Schwartz, Daniel L. 2013. Paideia and Cult: Christian Initiation in Theodore of Mopsuestia. Hellenic Studies Series 57. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_SchwartzD.Paideia_and_Cult.2013.
5. Teaching Liturgy and Performing Theology
Communicating Awe-Inspiring Rites
Clerical Roles and Heavenly Reality
Heretics had liturgical symbols, perhaps even ones that appeared to be the same as those taught by Theodore, but he insisted that they were empty, offering only a hollow imitation of the true Christian worship. Bolstered by this conviction, Theodore ridiculed the sacraments of the heretics by comparing them to a farcical play or base pantomime. 
In the drama of the liturgy, the priest portrayed Christ and acted out his service in heaven. Theodore drew such a tight connection between the sign and the thing signified that he felt the need in this case to point out to his audience that the priest did not offer up himself as a sacrifice; the analogy between Christ and the priest did not extend that far.
Physical Participation in the Liturgy
The orarium thus represented the newfound freedom from Satan that the catechumens had secured through the exorcism. Again clothing reinforced the spiritual reality that had taken place through the rites.
Signing and anointing
Theodore wanted the catechumens to understand that the sign of the cross struck fear in the hearts of the demons. Thus they need not worry about diabolical attack. The demons could see from afar that Christians bore the mark of God and would hesitate to attack them. One must also note the reason that the sign frightened the demons. It demonstrated the confidence of the Christian who had entered into the presence of God and who had looked him in the face as one of his own.
Theodore maintained a constant tension between the possession of the benefits of Christianity and the future fulfillment. The vision of the Christian life that he offered to the catechumens is therefore thoroughly eschatological.  The rites of initiation and sustenance consistently increase in their profundity, but the fulfillment comes only at the resurrection. His holistic approach thus incorporated every aspect of his students’ being into the liturgical experience, and he attempted to present each stage as possessing its own crescendo while always directing them to place their hope in a future consummation.
Theodore’s emphasis on the eucharist in this passage has a dual focus. First, he must emphasize the awe-inspiring nature of the eucharistic meal. Thus his sermon effectively presents an ekphrasis on the liturgy. He explains in lofty language the events that take place during that ritual, seeking to make them present to the catechumens who have never experienced them. He is teaching them how to engage in the ritual.
Theodore employs a similar notion of the power of fantasies (šragrāgyātā).  Fantasies engage the intellect and emotions to make imagined things real to the person good at using them. Particularly vivid description, the kind that Theodore hoped to provide, could produce the feeling of “meeting face-to-face the characters in the orator’s story.”  Thus the benefit of such engagement was a personal encounter with the subject of the liturgy’s ekphrasis, Christ himself. Theodore hoped to produce Christians who were euphantasiōtos, who had powerful skills of imagination that were focused on seeing heaven in their regular worship.
Mingana translates the sentence, “They have also an apparel which is consonant with their office, since their outer garment is taller than they are, as wearing such an apparel in such a way is suitable to those who serve” (WS 6.84). What it means for the garment of the deacon to be “taller than they are” is unclear. Tonneau and Devreesse (Homélies Catéchétiques, p501) translate this phrase as “parce que plus sublime qu’eux.” This comes much closer to the meaning of the text. The garment is more sublime than or superior to the deacon himself. Theodore refers to the common practice of wealthy families dressing their household slaves in fine clothing. The clothing denoted a service to a superior master.
Mingana renders this as, “They do not place the stole on their neck in a way that it floats on either side but not in front, because there is no one serving in a house who wears such an apparel” (WS 6.84–85). A better translation is, “They do not hang the stole upon their neck from both sides without it being in front of them.” The point, however, is clear enough. They wear their stole in the same way as domestic servants.
On the tattooing of soldiers, see Jones 1987.