Apostolic Constitutions

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The Apostolic Constitutions are an eight-volume collection of independent but closely related treatises from the late fourth century . They deal with worship, church order and doctrine of the early church and are supposedly the work of the Twelve Apostles , whose instructions are said to have been collected and handed down by Clement of Rome .

It is a kind of manual for clergy and to some extent also for lay people. The last two books of the constitutions are based on the Didache ("Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles") and the later Didaskalia Apostolorum . Wherever known, they were generally valued very highly and often served as the basis for church legislation.

Today, as historical documents, they are of the greatest value as a source for the moral and religious circumstances and liturgical customs of the third and fourth centuries. Since the scriptures offer an insight into the life of the early church, they were important for the liturgical reform in the context of the Second Vatican Council .


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