Daniélou, Jean, S.J. "Introduction." The Bible and the Liturgy." Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1956.
Daniélou sets out to analyze the actual significance of the sacraments as they contribute to Christian worship, hoping to create a greater understanding of the value of this part of the Christian life (Daniélou 1956, 3). He considers the typological nature of biblical interpretation to be an essential feature of our study, noting that Old Testament ideas serve as the foundation for an early Christian understanding of sacraments and liturgy (Daniélou 1956, 4). The typological view taken by Daniélou implies an eschatological view of the work of Christ in the Church. He considers the sacraments to bear a miraculous efficacy (Daniélou 1956, 5).
The sacraments contain both a visible sign, such as water, and a particular significance of the symbol. The sacraments, coming ultimately from Jewish roots, bore significance within Jewish liturgy already when they were adopted by Christians (Daniélou 1956, 6). As an example of the importance of the significance, Daniélou considers baptism, which is routinely treated as reminiscent of the Flood and the crossing of the Red Sea. The significance of the water, then, would seem to be that of death and destruction rather than washing. However, water is also seen as a beginning of life. These ideas may come together in baptism (Daniélou 1956, 7). Daniélou sees that later symbolic accretions may have served to obscure an original interpretation of a sacrament. Finding the original interpretation is helpful in the ongoing accurate elaboration of theology (Daniélou 1956, 8).
The first through third centuries provide us with little testimony, which is problematic in my particular interest area. Daniélou suggests as the best sources we look first to the Fourth Gospel, then Hippolytus' Traditio Apostolica (Daniélou 1956, 8). Tertullian's De Baptismo could be of use, but due to the secretive nature of the eucharistic celebration we do not find corresponding work related to communion. The paschal concept, however, appears in Melito of Sardis' Homily on the Passion (ed. Campbell Bonner, Studies and Documents 1940) (Daniélou 1956, 9). In Danielou's view this takes us up to the fourth century and out of the time period of my immediate interest.
Daniélou discusses the fourth century works of Cyril of Jerusalem and, toward the end of the century, of Ambrose of Milan (Daniélou 1956, 10-11). These works particularly discuss the orderly reception of baptism and the significance of the water. At the very end of the fourth century, Theodore of Mposuestia gave his Catechetical Homilies, which we have in Syriac (Daniélou 1956, 12). Theodore does use typology, but , unlike the earlier authors, he does not use figures from the Old TEstament other than Adam (Daniélou 1956, 13).
Daniélou's next stop is in the sixth century, with Peudo-Dionysius, where little attention is given to an explanation of the physical elements but more to the symbolic importance of the overal sacramental events (Daniélou 1956, 15). Daniélou then mentions numerous homilies and treatises which he considers to be of lesser importance (Daniélou 1956, 16-17). Though these are later than I would like, they may prove to be of some use.