The liturgy which developed at Rome during the early centuries of the Christian era was to establish the pattern for religious observance in the Latin West from the sixth century to the twentieth. Yet, for a variety of reasons, the origins and early development of this liturgy are far from clear. Evidence must be teased out of the various incidental references to be found in the writings of the early Church Fathers; Hippolytus, Cyprian, Ambrose, Augustine and ultimately Gregory the Great.
In this book the late G.G. Willis draws on a lifetime's intimate knowledge of the liturgical evidence for early Roman practice in order to present a refreshingly clear guide to the early Roman liturgy - a subject for which there exists no accessible introduction in English. He provides a new synthesis of the most significant developments in the form of the Roman mass, calendar, episcopal services, rites of baptism and ordination up to the time of Gregory the Great (590-604).