Cyril: We Gather On The Eighth Day With Christ And Receive His Body Sacramentally

With good reason, then, are we accustomed to have sacred meetings in churches on the eighth day. And, to adopt the language of allegory, as the idea necessarily demands, we indeed close the doors, but yet Christ visits us and appears unto us all, both invisibly and also visibly; invisibly as God, but also visibly in the Body. He suffers us to touch His holy Flesh, and gives us thereof. For through the grace of God we are admitted to partake of the blessed Eucharist, receiving Christ into our hands, to the intent that we may firmly believe that He did in truth raise up the Temple of His Body. For that the partaking of the blessed Eucharist is a confession of the Resurrection of Christ is clearly proved by His own Words, which He spake when He Himself performed the type of the mystery; for He brake bread, as it is written, and gave it to them, saying: This is My Body, which is given for you unto remission of sins: this do in remembrance of Me. Participation, then, in the Divine mysteries, in addition to filling us with Divine blessedness, is a true confession and memorial of Christ’s dying and rising again for us and for our sake. Let us, therefore, after touching Christ’s Body, shrink back from unbelief in Him as utter ruin, and rather be found well grounded in the full assurance of faith.

Cyril of Alexandria (A.D. c. 378–444 | Commentary on the Gospel According to S. John (London: Walter Smith, 1885), vol 2. | (HT: Shane Lems)


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  1. Scott,
    I was more interested in the “eighth day” reference. Two centuries earlier, the expression was found in the Epistle of Barnabas:

    Barnabas 15:8 Finally He saith to them; Your new moons and your Sabbaths I cannot away with. Ye see what is His meaning ; it is not your present Sabbaths (τὰ νῦν σάββατα) that are acceptable [unto Me], but the Sabbath which I have made (ὃ πεποίηκα), in the which, when I have set all things at rest (ἐν ᾧ καταπαύσας τὰ πάντα), I will make the beginning of the eighth day (ἀρχὴν ἡμέρας ὀγδόης ποιήσω) which is the beginning of another world (ὅ ἐστιν ἄλλου κόσμου ἀρχήν). 9 Wherefore also we keep the eighth day for rejoicing (ἄγομεν τὴν ἡμέραν τὴν ὀγδόην εἰς εὐφροσύνην), in the which also Jesus rose from the dead (ἐν ᾗ καὶ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρῶν), and having been manifested ascended into the heavens.”

    Note that the “eighth day” was regarded as the beginning of “another world,” profoundly eschatological language, and note also that the early church did not practice what I call “the Sabbath mope;” despite their persecuted state, they referred to it as a “day for rejoicing.”

    T. David

    • Dr. Gordon,
      Can you put your papers back up on your new site? I can’t find them on anymore. Your Romans 13 paper and our email discussion about it are needed today.

      • Walt,
        My software company went under, and my son-in-law is now helping me find a software that will work. I have all the files, so once we figure how to upload, it should be a cinch. In between, email me ( and request the paper, and I can send it to you as an attachment when I reply.

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