Bryan D Spinks

The fourth to the seventh centuries represent a period of considerable change as well as continuity for the Christian churches, and this was true of their worship. The Constantinian peace afforded the opportunity for new spacious church buildings, and a more public celebration of liturgy with more elaborate forms. The doctrinal battles of the fourth and fifth centuries - Arianism, Eunomianism, the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Trinity, and the later struggle between Cyril and Nestorius - left their marks on worship forms and texts.1 The development of the monastic movement, with its concern for constant prayer, also influenced worship patterns. A Spanish nun named Egeria visited the Holy Land c. 382, and kept a travelogue for her sisters back in Spain. Of worship in Jerusalem during Lent, Egeria wrote:

On Sundays the bishop reads the Gospel of the Lord's resurrection at first cockcrow, as he does on every Sunday throughout the year. Then till daybreak, they do everything as they would on an ordinary Sunday at the Anastasis and the Cross. In the morning they assemble (as they do every Sunday) in the Great Church called the Mysterium on Golgotha behind the Cross, and do what is usual to do on Sunday. After the dismissal in this church they go singing, as they do every Sunday, to the Anastasis, and it is after eleven o'clock by the time they have finished. Lucernare [service of lighting candles] is at the normal time when it always takes place in the Anastasis and At the Cross and in all other holy places; for on Sundays there is no service at three o'clock.2

Egeria reveals a well-established liturgical calendar, and she describes the various weekday services in the holy city Some are attended by monks and nuns, the 'monazontes and parthenae; others are for the laity and clergy, too, witnessing to a vibrant worshipping community. What is more, worship was not

1 For example, doxologies which seem to subordinate the Son or the Spirit were replaced, references to Christ as 'your servant' become more rare; phraseology from the Christo-logical disputes finds its way into the prayers.

2 Egeria's Travels 27.2-5; trans. Wilkinson, 148-9.

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