Christian Worship 150 AD

Justin Martyr was a Samarian Christian who lived in the second century. He was a Platonist philosopher who was converted to Christianity and became a strong defender of the faith. In one of his works, “Apology of the Christian Religion”, written in around 150 AD, he describes a typical Christian worship service of that day.

“On that day which is called after the sun, all who live in the cities or in the country gather together in one place. Then the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits. After the reader has finished, the one presiding gives an address, and urgently admonishes his hearers to practice all these good things. Then all stand up together and pray, and as we said before, at the end of the prayer, the bread and wine-mixed-with-water are brought and the one presiding sends up prayers and thanksgivings to the best of his ability. The people ascent saying “Amen,” and then takes place the distribution to all attending of the things over which the thanksgiving has been spoken, and the deacons bring a portion to the absent. And those who are prosperous, and who so wish, give what each thinks fit, and what is collected is deposited with the one presiding, and he takes care of the orphans and widows, and those who through sickness or any other cause are in want, and those who are in prison, and the strangers who are sojourning with us. He, in a word, takes care of all who are in need.”

This was the style and content of Christian worship established by the Apostles and practiced by the early church clearly described by one who witnessed and participated in it, and it is the same style of worship we continue to have today in the church of Christ.

Rest assured, therefore, that if Justin Martyr were to visit our assembly this Sunday, he would feel quite at home.