for a very useful Liturgy Conference. It is not for me to blab on about papers which will be published in the form in which their authors desire them to see the world. But the last one had an interest beyond its subject. The speaker argued that the close connexion between Sunday and the Resurrection is less securely early than we have always thought, and is the result of the appropriation in the Great Church of some ideas of Marcion. I am far from sure what to make of that, but I can see some attractions in the proposition that 'Pascha' referred to the Passion of Christ; remember that big homily of Meleto of Sardis ("Pascha from paschein"); S Paul's emphasis on Christ our Paschal Lamb being sacrificed for us; S Leo's usage of the word Pascha to refer to the Crucifixion (and see my post on When does Lent begin for mathematicians?).
This general approach could fit in with Jacob Neusner's emphasis on the Institution of the Eucharist as a deliberate sacrificial replacement of the Jewish sacrificial system; and would follow on nicely from a Margaret Barkerish idea that the antecedents of Christian worship should be discerned more in the sacrificial system of the Jewish Temple than in fellowhip meals or synagogue services of the Word. So we would see the Sunday Eucharist as, right from the start, a distinctively and unambiguously sacrificial enactment at the heart of Christianity. So Good Bye to dafties like Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, and Buchanan. And, for that matter, to some of the spawn of Bugnini and all that 'Spirit of the Council' rubbish about the Eucharist being essentially a meal. Thank heaven that the C of E got it right at the 'Reformation', with the unambiguous statement of the Convocation of Canterbury in 1559 that "In the Mass is offered the true Body of Christ and His true Blood, a propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead".
Dom Gregory Dix, the masterly mystagogue of our Patrimony, wrote about the Easter Vigil: "It appears that in the Roman rite c. A.D. 200 the lessons included Hosea 6 and the account of the Israelite Passover in Exodus 12 ... the paschal liturgy of Asia Minor agreed with that of Rome at least in including the lesson from Exodus ... it is probable that the points on which their paschal liturgies agreed in that period are independent survivals of a rite drawn up at a very early date indeed ... nothing could more clearly indicate the close connection of the christian and jewish 'passover' than the choice of this lesson. There followed a lection from the gospel of John, the account of the death and resurrection of our Lord ... the choice of lessons is in the exact spirit of S Paul's phrase 'Christ our passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast with joy' " It was Dix's view that this liturgy was a "liturgy of 'Redemption' rather than a commemoration of the historical fact of the resurrection". He regarded the separation of the observance of the Death from that of the Resurrection (both being seen in primarily historical terms) as part of the 'Historicisation' of Liturgy, leading to the invention of Good Friday and the transference to that day of the readings from Hosea 6 and Exodus 12.
This reading of the situation by Dix has been under a bit of a cloud in recent decades. Perhaps it's due for a revival.