For anyone wanting a very easy and accessible introduction to the early history of Christian worship, this is the book for you. Extensively referenced and with a wonderful bibliography, Bradshaw’s book has just enough detail to whet one’s appetite for a great study using those sources (if one is so inclined).
Focussing on the fundamental liturgical celebrations of baptism and eucharist, and also looking at liturgical time, it is possible to see the development of Christian worship from the Scriptural practices to the more developed ritual that evolved as the life of the Church evolved.
From the back cover:
Early Christian Worship is a tried-and-tested, straightforward, readable introduction to worship in the first four centuries of the Church’s existence. It describes what Christians actually did but also explains why they acted as they did. Why did they choose some patterns instead of others? How did they see and understand their worship? What effect did all of this have on developing Christian ideas, and what effect did the ideas in turn have on the worship?
The new edition takes account of recent research by the author and others, which in some cases has led to different conclusions from those of earlier scholars. The bibliography has also been brought up to date.