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.
The faithfulness of Christian martyrs had a great influence on those who witnessed their courage and, as a result, countless men and women converted to the faith.
Polycarp (c. 69-c . 155) was an early church father. He was a disciple to the apostle John. A link between those who had witnessed the life and teachings of Christ and the 2nd century church, his writings take on special meaning when he refers to New Testament events and to Pauline letters.
Irenaeus (c. 2nd century) was born somewhere in western Asia Minor, probably Smyrna. He studied religion and philosophy under Polycarp, the bishop of Smyrna.