Apringius ( Latin Commentaries on Revelation (Ancient Christian Texts) , 43) follows a common tradition in interpreting the scroll in Revelation 5 as the Old Testament, once sealed and concealed and now revealed by the Lamb. On this interpretation, the seals of the book represent moments in the life of Jesus: “The seven seals are these: First, incarnation; second, birth; third, passion; fourth, death; fifth, resurrection; sixth, glory; seventh, kingdom. These seals, therefore, are Christ.”

As William Weinrich explains in his translator’s introduction, this interpretation reflected rites in the Mozarabic liturgy: “Upon recital of the Nicene Creed the priest took the largest host which is consecrated and broke it into two pieces. From one piece he further broke the host into five pieces and from the other part into four, arranging them on the paten in the form of a cross.” Each piece corresponded to a moment in the life of Jesus,and the rite was intended “to teach the faithful concerning the mystery of the Faith in which they participated when partaking of the Supper of the Risen Christ” (xxxi).

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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