Christian History Project. This site contains the text of 12 volumes on the history of mankind over the last 2,000 years written from a 'collectively-denominational' Christian perspective.

Early Church Worship |
Second-century Christian worship

Early Church Worship is drawn from Chapter Nine, beginning on page 258, of Volume Two, A Pinch of Incense of the twelve-volume historical series The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years. If you would like to order this book please visit www.TheChristians.info.

Justin’s description of a church service is the first postbiblical record

Early Church Worship - Second-century Christian worship

Early Church Worship – Second-century Christian worship
This fresco from the third-century Catacomb of Callistus, Rome shows the sharing of the Eucharist. The belief that the Eucharist represented “both flesh and blood for our salvation” was seized upon by opponents as proof that Christians indulged in ritual cannibalism.

At the end of the prayers, we greet one another with a kiss. Then the president of the brethren is brought bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he takes them, and offers up praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and gives thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at his hands.

When he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their joyful assent by saying Amen. . . . Then those whom we call deacons give to each of those present the bread and wine mixed with water, over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and carry away a portion to those who are absent.

We call this food “Eucharist,” which no one is allowed to share unless he or she believes that the things which we teach are true, and has been washed with the washing that is for remission of sins and unto a second birth, and is living as Christ has commanded.

We do not receive them as common bread and common drink; but as Jesus Christ our Savior, having been made flesh by the word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation. . . . For the apostles, in the memoirs called Gospels composed by them, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, said, This do in remembrance of me, this is my body; and that, in a similar way, having taken the cup and given thanks, he said, This is my blood; and gave it to them alone.

This is the end of the Early Church Worship category article drawn from Chapter Nine, beginning on page 258, of Volume Two, A Pinch of Incense. To continue reading more about Early Church Worship from The Christians, Their First Two Thousand Years we suggest experiencing the rest of the book, complete with hundreds of magnificent illustrations, by ordering it at www.TheChristians.info