Pre-Reformation Liturgies

Themes: Biblical, History, Liturgy, Scholar, Theology

The following entries provide the reader with an overview of the major liturgies and worship orders from the early church through the nineteenth century. Each entry has three distinctive features: Introduction, Text or Order or Worship, and Commentary. Each model is preceded by a brief introduction that puts the selection into its historical setting. For clarity, the text (or order of service) and the commentary are preceded by the words “Text” or “Commentary,” respectively. The commentary provides insight into the worship and experience of the worshiping community.

The material is arranged in a roughly chronological order so that the reader may gain a sense of the development of worship from the early church to the beginning of the twentieth century. Worship of the early church period followed the forms of worship that emerged in the New Testament period, namely that of Word and Table. In the first three centuries, worship was simple and plain in comparison to the elaborate ceremonial that developed in the fourth and fifth centuries and that continued to develop in the Middle Ages. In these entries, ancient Christian forms of worship are described in the Didache, Justin Martyr, and The Apostolic Tradition attributed to Hippolytus. The more complex and elaborate worship of the later periods of history are illustrated in the Byzantine and Roman texts.

  1. The Didache (A.D. 100)
  2. Justin Martyr: The First Apology
  3. The Apostolic Tradition Of Hippolytus (A.D. 215)
  4. The Byzantine Liturgy (Ninth Century) Part I
  5. The Byzantine Liturgy (Ninth Century) Part II
  6. The Byzantine Liturgy (Ninth Century) Part III
  7. The Roman Catholic Mass (1570) Part I
  8. The Roman Catholic Mass (1570) Part II
  9. The Roman Catholic Mass (1570) Part III
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