Your kingdom which You have prepared for it; for Thine is the power and the glory for ever. Let grace come, and let this world pass away. Hosanna to the God (Son) of David! If any one is holy, let him come; if any one is not so, let him repent.
Maranatha. Amen.

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