An early liturgy?

I am significantly underinformed about early Christian worship, and I’m sure there are one or more books that could help me with this. Still, I wonder from time to time what those folks considered a proper worship service. So I was interested to run across this passage in a letter from Pliny, governor of Pontus/Bithynia 111-113 AD, to the Emperor Trajan, wondering how to properly handle those in his jurisdiction who were accused of being Christian:

They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food–but ordinary and innocent food.

Now that sounds like the kind of service I could get behind–especially the “ordinary and innocent food” part.


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