The first Christians were working-class. They worshiped in private houses around a communal meal, which began with the breaking of bread and ended with a blessing over wine, supervised by professional clergy. There were few official buildings and little Christian art. Contrary to popular belief, catacombs were not places of secret worship but burial chambers with space designated for funeral services. Christians objected to cremation, but most were too poor to buy land for their tombs, as wealthy Romans did, so they dug underground passages for communal burial. Modest, simple, and explicitly Christian, their

decorative art emphasized salvation through belief.