A few months ago, I posted an article concerning the origins of Mandatory Private Confession in the Catholic Church. But, until reading this article entitled “Appreciating the Ancient Roots of Church Precepts: The ‘Didache’ Revisited” by Deacon Robert Gorman, Ph.D., I did not know this:
After spending several paragraphs describing the Eucharistic liturgy, in Chapter 14, the Didache commands Christians thus: “But every Lord’s day gather yourselves together, and break bread and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions.” In a pithy sentence, the early Church pointed to confession as the doorway for the worthy reception of Communion. Thus, we see a conflation of both the necessity for receiving Communion, and for the confession of sins. In Chapter 15, the Didache mentions the confession and the repentance of sins in the context of the work of bishops and deacons.
According to Deacon Gorman, the Didache (Did-uh-Kay) was “lost to history” and only rediscovered in 1873. It’s a document that was likely written in Syria in the latter third of the first century, so this is good stuff for establishing the Tradition behind the Eucharist and Confession.
I love the Catholic Church! There’s always more to learn!