The Apostolic Tradition, a church order which was compiled sometime in the third century and attributed to Hippolytus of Rome probably contains a text of a complete eucharistic prayer or anaphora. Although much of the text may have been typical of the eucharistic prayers in use in Rome at the time, some scholars suggest that it reflects the way in which a conservative bishop may have wished the Eucharist were celebrated.
Ordination is rooted in the need for order within the Christian community. It tends both to reflect and to shape the church’s life and witness amid changing historical circumstances. An important development in the post–New Testament period was the emergence of a three-office structure for ordained ministry (bishop, presbyter, deacon) and the subsequent transformation of that structure into a more authoritarian one as the church came to assume a public role in a wider cultural context.
Jewish table prayer, thought by some historians of liturgy to be the antecedent of the early Christian eucharistic prayer, evidences a threefold pattern of praise, remembrance, and petition. In a general way this sequence corresponds to the formula “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” in Christian worship. Thus, liturgical practice may have helped to shape classical Christian Trinitarianism.