The Early North African Liturgy

It is thought that North Africa was the birthplace of Latin Christianity. Because of Muslim expansion, however, the church did not survive in North Africa beyond the eighth century. Since no actual texts of the ancient North African liturgy are extant, the outline of the rite can only be reconstructed from other sources.

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Rise of the Monophysite churches of the Near East

The Coptic descendants of the old Egyptians set up a patriarch of their own at Alexandria. He also became the recognized head of the Abyssinian church. Most of the Armenians withdrew from fellowship with the Orthodox and organized their own hierarchy.

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Tertullian, Quintus Septimius Florens

Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullian (c. 160- c. 220) was born in Carthage, North Africa. He studied law as a young man. In about 195 he converted to Christianity and spent the rest of his life utilizing his skills as a rhetorician to defend the faith against pagan philosophies and heresies.

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Cyprian, Thascius Caecilius

Thascius Caecilius Cyprian (c. 200-258) was the son of a wealthy Roman officer. He led a privileged life as a young man and received an excellent education. As an adult he became a Christian and turned his back on his family’s affluence to embrace the study of the Scriptures and asceticism.

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Augustine, Aurelius

Aurelius Augustine (354-430) was one of the church’s great theologians. Augustine converted to Christianity at the age of 33 due largely to the influence of his devout mother, Monica.

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