Translated by Charles Underhill Quinn
The author traces the origin of the Eucharist back to the Jewish meal prayers, or berakoth, for it is here that he sees its ancestry. This daring but well-documented thesis is proposed here for the first time in English.
“We have come to expect from Bouyer sound scholarship and brilliant, original insights. This monumental study, the fruit of twenty years of painstaking research, does not disappoint that expectation.” —The Thomist
“. . . A very rich history of the ‘Canon’ of the Eucharistic celebration from the beginnings down to the present. Highly recommended.” — Review for Religious
“Father Bouyer . . . spent more than twenty years writing this book. It is a detailed history of the Christian Eucharistic formularies. He begins with a thorough analysis of the Jewish meal prayers, the berakoth, to which he traces the origins of the eucharistic rite, and ends with the recent addition of new eucharistic prayers to the Roman rite. He also includes the history of the various forms of the early Christian liturgies, of the Byzantine, Gallican, and Mozarabic Eucharists, of the changes introduced during the Reformation, and of developments in the Anglican, Lutheran, and Reformed traditions.” — Theology Digest
“The object of Fr. Bouyer’s impressive study is the development or, as he calls it, the ‘progressive unfolding’ of the Christian eucharist and, more precisely, of the ‘eucharistic prayer’ or anaphora. . . . As a study in the history of the anaphora, Bouyer’s book contains extremely valuable materials—and in English—and thought-provoking discussions of all of them. No student can consider the history and the meaning of the eucharistic prayer without digging in this treatise.” — Worship