In almost all the liturgies that I have read need is felt for a mediator between the seeker after God and his goal. Mithras himself saw a Mesîtês, a Mediator, between Ormuzd and Ahriman, but the ordinary mediator is more like an interpreter or an adept with inner knowledge which he reveals to the outsider.
Form was especially sought after under the old monarchies, Egyptian and Assyrian. The exaggerated Oriental court etiquette, introduced into Roman life as early as the time of Diocletian, was maintained and developed under the Byzantine emperors. These usages may have affected the growth of the Greek and Roman Church liturgies.
It would seem from St. Justin's apology, that much was left to the particular devotion of the bishop or priest who offered mass, and hence we might expect not to find in the earliest liturgies great uniformity, except in essentials and general outline.
Ah! to be earthed up among them, sheltered from the herd, not to know what books appear, what newspapers are printed, never to know what goes on outside one's cell, among men to complete the beneficent silence of this cloistered life, nourishing ourselves with good actions, refreshing ourselves with plain song, saturating ourselves with the inexhaustible joys of the liturgies. Then, who knows?
Sometimes their characters are described. Yet one looks in vain in either the "Notices," poems, or liturgies for anything definite in regard to these deities, or concerning morals or doctrines to be held as dogmas. The first gods come into existence after evolution of the matter of which they are composed has taken place.
These monuments of history, poetry and liturgies are the "Kojiki," or Notices of Ancient Things; the "Manyöshu" or Myriad Leaves or Poems, and the "Norito," or Liturgies. The Ancient Documents. The first book, the "Kojiki," gives us the theology, cosmogony, mythology, and very probably, in its later portions, some outlines of history of the ancient Japanese.
Homer, Euripides, and other poets lay on the floor, having apparently been hurriedly dislodged to make room for divers liturgies and lives of the saints. A set of episcopal robes depended from a hook, and on a side table stood half-a-dozen mitres, which, to all appearance, the designated prelate had been trying on.
The hestiasis was intended for sacred objects, connected with the rites of hospitality, and served to confirm the friendly intercourse between the members of the tribe. These three ordinary liturgies had all a religious character; they were compulsory on those possessed of property not less than three talents they were discharged in turn by the tribes, except when volunteered by individuals.
The Buddhist liturgies have been written out in Chinese characters which reproduce the sounds of the original Indian language, and these the priests learn by heart without understanding a word of their meaning.
Few men in Athens either had, or deserved to have, a greater number of enemies, political as well as private, than Alcibiades; many of them being among the highest citizens, whom he offended by his insolence, and whose liturgies and other customary exhibitions he outshone by his reckless expenditure.