The fundamental pattern of early Christian worship continued to develop through the fourth and fifth centuries. However, “families” of liturgical practice began to emerge, and styles of worship varied from one Christian region to the other. By this time, one can begin to speak of “Eastern” and “Western” characteristics of Christian liturgy.
Worship during the second and third centuries continued to follow the course set by New Testament liturgical traditions. Consequently, the discussion of worship during this period centered on the significance of baptism and of the Eucharist, understood in its full content of the service of Word and of the Lord’s table.
Worship in the New Testament period was ordered around baptism and the Eucharist. Baptism marks the entrance of the believer into the worshiping community, while the Lord’s Supper, together with the teaching of the Scriptures, forms the content of the worship gathering.