The cup of discipleship

Thomas O?Loughlin

What is the significance of drinking from the cup at the Eucharist?? Is it merely a 'fuller sign' or a 'more complete ritual experience'? This article examines its uniqueness as a ritual and its place as an affirmation of baptismal commitment. Thomas O'Loughlin is Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham.

Whilst our common memory of the origin of the Eucharist in the ?Last Supper? is that Jesus took ?bread and wine? (a recollection that emphasises the distinct materials), by contrast all our early texts notice that he took ?a cup.?1 And that it was filled with wine is then inferred from a subsequent statement found in the Synoptic Tradition: ?Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.?2

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