The Eucharistic Assembly –
“With good reason, then, are we accustomed to have sacred meetings in churches on the eighth day. And, to adopt the language of allegory, as the idea necessarily demands, we indeed close the doors (St. Cyril is referring to the ancient church practice of closing the doors of the church at the time of the eucharist), but Christ still visits us and appears to us all, both invisibly as God and visibly in the body. He allows us to touch his holy flesh and give it to us. For through the grace of God we are admitted to partake of the blessed Eucharist, receiving Christ into our hands, to the intent that we may firmly believe that he did in truth raise up the temple of his body. … Participation in the divine mysteries, in addition to filling us with divine blessedness, is a true confession and memorial of Christ’s dying and rising again for us and for our sake. Let us, therefore, after touching Christ’s body, avoid all unbelief in him as utter ruin and rather be found well grounded in the full assurance of faith.”
– St. Cyril of Alexandria
This is from St. Cyril’s exegetical commentary on Jn. 20. For though “the doors were shut,” the Risen Lord appeared among his disciples and granted them the peace of the Kingdom of God. This was in the evening of the first day of the week, or the first day of Christ’s resurrection. The disciple Thomas was not there, so the Lord appeared again “eight days later.” Hence, the Lord’d Day – the Day of Resurrection – is both the first and eighth day of the week. This “eighth day” of liturgical time, actually lifts us outside of time, as the eighth day is the day of the eschaton, beyond the seven days that signify the fulness of time “in this world.” This takes us way beyond “attending church” on Sunday morning!