That catechumens could not participate in the agape or love-feast (of which in this epoch the Eucharist was merely an episode) does not give to those feasts the character of a Greek mystery.
The custom which most resembles the eucharist and agape was that known as charistia described by Valerius Maximus ii.
These hetairiae or clubs were forbidden (except in cities formally allied to Rome) by Trajan and other emperors, as being likely to be centres of disaffection; and on this ground Pliny forbade the agape of the Bithynian churches, Christianity not being a lawful religion licensed for such gatherings.
The early Christian agape admitted of adaptation to the older funeral and sacrificial feasts, and was so adapted.
She watched him, mouth agape at the muscles outlined in his back and the tight ass.
Viii.) wrote that it is not lawful to baptize or hold an agape (Lord's Supper) without the bishop. So Tertullian (de Bapt.
It may represent the agape or Lord's Supper as a whole, of which the one loaf and cup formed an episode.
The Eucharist formed part of an agape or love feast until the end of the 2nd century, and in parts of Christendom continued to be so much later.
But when the Agape on one side and paganism on the other receded into a dim past, owing to the enhanced sacrosanctity of the Eucharist and because of the severe edicts of the emperor Theodosius and his successors, the psychological background fell away, and the Eucharist was left isolated and hanging in the air.
It is clear that at an earlier date the agape preceded the eucharist.