Schaff, Philip. "The Agape and the Eucharist." The Oldest Church Manual Called the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1886, 57-62.
Didache 9-10 presents "the oldest elements of a eucharistic service, but without the words of institution or any directions as to particular forms and ceremonies and posture of the communicants" (Schaff 1886, 57). Didache 14 again mentions the eucharist, tying it to Malachi 1:11, 14, which Schaff sees as a common connection in early Christianity.
After reproducing the prayers in an English translation, Schaff speaks of the early Christian tradition of the
Agape, a re-enactment of the last Passover recorded in the Gospels, being the context of communion, which was the culmination (Schaff 1886, 58). He details five distinct actions of the Passover, of which the Eucharist is the fourth step, after the main meal (Schaff 1886, 58-59).
By the early second century Schaff considers the meal to have been separated from the eucharist (Schaff 1886, 59). The two do not appear to be separated at the time of the Didache. It provides for three prayers, which could be associated with the Agape. There is reference to being filled. The third thanksgiving appears to be "a post-communion prayer " (Schaff 1886, 60).
Schaff observes that "the thanksgiving for the cup precedes the thanksgiving for the broken bread" (Schaff 1886, 60), which follow the order of events in Luke 22:17. He also notes "the warning after the third prayer" (Schaff 1886, 61) would be seen as calling catechumens to join with the church.
A third, and surprising, observation is "that there is no allusion to the atoning death of Christ" (Schaff 1886, 61). Schaff does see influence of John chapters 6 and 17, as well as the occasion for additional prayers. The actual given prayers, however, are not based on Christ's atoning dath.
Schaff notes that the prayers of the prophets in the Didache do not rever to any of the ecstatic gifts involved in 1 Corinthians 11-14 (Schaff 1886, 61). However, there is a preservation of considerable flexibility in the participation of various individuals (Schaff 1886, 62).