Domus Ecclesiae Church
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Domus Ecclesiae Church 165

Small to Large

Basilica drawingAmong the reasons for the transition from the house to the domus ecclesiae church or literally "the house church" were the size of the community and the diversity of activities being undertaken. By 250 AD, for example, the believers in Rome had rapidly increased in the population to approximately thirty thousand people. Growth such as this necessitated the remodeling of existing structures.

Formal Seating

Agape Love SignThe Christian church needed to accommodate a diversity of activities and this has left its impact on architectural features. In the "Dictionary of the Later New Testament and Its Development" edited by Ralph P. Martin and Peter H. Davids, the separation of the Eucharist, being the lord's Supper or the Holy Communion from the Agape feast which was the meal that preceded the service meant that dining arrangements and culinary facilities in the domus ecclesiae were no longer needed.✞

Dias and Throne

Domus EcclesiaeInstead of the informal household arrangement, formal seating was implemented including a throne, for the Bishop with the orientation toward the dais. or the raised platform. A distinction was made between the catechumens and full members, and particular features, such as baptismal fonts, were added. In this way, the transition was made from a meeting in a house to the "house church."

"Domus Ecclesiae Church"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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