Joint Liturgical Studies 80: Ancient Church Orders

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The ‘church orders’ of the patristic period, beginning with the Didache from Syria around 100 AD and running on for centuries from different regions of the Roman Empire and the East, have always attracted the interest of liturgical scholars, and have not infrequently then led to actual modern liturgical proposals. It is regularly recognized that in various ways ancient orders from any one generation not only drew upon earlier texts, but often also adapted them. Theories as to the inter-relation of the orders have abounded. This fine Study by Paul Bradshaw enables the various church orders to be viewed overall, in order to give a rational picture of the intriguing patterns of dependence and of separate development, all inevitably made the harder for students to understand by the sheer lack of so much evidence which we do not possess.