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Early Christian Worship
A Basic Introduction to Ideas and Practice – Second edition
by Paul Bradshaw
Publisher:SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published:23 October 2010
First edition published 1996.
Paul Bradshaw is Professor of Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame, USA and has written a book that does exactly what its title claims. Early Christian Worship is a scholarly and readable guide to the practice of Christian worship in the first four centuries. The author describes what forms worship took and also why it developed in the way it did. Far from being any one universal pattern for worship, those early days saw much experiment, change and development as ideas and understanding progressed. The book has three sections: Christian Initiation, Eucharist and Liturgical Time. Christian Initiation covers issues of baptism from its earliest contrasting practices in Syria and North Africa to the later spread of infant baptism. Eucharist examines rites and theology from the Last Supper to the formalised Eucharist of the fourth century. Liturgical Time shows how the patterns of daily prayer developed and also the cyclical patterns of time with which they were familiar, e.g. Sunday, Easter, Christmas etc. Early Christian Worship provides a comprehensive overview of those early years and will help in understanding our early Christian heritage.
Reviewer: Graham Wise (21/02/11)