I found this quote nearly 30 years ago and I keep it bookmarked in the source. It is in Cairns, Earle E., Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church (Zondervan:Grand Rapids) 1981, pp. 83.
Quoting from The First Apology by Justin Martyr (A.D. 150-155) and the Didache (A.D. 90-150), Cairns records:
“The service, which was held on “the day of the sun,” started with reading of the “memoirs” of the apostles” or “the writings of the prophets” for a period “as long as time permits.” An exhortation or homily based on the reading was then given by the “president” (note the “president” would be the current presiding elder or male member – Scott). The congregation then stood for prayer. The celebration of the Lord’s Supper followed the kiss of peace. the elements of bread and “water and wine” were dedicated by thanksgiving and prayers to which the people responded by an “Amen.” The deacons then distributed them to the homes of those unable to be present at the meeting. They finally took up a collection for aid to widows and orphans, the sick, prisoners, and strangers. The meeting was then dismissed, and all the people made their way to their homes.”
What strikes me is the similarity to what the worship assemblies I experienced in my youth and continue to experience each Sunday.
If you want to see what a worship assembly was like for the apostles and Christians in the late first and early second century, come be our guest and worship with us at Central Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa.