Dix, Gregory. The Shape of the Liturgy. 2nd ed. London:Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005 (republished from 1945 original edition).
Chapter 17, “Throughout All Ages, World Without End.” pp. 735-752
Dix uses this chapter to make closing remarks about liturgical renewal. First, he observes that true change is accomplished as people take up eucharistic practices, then find their hearts and minds are influenced by the practice (Dix 2006, 735). As far as a study of history is concerned, we know very little about the ante-Nicene liturgy, especially prior to about 125 (Ibid., 736). By understanding the changes over history we may be more likely to understand our own tendencies as well (Ibid., 738). Additionally, liturgy helps us look back in time. “Just because liturgy is apt to be more conservative than theology, the later liturgical prayers often illuminate the earlier fathers and are in turn illuminated by them in a very remarkable fashion” (Ibid., 740). The shape of the liturgy has remained so very consistent through so many years that it is hard to imagine it not being present from the very start (Ibid., 744). Unlike other rituals, this is one very firmly based in a definitive act of Jesus which he commanded to be done and remembered. The communion, in short, is what draws all Christians together, across time and space.