Church Fathers: Holy Communion

The Didache ch 9 (70-100 ad)
The Eucharist. Now concerning the First, concerning the cup: We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant, which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever.. And concerning the broken bread: We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Thy Church be  gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom; for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever..
The Eucharist… And concerning the broken bread: We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, an
But let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, unless they have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, “Give not that which is holy to the dogs.”
Clement Recognitions book 2 ch 63 (150 ad)
for I showed them that in no way else could they be saved, unless through the grace of the Holy Spirit they hasted to be washed with the baptism of threefold invocation, and received the Eucharist of Christ the Lord
Clement Recognitions book 6 ch 15 (150 ad)
and baptized them; and celebrating the Eucharist with them, he appointed, as bishop over them, Maro, who had entertained him in his house, and who was now perfect in all things; and with him he ordained twelve presbyters and deacons at the same time. He also instituted the order of widows, and arranged all the services of the Church; and charged them all to obey Maro their bishop in all things that he should command them
Ignatius of Antioch to the Ephesians ch 5 (50-117 ad)
For if I in a short time had such converse with your bishop, which was not after the manner of men but in the Spirit, how much more do I congratulate you who are closely joined with him as the Church is with Jesus Christ and as Jesus Christ is with the Father, that all things may be harmonious in unity.
Let no man deceive himself: if any one be not within the altar, he is deprived of the bread of God. For if the prayer of one or two possesses such power, how much more that of the bishop and the whole Church ! He, therefore, that does not assemble with the Church, has even by this manifested his pride, and condemned himself. For it is written, “God resisteth the proud.” Let us be careful, then, not to set ourselves in opposition to the bishop, in order that we may be subject to God.
Ignatius of Antioch to the Trallians ch 7 (50-117 ad)
He that is within the altar is pure, but he that is without is not pure; that is, he who does anything apart from the bishop, and presbytery, and deacons, such a man is not pure in his conscience.
Ignatius of Antioch Epistle to the Romans ch 7 [50-117 AD]
“I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible”
Ignatius of Antioch Epistle to the Philadelphians ch 4 [50-117 AD]
Take ye heed, then, to have but one Eucharist. For there is one flesh of one altar; as there is one bishop, along with the presbytery and deacons, my fellow-servants: that so, whatsoever ye do, ye may do it according to [the will of] God.
Ignatius of Antioch Epistle to the Smyraeans ch 6-8 [50-117 AD]
“Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes” See that ye all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as ye would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.
Justin Martyr First Apology ch 66 [100-165 AD]
“We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as
common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh.
Justin Martyr Dialogue with Trypho ch 41 [100-165 AD]
Justin: And the offering of fine flour, sirs, which was prescribed to be presented on behalf of those purified from leprosy, was a type of the bread of the Eucharist, the celebration of which our Lord Jesus Christ prescribed…
Justin Martyr Dialogue with Trypho ch 117 [100-165 AD]
, in the Eucharist of the bread and the cup, and which are presented by Christians in all places throughout the world, bears witness that they are well-pleasing to Him…
Irenaeus of Lyon Fragments 13 (120-180 ad)
For when the Greeks, having arrested the slaves of Christian catechumens, then used force against them, in order to learn from them some secret thing [practised] among Christians, these slaves, having nothing to say that would meet the wishes of their tormentors, except that they had heard from their masters that the divine communion was the body and blood of Christ, and imagining that it was actually flesh and blood, gave their inquisitors answer to that effect.
Irenaeus of Lyons Fragment 37 [120-180 AD]
“Let us offer the sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of the lips.” Now those oblations are not according to the law, the handwriting of which the Lord took away from the midst by canceling it; but they are according to the Spirit, for we must worship God “in spirit and in truth.” And therefore the oblation of the Eucharist is not a carnal one, but a spiritual; and in this respect it is pure. For we make an oblation to God of the bread and the cup of blessing, giving Him thanks in that He has commanded the earth to bring forth these fruits for our nourishment. And then, when we have perfected the oblation, we invoke the Holy Spirit, that He may exhibit this sacrifice, both the bread the body of Christ, and the cup the blood of Christ, in order that the receivers of these antitypes may obtain remission of sins and life eternal. Those persons, then, who perform these oblations in remembrance of the Lord, do not fall in with Jewish views, but, performing the service after a spiritual manner, they shall be called sons of wisdom.
Irenaeus of Lyons Adversus Haereses Book IV ch 33.2 [120-180 AD]
“If the Lord were from other than the Father, how could he rightly take bread, which is of the same creation as our own, and confess it to be his body and affirm that the mixture in the cup is his blood?”
Irenaeus of Lyons [120-180 AD] Adversus Haereses (Book IV, Chapter 18.5)
Then, again, how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life? Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion, or cease from offering the things just mentioned. But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit. For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.
Irenaeus of Lyons Adversus Haereses Book V Chapter 2 [120-180 AD]
When Christ visited us in his grace, he did not come to what did not belong to him: also, by shedding his true blood for us, and exhibiting to us his true flesh in the Eucharist, he conferred upon our flesh the capacity of salvation…
Irenaeus of Lyons Adversus Haereses Book V Chapter 2.2 [120-180 AD]
But if this indeed do not attain salvation, then neither did the Lord redeem us with His blood, nor is the cup of the Eucharist the communion of His blood, nor the bread which we break the communion of His body…
Irenaeus of Lyons Adversus Haereses Book V Chapter 2.2 [120-180 AD]
“He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own body, from which he gives increase unto our bodies.
Irenaeus of Lyons Adversus Haereses Book V Chapter 2.3 [120-180 AD]
When, therefore, the mingled cup and the manufactured bread receives the Word of God, and the Eucharist of the blood and the body of Christ is made, from which things the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they affirm that the flesh is incapable of receiving the gift of God, which is life eternal an actual man, consisting of flesh, and nerves, and bones — that [flesh] which is nourished by the cup which is His blood, and receives increase from the bread which is His body.through the wisdom of God, serves for the use of men, and having received the Word of God, becomes the Eucharist, which is the body and blood of Christ
Clement of Alexandria The Paedagogus Book I ch 6 [150-215 AD]
“‘Eat my flesh,’ [Jesus] says, ‘and drink my blood.’ The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children”
Clement of Alexandria The Paedagogus Book II ch 2 [150-215 AD]
…is called Eucharist, renowned and glorious grace; and they who by faith partake of it are sanctified both in body and soul…
Clement of Alexandria The Stromata Book I ch 1 [150-215 AD]
Both must therefore test themselves: the one, if he is qualified to speak and leave behind him written records; the other, if he is in a right state to hear and read: as also some in the dispensation of the Eucharist…
Clement of Alexandria Stromata book 4 ch 25 (150-215 ad)
For Salem is, by interpretation, peace; of which our Saviour is enrolled King, as Moses says, Melchizedek king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who gave bread and wine, furnishing consecrated food for a type of the Eucharist.
Tertullian Appendix Against All Heresies ch 2 (160-240 ad)
His power and majesty (they say) Moses perceiving, set up the brazen serpent; and whoever gazed upon him obtained health. Christ Himself (they say further) in His gospel imitates Moses’ serpent’s sacred power, in saying: “And as Moses upreared the serpent in the desert, so it behoveth the Son of man to be upreared.” Him they introduce to bless their eucharistic (elements).
Tertullian On the Resurrection of the Flesh ch 8 [160-240 AD]
“[T]here is not a soul that can at all procure salvation, except it believe whilst it is in the flesh, so true is it that the flesh is the very condition on which salvation hinges. And since the soul is, in consequence of its salvation, chosen to the service of God, it is the flesh which actually renders it capable of such service. The flesh, indeed, is washed [in baptism], in order that the soul may be cleansed . . . the flesh is shadowed with the imposition of hands [in confirmation], that the soul also may be illuminated by the Spirit; the flesh feeds [in the Eucharist] on the body and blood of Christ, that the soul likewise may be filled with God”
Tertullian On Prayer ch 19 [160-240 AD]
Similarly, too, touching the days of Stations, most think that they must not be present at the sacrificial prayers, on the ground that the Station must be dissolved by reception of the Lord’s Body. Does, then, the Eucharist cancel a service devoted to God, or bind it more to God? Will not your Station be more solemn if you have withal stood at God’s altar? When the Lord’s Body has been received and reserved? each point is secured, both the participation of the sacrifice and the discharge of duty.
Tertullian On Modesty ch 9 [160-240 AD]
The “ring” also he is then Wont to receive for the first time, wherewith, after being interrogated, he publicly seals the agreement of faith, and thus thenceforward feeds upon the “fatness” of the Lord’s body,–the Eucharist, to wit. This will be the prodigal son, who never in days bygone was thrifty; who was from the first prodigal, because not from the first a Christian. Him withal, returning from the world to the Father’s embraces, the Pharisees mourned over, in the persons of the “publicans and sinners.”
But now I write to you, if any is named a brother among you, (being) a fornicator, or an idolater” (for what so intimately joined?), “or a defrauder” (for what so near akin?), and so on, “with such to take no food even,” not to say the Eucharist: because, to wit, withal “a little leaven spoileth the flavour of the whole lump.”
Tertullian The Chaplet ch 3 (160-240 ad)
We take also, in congregations before daybreak, and from the hand of none but the presidents, the sacrament of the Eucharist, which the Lord both commanded to be eaten at meal-times, and enjoined to be taken by all alike. As often as the anniversary comes round, we make offerings for the dead as birthday honours….We feel pained should any wine or bread, even though our own, be cast upon the ground.
Tertullian Prescription Against Heretics ch 36 (160- 240 ad)
This she seals with the water (of baptism), arrays with the Holy Ghost, feeds with the Eucharist, cheers with martyrdom, and against such a discipline thus (maintained) she admits no gainsayer
Tertullian Against Marcion Book 5 ch 8(160-240 ad)
In like manner, when treating of the gospel, we have proved from the sacrament of the bread and the cup the verity of the Lord’s body and blood in opposition to Marcion’s phantom
Tertullian Against Marcion Book 4 ch 34 (160-240 ad)
If, however, you deny that divorce is in any way permitted by Christ, how is it that you on your side destroy marriage, not uniting man and woman, nor admitting to the sacrament of baptism and of the eucharist those who have been united in marriage anywhere else, unless they should agree together to repudiate the fruit of their marriage, and so the very Creator Himself?
Tertullian Against Marcion Book 3 ch 19 (160-240 ad)
For so did God in your own gospel even reveal the sense, when He called His body bread; so that, for the time to come, you may understand that He has given to His body the figure of bread, whose body the prophet of old figuratively turned into bread, the Lord Himself designing to give by and by an interpretation of the mystery.
Hippolytus Appendix Cannons of Hyppolytus 31 (170-236 ad)
That a deacon may dispense the Eucharist to the people with permission of a bishop or presbyter.
Hippolytus Appendix Cannons of Hyppolytus 28-29 (170-236 ad)
Canon Twenty-eighth. That none of the believers should taste anything, but after he has taken the sacred mysteries, especially in the days of fasting. [+] Canon Twenty-ninth. Of the keeping of oblations which are laid upon the altar,–that nothing fall into the sacred chalice, and that nothing fall from the priests, nor from the boys when they take communion; that an evil spirit rule them not, and that no one speak in the protection, except in prayer; and when the oblations of the people cease, let psalms be read with all attention, even to the signal of the bell; and of the sign of the cross, and the casting of the dust of the altar into the pool.
Hippolytus Extant Works and Fragments On Proverbs 10:1 (170-236 ad)
–“Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled for you;” by which is meant, that He gave His divine flesh and honoured blood to us, to eat and to drink it for the remission of sins.
Hippolytus Refutation of All Heresies book 6 ch 34 (170-236 ad)
And very often, taking the Cup, as if offering up the Eucharistic prayer, and prolonging to a greater length than usual the word of invocation, he would cause the appearance of a purple, and sometimes of a red mixture, so that his dupes imagined that a certain Grace descended and communicated to the potion a blood-red potency. The knave, however, at that time succeeded in escaping detection from many; but now, being convicted (of the imposture), he will be forced to desist from it. For, infusing secretly into the mixture some drug that possessed the power of imparting such a colour
Origen on Prayer ch 3 (185-254 ad)
Already, it must be said, the adverse inworking, with intent to wrap the most impious of opinions around the name of Christ and around the teaching of the Son of God, has made some converts on the needlessness of prayer—a sentiment which find champions in those who by every means do away with outward forms, eschewing baptism and eucharist alike, misrepresenting the Scriptures as not actually meaning this that we call prayer but as teaching something quite different from it.
Origen Commentary on the Gospel of John book 10 ch 13 (185-254 ad)
For My flesh is meat indeed and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me, and I in him,”–then the flesh thus spoken of is that of the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world; and this is the blood, some of which was to be put on the two side posts of the door, and on the lintels in the houses, in which we eat the passover. Of the flesh of this Lamb it is necessary that we should eat in the thee of the world
Origen Against Celsus book 8 ch 22 (185-254)
Again, he who considers that “Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us,” and that it is his duty to keep the feast by eating of the flesh of the Word,
Origen Against Celsus book 8 ch 33 (185-254)
But we give thanks to the Creator of all, and, along with thanksgiving and prayer for the blessings we have received, we also eat the bread presented to us; and this bread becomes by prayer a sacred body, which sanctifies those who sincerely partake of it…
Origen Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew book 11 par 14 (185-254 ad)
But many things might be said about the Word Himself who became flesh, and true meat of which he that eateth shall assuredly live for ever, no worthless person being able to eat it; for if it were possible for one who continues worthless to eat of Him who became flesh. who was the Word and the living bread, it would not have been written, that “every one who eats of this bread shall live for ever.”
Dionysius the Great Epistle 3 par 11 (190-265ad)
But as an injunction had been issued by me, that persons at the point of death, if they requested it then, and especially if they had earnestly sought it before, should be absolved, in order that they might depart this life in cheerful hope, he gave the boy a small portion of the Eucharist, telling him to steep it in water and drop it into the old man’s mouth
Dionysius the Great Epistle 9 (190-265ad)
For I should not dare to renew afresh, after all, one who had heard the giving of thanks, and who had answered with others Amen; who had stood at the holy table, and had stretched forth his hands to receive the blessed food, and had received it, and for a very long time had been a partaker of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Henceforth I bade him be of good courage, and approach to the sacred elements with a firm faith and a good conscience, and become a partaker of them. But he makes no end of his wailing, and shrinks from approaching to the table; and scarcely, when entreated, can he bear to be present at the prayers.
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 69.2 (200-270 ad)
It is also necessary that he should be anointed who is baptized; so that, having received the chrism, that is, the anointing, he may be anointed of God, and have in him the grace of Christ. Further, it is the Eucharist whence the baptized are anointed with the oil sanctified on the altar. But he cannot sanctify the creature of oil, who has neither an altar nor a church; whence also there can be no spiritual anointing among heretics, since it is manifest that the oil cannot be sanctified nor the Eucharist celebrated at all among them.
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 75.6 (200-270 ad)
how hopeless are they, and what excessive ruin they earn for themselves from the indignation of God, who make a schism, and, forsaking their bishop, appoint another false bishop for themselves without,–Holy Scripture declares in the books of Kings; where ten tribes were divided from the tribe of Judah and Benjamin, and, forsaking their king, appointed for themselves another one without. It says, “And the Lord was very angry with all the seed of Israel, and removed them away, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them out of His sight; for Israel was scattered from the house of David, and they made themselves a king, Jeroboam the son of Nebat.” It says that the Lord was very angry, and gave them up to perdition, because they were scattered from unity, and had made another king for themselves. And so great was the indignation of the Lord against those who had made the schism, that even when the man of God was sent to Jeroboam, to charge upon him his sins, and predict the future vengeance, he was forbidden to eat bread or to drink water with them. And when he did not observe this, and took meat against the command of God, he was immediately smitten by the majesty of the divine judgment (eucharist analogy at the end)
Cyprian of Carthage Treatises Attributed to Cyprian par 5 [200-270 AD]
…since, as he hastens to the spectacle when dismissed from the Lord’s table, and still bearing within him, as often occurs, the Eucharist, that unfaithful man has carried about the holy body of Christ among the filthy bodies of harlots, and has deserved a deeper condemnation for the way by which he has gone ‘hither, than for the pleasure he has received from the exhibition.
Cyprian of Carthage Epistle 9 par 2 [200-270 AD]
For although in smaller sins sinners may do penance for a set time, and according to the rules of discipline come to public confession, and by imposition of the hand of the bishop and clergy receive the right of communion: now with their time still unfulfilled, while persecution is still raging, while the peace of the Church itself is not vet restored, they are admitted to communion, and their name is presented; and while the penitence is not yet performed, confession is not yet made, the hands Of the bishop and clergy are not yet laid upon them, the eucharist is given to them; although it is written, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”
Cyprian of Carthage Epistle 53 par 2 [200-270 AD]
And, as the Eucharist is appointed for this very purpose that it may be a safeguard to the receivers, it is needful that we may arm those whom we wish to be safe against the adversary with the protection of the Lord’s abundance…
Cyprian of Carthage Treatise 9 par 14 200-270 AD]
Let patience be strong and stedfast in the heart; and neither is the sanctified body and temple of God polluted by adultery, nor is the innocence dedicated to righteousness stained with the contagion of fraud; nor, after the Eucharist carried in it,
Cyprian of Carthage Treatise 3 par 25 (200-270 ad)
When, however, the solemnities were finished, and the deacon began to offer the cup to those present, and when, as the rest received it, its turn approached, the little child, by the instinct of the divine majesty, turned away its face, compressed its mouth with resisting lips, and refused the cup. Still the deacon persisted, and, although against her efforts, forced on her some of the sacrament of the cup. Then there followed a sobbing and vomiting. In a profane body and mouth the Eucharist could not remain; the draught sanctified in the blood of the Lord burst forth from the polluted stomach. So great is the Lord’s power, so great is His majesty. The secrets of darkness were disclosed under His light, and not even hidden crimes deceived God’s priest.
Cyprian of Carthage Treatise 4 par 18(200-270 ad)
And we ask that this bread should be given to us daily, that we who are in Christ, and daily receive the Eucharist for the food of salvation, may not, by the interposition of some heinous sin, by being prevented, as withheld and not communicating, from partaking of the heavenly bread, be separated from Christ’s body, as He Himself predicts, and warns, “I am the bread of life which came down from heaven
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 10.1 (200-270 ad)
Although you sent letters to me in which you ask that your wishes should be examined, and that peace should be granted to certain of the lapsed as soon as with the end of the persecution we should have begun to meet with our clergy, and to be gathered together once more; those presbyters, contrary to the Gospel law, contrary also to your respectful petition, before penitence was fulfilled, before confession even of the gravest and most heinous sin was made, before hands were placed upon the repentant by the bishops and clergy, dare to offer on their behalf, and to give them the eucharist, that is, to profane the sacred body of the Lord, although it is written, “Whosoever shall eat the bread and drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 62.5 (200-270 ad)
Moreover the Holy Spirit by Solomon shows before the type of the Lord’s sacrifice, making mention of the immolated victim, and of the bread and wine, and, moreover, of the altar and of the apostles, and says, “Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath underlaid her seven pillars; she hath killed her victims; she hath mingled her wine in the chalice; she hath also furnished her table: and she hath sent forth her servants, calling together with a lofty announcement to her cup, saying, Whoso is simple, let him turn to me; and to those that want understanding she hath said, Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled for you.” He declares the wine mingled, that is, he foretells with prophetic voice the cup of the Lord mingled with water and wine, that it may appear that that was done in our Lord’s passion which had been before predicted.
Cyprian of Carthage epistle 62.17 (200-270 ad)
For Scripture says, “For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show forth the Lord’s death till He come.” As often, therefore, as we offer the cup in commemoration of the Lord and of His passion, let us do what it is known the Lord did. And let this conclusion be reached, dear-est brother: if from among our predecessors any have either by ignorance or simplicity not observed and kept this which the Lord by His example and teaching has instructed us to do, he may, by the mercy of the Lord, have pardon granted to his simplicity. But we cannot be pardoned who are now admonished and instructed by the Lord to offer the cup of the Lord mingled with wine according to what the Lord offered
Acts of Thomas (240 ad)
And there was a certain young man who had done a nefarious deed; and having come to the apostle, he took the bread of the Eucharist into his mouth, and his two hands immediately withered, so that he could no longer bring them to his mouth.
Acts of Thomas (240 ad)
And the apostle standing by it, said: Jesus Christ, Son of God, who hast deemed us worthy to communicate of the Eucharist of Thy sacred body and honourable blood, behold, we are emboldened by the thanksgiving and invocation of Thy sacred name; come now, and communicate with us.
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 5 ch17 (265-340ad)
But though matters were in this shape, they communed together, and Anicetus conceded the administration of the eucharist in the church to Polycarp, manifestly as a mark of respect.
Eusebius of Caesarea Church History book 7 (265-340ad)
But I did not dare to do this; and said that his long communion was sufficient for this. For I should not dare to renew from the beginning one who had heard the giving of thanks and joined in repeating the Amen; who had stood by the table and had stretched forth his hands to receive the blessed food; and who had received it, and partaken for a long while of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
Athanasius Letter 4 par 4 (296-373 ad)
The Saviour also, since He was changing the typical for the spiritual, promised them that they should no longer eat the flesh of a lamb, but His own, saying, ‘Take, eat and drink; this is My body, and My blood(3).’ When we are thus nourished by these things, we also, my beloved, shall truly keep the feast of the Passover.
Athanasius Apology Against Arians part 1 par 31 (296-393 ad)
This at first seemed incredible, but it was proved to have been so from the Reports; which caused great astonishment to us, as I suppose, dearly beloved, it does to you also. Presbyters, who are the ministers of the Mysteries, are not permitted to attend, but an enquiry concerning Christ’s Blood and Christ’s Body is carried on before an external judge, in the presence of Catechumens, nay, worse than that, before Heathens and Jews, who are in ill repute in regard to Christianity
Athanasius Apologia Contra Arianos Part 1 par 12 (296-373)
There are many cups, it is plain, both in private houses, and in the public market; and if a person breaks one of them, he is not guilty of impiety. But the cup which belongs to the mysteries, and which if it be broken intentionally, makes the perpetrator of the deed an impious person, is found only among those who lawfully preside. This is the only description that can be given of this kind of cup; there is none other; this you legally give to the people to drink; this you have received according to the canon of the Church[6]; this belongs only to those who preside over the Catholic Church. for to you only it appertains to administer the Blood of Christ, and to none besides.
Liturgy of James (300 ad)
And rising up, he says aloud: That coming, by His holy and good and glorious appearing, He may sanctify this bread, and make it the holy body of Thy Christ.
Hilary of Poitiers On the Trinity book 8 par 13 (300-367 ad)
Now our Lord has not left the minds of His faithful followers in doubt, but has explained the manner in which His nature operates, saying, That they may be one, as We are one: I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in one. Now I ask those who bring forward a unity of will between Father and Son, whether Christ is in us to-day through verity of nature or through agreement of will. For if in truth the Word has been made flesh and we in very truth receive the Word made flesh as food from the Lord, are we not bound to believe that He abides in us naturally, Who, born as a man, has assumed the nature of our flesh now inseparable from Himself, and has conjoined the nature of His own flesh to the nature of the eternal Godhead in the sacrament by which His flesh is communicated to us?
Hilary of Poitiers On the Trinity book 8 par 13 (300-367 ad)
Hence, if indeed Christ has taken to Himself the flesh of our body, and that Man Who was born froth Mary was induced Christ, and we indeed receive in a mystery the flesh of His body–(and for this cause we shall be one, because the Father is in Him and He in us), — how can a unity of will be maintained, seeing that the special property of nature received through the sacrament is the sacrament of a perfect unity?
Hilary of Poitiers On the Trinity book 8 par 14 (300-367 ad)
For He says Himself, My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me, and I in him. As to the verity of the flesh and blood there is no room left for doubt. For now both from the declaration of the Lord Himself and our own faith, it is verily flesh and verily blood. And these when eaten and drunk, bring it to pass that both we are in Christ and Christ in us. Is not this true? Yet they who affirm that Christ Jesus is not truly God are welcome to find it false.
Hilary of Poitiers On the Trinity book 8 par 15 (300-367 ad)
Now how it is that we are in Him through the sacrament of the flesh and blood bestowed upon us, He Himself testifies, saying, And the world will no longer see Me, but ye shall see Me ; because I live ye shall live also; because I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you. If He wished to indicate a mere unity of will, why did He set forth a kind of gradation and sequence in the completion of the unity, unless it were that, since He was in the Father through the nature of Deity, and we on the contrary in Him through His birth in the body, He would have us believe that He is in us through the mystery of the sacraments?
Hilary of Poitiers On the Trinity book 8 par 16 (300-367 ad)
Again, how natural this unity is in us He has Himself testified on this wise,–He who eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood abideth in Me, and I in him. For no man shall dwell in Him, save him in whom He dwells Himself, for the only flesh which He has taken to Himself is the flesh of those who have taken His. Now He had already taught before the sacrament of this perfect unity, saying, As the living Father sent Me, and I live through the Father, so he that eateth My flesh shall himself also live through Me
Hilary of Poitiers On the Trinity book 8 par 17 (300-367 ad)
I have dwelt upon these facts because the heretics falsely maintain that the union between Father and Son is one of will only, and make use of the example of our own union with God, as though we were trailed to the Son and through the Son to the Father by mere obedience and a devout will, and none of the natural verity of communion were vouchsafed us through the sacrament of the Body and Blood;
Council of Nicaea I [ECUMENICAL] canon 18 (325 ad)
It has come to the knowledge of the holy and great Synod that, in some districts and cities, the deacons administer the Eucharist to the presbyters, whereas neither canon nor custom permits that they who have no right to offer should give the Body of Christ to them that do offer. And this also has been made known, that certain deacons now touch the Eucharist even before the bishops. Let all such practices be utterly done away, and let the deacons remain within their own bounds, knowing that they are the ministers of the bishop and the inferiors of the presbyters. Let them receive the Eucharist according to their order, after the presbyters, and let either the bishop or the presbyter administer to them. Furthermore, let not the deacons sit among the presbyters, for that is contrary to canon and order. And if, after this decree, any one shall refuse to obey, let him be deposed from the diaconate.
Gregory Nazianzen Oration 18 par 10 (325-389 ad)
although greatly moved even by the misfortunes of strangers, as to allow a sound of woe to burst forth before the Eucharist, or a tear to fall from the eye mystically sealed, or any trace of mourning to be left on the occasion of a festival, however frequent her own sorrows might be; inasmuch as the God-loving soul should subject every human experience to the things of God.
Basil Letter 93 (329-379 ad)
For when once the priest has completed the offering, and given it, the recipient, participating in it each time as entire, is bound to believe that he properly takes and receives it from the giver. And even in the church, when the priest gives the portion, the recipient takes it with complete power over it, and so lifts it to his lips with his own hand. It has the same validity whether one portion or several portions are received from the priest at the same time
Basil Letter de Spiritu Sancto ch 37 (329-379 ad)
For that Body was once, by implication, bread, but has been consecrated by the inhabitation of the Word that tabernacled in the flesh. Therefore, from the same cause as that by which the bread that was transformed in that Body was changed to a Divine potency, a similar result takes place now. For as in that case, too, the grace of the Word used to make holy the Body, the substance of which came of the bread, and in a manner was itself bread, so also in this case the bread, as says the Apostle(8), “is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer”; not that it advances by the process of eating(9) to the stage of passing into the body of the Word, but it is at once changed into the body by means of the Word, as the Word itself said, “This is My Body.”
Basil Letter de Spiritu Sancto ch 27.66 (329-379 ad)
Which of the saints has left us in writing the words of the invocation at the displaying of the bread of the Eucharist and the cup of blessing? For we are not, as is well known, content with what the apostle or the Gospel has recorded, but both in preface and conclusion we add other words as being of great importance to the validity of the ministry, and these we derive from unwritten teaching.
Moreover we bless the water of baptism and the oil of the chrism, and besides this the catechumen who is being baptized. On what written authority do we do this? Is not our authority silent and mystical tradition?
Basil Letter 93 (329-379 ad)
It is good and beneficial to communicate every day, and to partake of the holy Body and Blood of Christ. For He distinctly says, “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life.” And who doubts that to share frequently in life, is the same thing as to have manifold life. I, indeed, communicate four times a week, on the Lord’s day, on Wednesday, on Friday, and on the Sabbath, and on the other days if there is a commemoration of any Saint.
Basil Letter 93 (329-379 ad)
It is good and beneficial to communicate every day, and to partake of the holy Body and Blood of Christ. For He distinctly says, “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life.” And who doubts that to share frequently in life, is the same thing as to have manifold life. I, indeed, communicate four times a week, on the Lord’s day, on Wednesday, on Friday, and on the Sabbath, and on the other days if there is a commemoration of any Saint.
Antioch in Encaeniis  [LOCAL] canon 2 (341 ad)
All who enter the church of God and hear the Holy Scriptures, but do not communicate with the people in prayers, or who turn away, by reason of some disorder, from the holy partaking of the Eucharist, are to be cast out of the Church, until, after they shall have made confession, and having brought forth the fruits of penance, and made earnest entreaty, they shall have obtained forgiveness; and it is unlawful to communicate with excommunicated persons, or to assemble in private houses and pray with those who do not pray in the Church; or to receive in one Church those who do not assemble with another Church. And, if any one of the bishops, presbyters, or deacons, or any one in the Canon shall be found communicating with excommunicated persons, let him also be excommunicated, as one who brings confusion on the order of the Church.
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 19 par 7 [315-386 AD]
“The bread and the wine of the Eucharist before the holy invocation of the adorable Trinity were simple bread and wine, but the invocation having been made, the bread becomes the body of Christ and the wine the blood of Christ”
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 22 par 1 (315-386 ad)
Since then He Himself declared and said of the Bread, This is My Body, who shall dare to doubt any longer? And since He has Himself affirmed and said, This is My Blood, who shall ever hesitate, saying, that it is not His blood?
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 23 par 3 (315-386 ad)
Wherefore with full assurance let us partake as of the Body and Blood of Christ: for in the figure of Bread is given to thee His Body, and in the figure of Wine His Blood; that thou by partaking of the Body and Blood of Christ, mayest be made of the same body and the same blood with Him. For thus we come to bear Christ in us, because His Body and Blood are distributed through our members; thus it is that, according to the blessed Peter, we became partakers of the divine nature.
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lecture 23 par 15 (315-386 ad)
Give us this day our substantial bread. This common bread is not substantial bread, but this Holy Bread is substantial, that is, appointed for the substance of the soul. For this Bread goeth not into the belly and is cast out into the draught, but is distributed into thy whole system for the benefit of body and soul. But by this day, he means, “each day,” as also Paul said, While it is called to-day. (The Lord’s Prayer)
Council of Nicaea under Sylvester I  par 18 (325 ad)
It has come to the attention of this holy and great synod that in some places and cities deacons give communion to presbyters, although neither canon nor custom allows this, namely that those who have no authority to offer should give the body of Christ to those who do offer. Moreover it has become known that some of the deacons now receive the eucharist even before the bishops. All these practices must be suppressed. Deacons must remain within their own limits, knowing that they are the ministers of the bishop and subordinate to the presbyters. Let them receive the eucharist according to their order after the presbyters from the hands of the bishop or the presbyter.
Gregory of Nyssa On the Baptism of Christ (325-386 ad)
The bread again is at first common bread, but when the sacramental action consecrates it, it is called, and becomes, the Body of Christ.
Gregory of Nyssa Against Eunomius book 11 (325-386 ad)
“He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, shall live for ever(7),” are persuaded that the mystery of godliness is ratified by the confession of the Divine Names–the Names of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and that our salvation is confirmed by participation in the sacramental customs and tokens.
Canons of the Thirteen Holy Fathers V. THE FIRST CANONICAL EPISTLE OF OUR HOLY FATHER BASIL, ARCHBISHOP OF CAESAREA IN CAPPADOCIA TO AMPHILOCHIUS, BISHOP OF ICONIUM CANON XXVII (329-379 ad)
CANON XXVII. As for the priest that is engaged, through ignorance, in an unlawful marriage, I have decreed, that he retain the honour of the chair; but forbear all sacred operations, and not give the blessing either in private, or public, nor distribute the Body of Christ to another, nor perform any liturgy; but let him bewail himself to the Lord, and to men, that his sin of ignorance may be pardoned.
Ambrose of Milan On the Christian Faith book 4 par 125 (340-397 ad)
Then He added: “For My Flesh is meat indeed, and My Blood is drink perceivest the sacred pledges, [conveying to us the merits and power] of the Lord’s death, and thou dishonourest His Godhead. Hear His own words: “A spirit hath not flesh and bones.” Now we, as often as we receive the Sacramental Elements, which by the mysterous efficacy of holy prayer are transformed into the Flesh and the Blood, “do show the Lord’s Death.”
Ambrose The Mysteries ch 10.50-52 (340-397 ad)
50Perhaps you will say, “I see something else, how is it that you assert that I receive the Body of Christ?” And this is the point which remains for us to prove. And what evidence shall we make use of? Let us prove that this is not what nature made, but what the blessing consecrated, and the power of blessing is greater than that of nature, because by blessing nature itself is changed.
52 We observe, then, that grace has more power than nature, and yet so far we have only spoken of the grace of a prophet’s blessing. But if the blessing of man had such power as to change nature, what are we to say of that divine consecration where the very words of the Lord and Saviour operate? For that sacrament which you receive is made what it is by the word of Christ. But if the word of Elijah had such power as to bring down fire from heaven, shall not the word of Christ have power to change the nature of the elements? You read concerning the making of the whole world: “He spake and they were made, He commanded and they were created.” Shall not the word of Christ, which was able to make out of nothing that which was not, be able to change things which already are into what they were not? For it is not less to give a new nature to things than to change them.
Ambrose of Milan On the Mysteries ch 9.50 [340-397 AD]
Perhaps you will say, “I see something else, how is it that you assert that I receive the Body of Christ?” And this is the point which remains for us to prove. And what evidence shall we make use of? Let us prove that this is not what nature made, but what the blessing consecrated, and the power of blessing is greater than that of nature, because by blessing nature itself is changed.
Ambrose of Milan On the Mysteries ch 9.58 [340-397 AD]
Christ is in that sacrament, because it is the body of Christ” (The Mysteries 9:50, 58 [A.D. 390]).
Wherefore, too, the Church, beholding so great grace, exhorts her sons and her friends to come together to the sacraments, saying: “Eat, my friends, and drink and be inebriated, my brother.” What we eat and what we drink the Holy Spirit has elsewhere made plain by the prophet, saying, “Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed is the man that hopeth in Him.” In that sacrament is Christ, because it is the Body of Christ, it is therefore not bodily food but spiritual. Whence the Apostle says of its type: “Our fathers ate spiritual food and drank spiritual drink,” for the Body of God is a spiritual body; the Body of Christ is the Body of the Divine Spirit, for the Spirit is Christ, as we read: “The Spirit before our face is Christ the Lord.”
Council of Antioch in Encaeniis cannon 2 (341 ad)
All who enter the church of God and hear the Holy Scriptures, but do not communicate with the people in prayers, or who turn away, by reason of some disorder, from the holy partaking of the Eucharist, are to be cast out of the Church, until, after they shall have made confession, and having brought forth the fruits of penance, and made earnest entreaty, they shall have obtained forgiveness
Ambrose of Milan on Repentance book 2 ch 3.18 (340-397 ad)
for “Christ our Passover hath been sacrificed.” For as often as we receive the Blood of the Lord, we proclaim the death of the Lord. As, then, He was once slain for all, so whensoever forgiveness of sins is granted, we receive the Sacrament of His Body, that through His Blood there may be remission of sins. (He quotes 1 Cor 11:26 but this scripture says drink the cup not receive the blood so he sees this passage as connecting to the real presence)
Jerome Letter 114 par 2 (347-420 ad)
I admire in your work its practical aim, designed as it is to instruct by the authority of scripture ignorant persons in all the churches concerning the reverence with which they must handle holy things and minister at Christ’s altar; and to impress upon them that the sacred chalices, veils,’ and other accessories used in the celebration of the Lord’s passion are not mere lifeless and senseless objects devoid of holiness, but that rather, from their association with the body and blood of the Lord, they are to be venerated with the same awe as the body and the blood themselves.
Jerome Letter 71 par 6 (347-420 ad)
You ask me whether you ought to fast on the Sabbath and to receive the eucharist daily according to the custom–as currently reported–of the churches of Rome and Spain.
Jerome Letter 146 par 1 (347-420 ad)
I am told that some one has been mad enough to put deacons before presbyters, that is, before bishops. For when the apostle clearly teaches that presbyters are the same as bishops, must not a i mere server of tables and of widows be insane to set himself up arrogantly over men through whose prayers the body and blood of Christ are produced?
Jerome Letter 71 par 6 [347-420 AD]
You ask me whether you ought to fast on the Sabbath and to receive the eucharist daily according to the custom—as currently reported–of the churches of Rome and Spain…
Jerome dialogue against the Luciferians par 21 (347-420 ad)
Since Hilary when he left the Church was only a deacon, and since the Church is to him, though to him alone, a mere worldly multitude, he can neither duly celebrate the Eucharist, for he has no bishops or priests
Jerome dialogue against the Luciferians introduction (347-420 ad)
Still it is one thing, he says,(3) to admit a penitent neophyte, another to admit a man to be bishop and celebrate the Eucharist
John Chrysostom Homily 82 on Matthew’s Gospel ch 1 (347-407 ad)
Therefore also He saith, “With desire I have desired to eat this passover,”that is, to deliver you the new rites, and to give a passover, by which I am to make you spiritual.
And He Himself drank of it. For lest on hearing this, they should say, What then? do we drink blood, and eat flesh? and then be perplexed (for when He began to discourse concerning these things, even at the very sayings many were offended),therefore lest they should be troubled then likewise, He first did this Himself, leading them to the calm participation of the mysteries. Therefore He Himself drank His own blood.
John Chrysostom Homily 3 on Ephesians vs 21-22 (347-407 ad)
Further, our discourse is concerning this Body, and as many of us as partake of that Body and taste of that Blood, are partaking of that which is in no wise different from that Body, nor separate. Consider that we taste of that Body that sitteth above, that is adored by Angels
John Chrysostom Homily 30 on Second Corinthians (347-407 ad)
And through these gates and doors Christ both had entered into us, and doth enter, whensoever we communicate. Ye who partake of the mysteries understand what I say. For it is in no common manner that our lips are honored, when they receive the Lord’s Body
John Chrysostom Homily 47 on John’s gospel (347-407 ad)
Wherefore He addeth, “He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life.”
He continually handleth the subject of the Mysteries, showing the necessity of the action, and that it must by all means be done.
John Chrysostom Homily 47 on John’s gospel (347-407 ad)
How it is so, hear. “Verily I say unto you, Except a man eat My flesh, and drink My blood, he hath not eternal life in him.” Since the Jews had before asserted that this was impossible, He showeth not only that it is not impossible, but that it is absolutely necessary. Wherefore He addeth, “He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life.”
John Chrysostom Homily 47 on John’s gospel (347-407 ad)
His meaning is, “Ye must hear spiritually what relateth to Me, for he who heareth carnally is not profiled, nor gathereth any advantage.” It was carnal to question how He came down from heaven, to deem that He was the son of Joseph, to ask, “How can he give us His flesh to eat?” All this was carnal, when they ought to have understood the matter in a mystical and spiritual sense. “But,” saith some one, “how could they understand what the ‘eating flesh might mean?” Then it was their duty to wait for the proper time and enquire, and not to abandon Him.
“The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life.”
That is, they are divine and spiritual, have nothing carnal about them, are not subject to the laws of physical consequence, but are free from any such necessity, are even set above the laws appointed for this world, and have also another and a different meaning. Now as it, this passage He said “spirit,” instead of” spiritual,” so when He’ speaketh of “flesh,” He meant not “carnal things,” but they ever desired carnal things when they ought to have desired spiritual. For if a man receives them carnally, he profits nothing. saith He, that the flesh profiteth nothing?” He speaketh not of His own flesh, (God forbid!) but of those who received His words in a carnal manner. But what is “understanding carnally”? It is looking merely to what is before our eyes, without imagining anything beyond. This is understanding carnally. But we must not judge thus by sight, but must look into all mysteries with the eyes within. This is seeing spiritually. He that eateth not His flesh, and drinketh not His blood, hath no life in him. How then doth “the flesh profit nothing,” if without it we cannot live?Seest thou that the words, “the flesh profiteth nothing,” are spoken not of His own flesh, but of carnal hearing?
John Chrysostom Homily 78 on Matthews Gospel  (347-407 ad)
It is rash to have a mouth like the devil, to have a tongue resembling that of an evil demon, especially for him that partakes of such mysteries, and communicates of the very flesh of the Lord.
John Chrysostom Homily 46 par 3 on Gospel of John  (347-407 ad)
Wherefore this also Christ hath done, to lead us: to a closer friendship, and to show His love for us; He hath given to those who desire Him not only to see Him, but even to touch, and eat Him, and fix their teeth in His flesh, and to embrace Him, and satisfy all their love. Let us then return from that table like lions breathing fire, having become terrible to the devil; thinking on our Head, and on the love which He hath shown for us.
John Chrysostom On Priesthood book 3 par 5 (347-407 ad)
For transparent madness it is to despise so great a dignity, without which it is not possible to obtain either our own salvation, or the good things which have been promised to us. For if no one can enter into the kingdom of Heaven except he be regenerate through water and the Spirit, and he who does not eat the flesh of the Lord and drink His blood is excluded from eternal life, and if all these things are accomplished only by means of those holy hands, I mean the hands of the priest, how will any one, without these, be able to escape the fire of hell, or to win those crowns which are reserved for the victorious?
John Cassian Conference 9 ch 21 (360-435 ad)
NEXT: “Give us this day our bread which is epiousion,” i.e., “supersubstantial,” which another Evangelist calls “daily.”(8) The former indicates the quality of its nobility and substance, in virtue of which it is above all substances and the loftiness of its grandeur and holiness exceeds all creatures, while the latter intimates the purpose of its use and value. For where it says “daily” it shows that without it we cannot live a spiritual life for a single day. Where it says “today” it shows that it must be received daily and that yesterday’s supply of it is not enough, but at it must be given to us today also in like manner. And our daily need of it suggests to us that we ought at all times to offer up this prayer, because there is no day on which we have no need to strengthen the heart of our inner man, by eating and receiving it, although the expression used, “today” may be taken to apply to his present life, i.e., while we are living in this world supply us with this bread. For we know that it will be given to those who deserve it by Thee hereafter, but we ask that Thou wouldest grant it to us today, because unless it has been vouchsafed to a man to receive it in this life he will never be partaker of it in that.
Augustine Tractate 27 on the gospel of John (354-430 ad)
that we eat not the flesh and blood of Christ merely in the sacrament, as many evil men do, but that we eat and drink to the participation of the Spirit, that we abide as members in the Lord’s body, to be quickened by His Spirit, and that we be not offended, even if many do now with us eat and drink the sacraments in a temporal manner, who shall in the end have eternal torments.
Augustine Reply to Faustus the Manichean Book 19 par 14 (354-430 ad)
how much more should a Christian in our day be ready to suffer all things for Christ’s baptism, for Christ’s Eucharist, for Christ’s sacred sign, since these are proofs of the accomplishment of what the former sacraments only pointed forward to in the future!
Augustine Expositions on Psalm 11 par 6 (354-430 ad)
What hath Christ done to you? who with such exceeding patience endured His betrayer, as to give to him, as to the other Apostles, the first Eucharist consecrated with His own hands, and blessed with His own mouth.
Augustine On Nature and Grace ch 2 (354-430 ad)
If, however, Christ did not die in vain, then human nature cannot by any means be justified and redeemed from God’s most righteous wrath–in a word, from punishment–except by faith and the sacrament of the blood of Christ.
Augustine Sermon 8 par 5 (354-430 ad)
So when we pray for daily bread, we ask for whatever is necessary for us in earth for our bodies’ sake. But what saith the Lord Jesus? “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Again, this is a very good sense of, “Give us this day our daily bread,” thy Eucharist, our daily food. For the faithful know what they receive, and good for them it is to receive that daily bread which is necessary for this time present.
Augustine Sermon 7 par 7 (354-430 ad)
There is a spiritual food also which the faithful know, which ye too will know, when ye shall receive it at the altar of God. This also is “daily Bread,” necessary only for this life. For shall we receive the Eucharist when we shall have come to Christ Himself, and begun to reign with Him for ever? So then the Eucharist is our daily bread; but let us in such wise receive it, that we be not refreshed in our bodies only, but in our souls.
Augustine Against Petilian the Donatist book 2 ch 55 par 126 (354-430 ad)
they eat His body and drink His blood in the sacrament
Augustine Against Petilian the Donatist book 2 ch 23 par 53 (354-430 ad)
To this we may add, that I refer to a man who lived with you, whose birthday you were wont to celebrate with such large assemblies, with whom you joined in the kiss of peace in the sacraments, in whose hands you placed the Eucharist, to whom in turn you extended your hands to receive it from his ministering
Augustine of Hippo Letter 54 ch 3.4 [354-430 AD]
4. Some one may say, “The Eucharist ought not to be taken every day.” You ask, “On what grounds?” He answers, sacrament, he ought to choose those days upon which he lives in more special purity and self-restraint; for whosoever eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself.'” Another answers, “Certainly; if the wound inflicted by sin and the violence of the soul’s distemper be such that the use of these remedies must be put off for a time, every man in this case should be, by the authority of the bishop, forbidden to approach the altar, and appointed to do penance, and should be afterwards restored to privileges by the same authority; for this would be partaking unworthily, if one should partake of it at a time when he ought to be doing penance; and it is not a matter to be left to one’s own judgment to withdraw himself from the communion of the Church, or restore himself, as he pleases. If, however, his sins are not so great as to bring him justly under sentence of excommunication, he ought not to withdraw himself from the daily use of the Lord’s body for the healing of his soul.” Perhaps a third party interposes with a more just decision of the question, reminding them that the principal thing is to remain united in the peace of Christ, and that each should befree to do what, according to his belief, he conscientiously regards as his duty. For neither of them lightly esteems the Body and Blood of the Lord; on the contrary, both are contending who shall most highly honour the sacrament fraught with blessing. There was no controversy between those two mentioned in the Gospel, Zacchaeus and the Centurion; nor did either of them think himself better than the other, though, whereas the former received the Lord joyfully into his house, the latter said,
Augustine on the Sermon on the Mount Book 2 ch 7 (354-430 ad)
“Give us this day.” But if any one wishes to understand the sentence before us also of food necessary for the body, or of the sacrament of the Lord’s body, we must take all three meanings conjointly; that is to say, that we are to ask for all at once as daily bread, both the bread necessary for the body, and the visible hallowed bread, and the invisible bread of the word of God
Augustine of Hippo City of God Book 21 ch 20 (354-430 ad)
For these have eaten the body of Christ, not only sacramentally but really, being incorporated in His body, as the apostle says, “We, being many, are one bread, one body;” so that, though they have afterwards lapsed into some heresy, or even into heathenism and idolatry, yet by virtue of this one thing, that they have received the baptism of Christ, and eaten the body of Christ, in the body of Christ, that is to say, in the catholic Church, they shall not die eternally
Augustine of Hippo Sermon 82 par 2 [354-430 AD]
and who yet already approach to the Lord’s Table, and eat the Flesh of Christ, and drink His Blood,
Augustine Letter 5 (354-430 ad)
He has bound His people under the new dispensation together in fellowship by sacraments, which are in number very few, in observance most easy, and in significance most excellent, as baptism solemnized in the name of the Trinity, the Communion of His Body and Blood, and such other things as are prescribed in the canonical Scriptures, with the exception of those enactments which were a yoke of bondage to God’s ancient people, suited to their state of heart and to the times of the prophets, and which are found in the five books of Moses. As to those other things which we hold on the authority, not of Scripture, but of tradition, and which are observed throughout the whole world, it may be understood that they are held as approved and instituted either by the apostles themselves, or by plenary Councils, whose authority in the Church is most useful, e.g. the annual commemoration, by special solemnities, of the Lord’s passion, resurrection, and ascension, and of the descent of the Holy Spirit from heaven, and whatever else is in like manner observed by the whole Church wherever it has been established.
Socrates Ecclesial History book 6 ch 9 (379-450 ad)
As Peter in his defence declared, that not only had the errors of this woman been previously abjured, but that Theophilus himself had sanctioned her admission to the eucharist, Theophilus became indignant, as if he had been grievously calumniated; whereupon he affirmed that he was altogether unacquainted with the circumstance.
Apocalypse of Paul Latin Par 41 (380 ad)
When therefore the well was opened, immediately there arose from it a certain hard and malign stench, which surpasses all punishments: and I looked into the well and I saw fiery masses glowing in every. part, and narrow places, and the mouth of the well was narrow so as to admit one man only. And the angel answered and said unto me: If any man shall have been put into this well of the abyss and it shall have been sealed over him, no remembrance of him shall ever be made in the sight of the Father and His Son and the holy angels. And I said: Who are these, Sir, who are put into this well? And he said to me: They are whoever shall not confess that Christ has come in the flesh and that the Virgin Mary brought him forth, and whoever says that the bread and cup of the Eucharist of blessing are not this body and blood of Christ.
Apostolic Constitutions book 2 par 33 (400ad)
who have regenerated you by water, and endued you with the fulness of the Holy Spirit, who have fed you with the word as with milk, who have nourished yon with doctrine, who have confirmed you by their admonitions, who have imparted to you the saving body and precious blood of Christ, who have loosed you from your sins, who have made you partakers of the holy and sacred eucharist,
Council of Ephesus 431 ad
We will necessarily add this also. Proclaiming the death according to the flesh of the only begotten Son of God, that is Jesus Christ, and professing his return to life from the dead and his ascension into heaven, we offer the unbloody worship [sacrificii servitutem] in the churches and so proceed to the mystical thanksgivings and are sanctified having partaken of the holy flesh [corpus] and precious blood of Christ, the saviour of us all. This we receive not as ordinary flesh, heaven forbid, nor as that of a man who has been made holy and joined to the Word by union of honour, or who had a divine indwelling, but as truly the life-giving and real flesh of the Word [ut vere vivificatricem et ipsius Verbi propriam factam.]. For being life by nature as God, when he became one with his own flesh, he made it also to be life-giving, as also he said to us: ‘Amen I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood’ . For we must not think that it is the flesh of a man like us (for how can the flesh of man be life-giving by its own nature?), but as being made the true flesh [vere proprium eius factam] of the one who for our sake became the son of man and was called so.
Liturgy of Mark par 13 (400 ad)
Send down upon us also and upon this bread and upon these chalices Thy Holy Spirit, that by His all-powerful and divine influence He may sanctify and consecrate them, and make this bread the body.