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The Paschal Liturgy and the Apocalypse

By Massey H. Shepherd

The Paschal Liturgy and the Apocalypse

The Paschal Liturgy and the Apocalypse

By Massey H. Shepherd

A survey of the development of the Paschal rites of the ancient Church, from apostolic times to the 4th century.

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Available as: Paperback

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ISBN: 9780227170052

Specifications: 216x140mm, 100pp

Published: June 2004


Christian interpreters in all ages have sought a clue to the New Testament Book of Revelation. In this study, Massey H. Shepherd offers a new approach to the basic structure of the Book. He surveys the development of Paschal rites and customs of the ancient Church, from apostolic times to the end of the age of persecution, as a background and context for understanding the outline and basic theme of Revelation. Fresh perspectives are opened to students of New Testament and early Christian literature, the liturgy and piety of the primitive Church, and the origins of the Christian Year.

Part 1. The Paschal Liturgy in the Primitive Church
1. The Apostolic Age
     (a) The Day
     (b) The Week
     (a) Pascha and Pentecost
2. The Gospels and the Pascha
     (a) The Passion Narrative of Mark
     (b) The Pascha in the Gospel of Mark
     Appended Note: The Twelve in the Markian Passion Narrative
3. The Controversy About the Pascha
4. The Church's Pascha c. A.D. 200
     (a) The Fast
     (b) The Vigil
     (c) The Baptism
     (d) The Confirmation
     (e) The Eucharist
     Appended Note: The Pascha in Second Century Gnosticism
5. The Pascha in Private Devotion
     (a) The Weekly Stations
     (b) Daily Hours of Prayer

Part 2. The Paschal Liturgy in the Apocalypse
6. The Structure of the Book of Revelations
7. The Scrutinies, Vigil and Initiation
     (a) The Scrutinies
     (b) The Vigil
     (c) The Initiation
8. The Synaxis and Eucharist
     (a) The Synaxis
     (b) The Eucharist


Dr. Massey Shepherd was Professor of Liturgics at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California, and Director of the (summer) Graduate School of Theology at the University of the South Sewanee, Tennessee. He was a member of the Standing Liturgical Commission of the General Convention of the American Episcopal Church, and of the Commission on Ways of Worship of the World Council of Churches; a past President of the American Society of Church History; a Councillor of the Mediaeval Academy of America; a former Associate in Council of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis; and a member of the editorial board of the Anglican Theological Review.

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