Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Canons of the Councils of Ancyra, Gangra, Neocæsarea, Antioch and Laodicea, which Canons were Accepted and Received by the Ecumenical Synods.: Canon XXVII
Neither they of the priesthood, nor clergymen, nor laymen, who are invited to a love feast, may take away their portions, for this is to cast reproach on the ecclesiastical order.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XXVII.
A clergyman invited to a love feast shall carry nothing away with him; for this would bring his order into shame.
Van Espen translates: “no one holding any office in the Church, be he cleric or layman,” and appeals to the fact that already in early times among the Greeks many held offices in the Church without being ordained, as do now our sacristans and acolytes. I do not think, however, with Van Espen, that by “they of the priesthood” is meant in general any one holding office in the Church, but only the higher ranks of the clergy, priests and deacons, as in the preceding twenty-fourth canon the presbyters and deacons alone are expressly numbered among the ἱερατικοῖς and distinguished from the other (minor) clerics. And afterwards, in canon XXX., there is a similar mention of three different grades, ἱερατικοί, κληρικοί, and ἀσκηταί.
The taking away of the remains of the agape is here forbidden, because, on the one hand, it showed covetousness, and, on the other, was perhaps considered a profanation.
This canon is found in the Corpus Juris Canonici, Gratians Decretum, Pars I., Dist. XLII., c. iij.
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