LI 400 Foundations of Worship

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Module Level


Time Allowance

4 hours on campus lectures during the weekend residentials (divided between 2 weekends) 6 hours live on-line lectures on Wednesday evening, 6 hours of self-directed learning, Assignment – 15 hours, Private Study – 24 hours.


Course Project 100%

Module Aims

  • To provide the student with critical skills in exploring the nature and history of Christian Liturgy
  • To foster an understanding of the human need for ritual
  • To focus on the nature of particular liturgical celebrations

Indicative Syllabus:

Beginning with the scriptural foundations of Christian liturgy, the course will explore its historical development and theological grounding. Particular attention will be paid to the Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist; Liturgical Space and the Christian Ordering of Time. Reference will be made to important liturgical documents, in particular Sacrosanctum Concilium, Lumen Gentium and the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.

Learning Outcomes

  • • To reflect critically on liturgical texts
  • • To give a detailed description of the development, structure and the nature of the celebration of Christian Liturgy
  • • To introduce the concept of Initiation and how Christians are ‘made’
  • • To clearly explain the nature of Eucharistic praying
  • • To present the Christian understanding and celebration of time
  • • To distinguish historical and theological arguments
  • • To understand current liturgical norms
  • • To critically assess the practical application of liturgical norms in experience of “real-time” worship
  • • To research and present an assessed project


  • Paul Bradshaw, Eucharistic Origins (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
  • Louis-Marie Chauvet, The Sacraments (Collegeville: Pueblo Books, 2001).
  • Gail Ramshaw, Christian Worship. 100,000 Sundays of Symbols and Rituals, (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009).
  • Liam G. Walsh, “Liturgy in the Theology of St. Thomas.” The Thomist 38 (1974): 557-83. “Sacraments.” In The Theology of Thomas Aquinas, edited by Rik van Nieuwenhove and Joseph Wawrykow, 326-364. (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005).
  • James F. White, A Brief History of Christian Worship (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1993). • Introduction to Catholic Worship (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2000).
  • Donald A. Withey, Catholic Worship: An Introduction to Liturgy (Oregon: Wipt and Stock, 2002).