This study considers what Christian worship has "meant" to its contemporaries across the centuries. It treats different episodes in the history of the Christian Church, and applies to each episode the questions, "Why did Christians go to church? Why worship? What happened to them there, substantively and otherwise, and how did they respond?" With these particular queries as well as passages from contemporary theological and liturgical texts as a starting-point, Cheung Salisbury carefully explores the evidence for the functions of Christian worship and argues that the purpose and function of worship in Christian life has never been static, and the particular approach of different periods to the liturgy has been moderated by wider cultural influences, by theological developments and changes, and by the particular circumstances in which the worship was carried out.
Establishing the intent that all forms of worship historically is in the service of God, Cheung Salisbury proposes the form of that worship, and more importantly the understanding (and effects) of liturgy and worship among and upon Christians can be as different as the circumstances of Christian living.