First Apology

And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles [=Acts, Epistles, Gospels] or the writings of the prophets are read [Note that in the very early church, the Old Testament was read in Liturgy; now we have Old Testament readings mostly in Vespers on feasts; Psalms, of course, are found in all the canonical services], as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president [=the priest or bishop] verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things [=the homily]. Then we all rise together and pray, and, as we before said, when our prayer is ended, bread and wine and water are brought [=our Great Entrance, through I imagine it was much simpler in Justin's day], and the president in like manner offers prayers and thanksgivings, according to his ability, and the people assent, saying Amen [=what we now call the anaphora, or Eucharistic Prayer; the Creed as we know it dates to the First and Second Ecumenical Councils, in the fourth century, so it was not available in Justin's day]; and there is a distribution to each, and a participation of that over which thanks have been given [=Communion], and to those who are absent a portion is sent by the deacons [Nowadays we take Communion to the sick and to those in prison]. And they who are well-to-do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need. But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly [=Liturgy], because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead. For He was crucified on the day before that of Saturn (Saturday); and on the day after that of Saturn, which is the day of the Sun, having appeared to His apostles and disciples, He taught them these things, which we have submitted to you also for your consideration. [Statements in bracket's have been inserted and are not part of the original text]