Worship in the Early Church: Recommended Resources
Twentieth-century liturgical scholarship has searched for the origins of Christian worship.
The most recent conclusions are set forth by Paul F. Bradshaw in The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship (SPCK, 1992). Bradshaw challenges most current scholarship and argues that little can be known about early Christian worship. According to him, most documents describing early Christian worship are written later than assumed and have been reshaped by various layers of tradition.
However, the search for early Christian worship continues, concentrating on its Jewish roots. Three helpful recent works are: Carmine Di Sante, Jewish Prayer: The Origins of Christian Liturgy (Paulist, 1991); Eugene Fisher, The Jewish Roots of Christian Liturgy (Paulist, 1990); and Paul F. Bradshaw and Lawrence A. Hoffman, The Making of Jewish and Christian Worship (Notre Dame, 1991).
A number of books probe particular issues of worship in the early church. For example, the daily office [schedule of prayer] in cathedrals and monasteries is studied in Paul F. Bradshaw, Daily Prayer in the Early Church (Oxford, 1982).
The Eucharist of the early Christians is treated in Gregory Dix and Henry Chadwick, eds., The Treatise on the Apostolic Tradition of R. Hippolytus of Rome (Morehouse, 1992); and in Willy Rordorf, et al., The Eucharist of the Early Christians (Pueblo, 1978).
An excellent study in the Christian year is Thomas J. Talley, The Origins of the Liturgical Year (Pueblo, 1986).
An excellent resource of primary materials on evangelism and worship is Edward Jarnold, The Awe-lnspiring Rites of Initiation (Middlegreen, Slough: St. Paul, 1971). A helpful introduction to the relationship between worship and evangelism in the early church is ...