Artemylla’s Dismissal (Acts of Paul IX, 21)

When Paul baptized Artemylla, he dismissed her to Jerome (IX, 21) ἀπέλυσεν πρὸς Ἰερώνυμον τὸν ἄνδρα αὐτης.  Now it is curious that Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church (3.469-70, n. 3 [ § 90]), explains where the etymology of the term “Mass” in the Western church:

Missa is equivalent to missio, dismissio, and meant originally the dismission of the congregation after the service by the customary formula: Ite, missa est (ecclesia). After the first part of the service the catechumens were thus dismissed by the deacon, after the second part the faithful. But with the fusion of the two parts in one, the formula of dismission was used only at the close, and then it came to signify also the service itself, more especially the eucharistic sacrifice. In the Greek church the corresponding formula of dismission was: ἀπολύεσθε ἐν εἰρήνῃ, i.e., ite in pace (Apost. Const. lib. viii. c. 15). Ambrosius is the first who uses missa, missam facere (Ep. 20), for the eucharistic sacrifice.

It is not unreasonable, then, to suggest that this reference is evidence that the Eucharistic service ended already in the second century with an official dismissal from the leader.

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