Secular Historical Quotes about the Worship of the EArly Church 


"[The Christians] affirmed, however, the whole of their guilt, or their error, was, that they were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day before it was light, when they sang in alternate verses a hymn to Christ, as to a god, and bound themselves by a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft or adultery, never to falsify their word, nor deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up; after which it was their custom to separate, and then reassemble to partake of food - but food of an ordinary and innocent kind."


"We always remember one another. Those who have provide for all those in want. And on the day called Sunday there is a gathering together in the same place of all who live in a city or a rural district. The memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits. Then when the reader ceases, the president in a discourse admonishes and urges the imitation of these good things. Next we all rise together and send up prayers. And, as I said before, when we cease from our prayer, bread is presented and wine and water. The president in the same manner sends up prayers and thanksgivings according to his ability, and the people sing out their assent saying the 'Amen.' A distribution and participation of the elements for which thanks have been given is made to each person, and to those who are not present it is sent by the deacons. Those who have means and are willing, each according to his own choice, gives what he wills, and what is collected is deposited with the president. He provides for the orphans and widows, those who are in want on account of sickness or some other cause, those who are in bonds and strangers who are sojourning, and in a word he becomes the protector of all who are in need."


"We are a body with a common feeling of religion, a unity of discipline, and a covenant of hope. We meet together in an assembly and congregation so that praying to God we may win him over by the strength of our prayers. This kind of force is pleasing to God. We pray also for emperors, for their servants and those in authority, for the order of the world, for peaceful circumstances, for the delay of the end. We meet together in order to read the sacred texts, if the nature of the times compels us to warn about or recognize anything present. In any case, with the holy words we feed our faith, we arouse our hope, we confirm our confidence."

Clement of Alexandria:

"Always giving thanks in all things to God through righteous hearing and divine reading, true inquiry, holy oblation, blessed prayer, praising, hymning, blessing, singing, such a soul is never separated from God at any time. Those who gave reverence to the discourse about God leave inside what they heard and outside lounge idly with the atheists . . . Those who sing such and sing in response are those who before hymned immortality."

Acts of John:

"On the next day, since it was the Lord's day and all the brethren were assembled, John began to say to them . . . And having spoken these things to them, he prayed thus: [the prayer is addressed to Jesus Christ] . . . And he asked for bread and gave thanks thus: [again addressed to Christ] . . . And he broke bread and gave to us all, praying for each of the brethren to be worthy of the Lord's grace of the most holy eucharist. When he himself likewise tasted of it he said, 'May I have a part with you, and peace be with you, beloved.'"


"Wherever we are, we are all called after the one name of Christ - Christians. On one day, the first of the week, we assemble ourselves together . . ."

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