PT 431: Prayer Leadership

Home / Modules / Pt-prayer-leadership

Module Level

9/8/7: MTh/HDip/Dip

Time Allowance

Semesters 1 and 2 [20 weeks]



Module Aims

This course will provide both an experiential and theological introduction to the personal and communal prayer of the Scriptures, as well a theoretical underpinning to the leading of public prayer in a given Christian community.

In its introduction to the prayer of the Scriptures, this course introduces participants to the discipline and tradition of lectio divina. Correspondingly, it has three emphases—the art of attending to biblical discourse for prayer (lectio), the art of seeing one’s personal life and all life in the light of Christ (meditatio), and the art of expressing and embodying our relationship with God (oratio). As they gain a certain facility in the practice of lectio divina, participants begin to explore the theology embodied in the discipline, with a particular emphasis on the textuality, otherness, and sacramentality of Scripture.

Beginning with the insights of ritual theory, the participants will be introduced to some basic ideas in ritual theory and how it is useful in preparing, celebrating and reflecting on Christian liturgy. In a second moment, the ritual books for the Pastoral Care of the Sick and the Order of Christian Funerals will be presented as a model of how liturgical books are structured and are to be read. Issues of inculturation feature in this part of the module. Particular interests of participants will also form part of this section of the module.

Course Structure:

The course will consist of practice in lectio divina, formal input, as well as class discussions based on the assigned readings, lectures and pastoral practice. Assignments will sharpen critical analysis and research skills in the field.

Learning Outcomes

  • Participants will be introduced to the practice of lectio divina, how to resource and lead it in a community setting, as well as deepening their capacity to permit the prayer of the Word to nourish private and public prayer, and the proclamation of the gospel.
  • Participants will study the ritual dimensions and historical sources of the liturgical celebration and will begin to interpret these elements in their cultural and theological contexts.
  • Participants will come to recognise the theological issues in liturgical texts, ritual celebration, and the setting of worship.
  • Participants will gain a competence in leading both communal lectio divina and public prayer, and will be able to distinguish public prayer from private prayer.


  • Catherine Bell, Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Paul Bradshaw and John Melloh, editors, Foundations in Ritual Studies. A Reader for Students of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007.
  • Anscar J. Chupungco, What, Then, is Liturgy? Musings and Memoir, Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2010.
  • Benjamin Gordon-Taylor and Juliette Day, editors, The Study of Liturgy and Worship London: SPCK, 2013.
  • Ronald Grimes, The Craft of Ritual Studies Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • H. Richard Rutherford, The Death of a Christian: The Order of Christian Funerals Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1980, 2nd 1990.
  • Liam M. Tracey and Thomas R. Whelan, editors, Serving Liturgical Renewal. Pastoral and Theological Questions, Dublin: Veritas, 2015.
  • Enzo Bianchi. Praying the Word: an Introduction to Lectio Divina. Kalamazoo: Cistercian Publications, 1998.
  • Michael Casey OCSO. Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina. Ligouri, MS: Triumph Books, 1996.
  • —————. Toward God: The Ancient Wisdom of Western. Ligouri, MS: Triumph Books, 1996.
  • Santiago Guijarro Oporto, “The Bible at the Centre of the Life and Pastoral Work of the Churches.” Bulletin Dei Verbum 50 (1999): 11–16.
  • Harry Hagan OSB and Christian Raab OSB, editors, The Tradition of Catholic Prayer. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2008.
  • Kenneth Hagen, editor. The Bible in the Churches: How Various Christians Interpret the Scriptures. Third Edition. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 1998.
  • Mariano Magrassi OSB. Praying the Bible: An Introduction to Lectio Divina. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1998.
  • Carlo Maria Martini. “Lectio Divina and Pastoral Life.” Pages 103–10 in Salvatore Panimolle, editor. Like the Deer that Yearns. Slough: St Paul’s. 1990.
  • Carlo Maria Martini, La Dimensione Contemplativa della Vita [The Contemplative Dimension of Life: A Pastoral Letter for the Diocese of Milan—September 1980]. Milan: Centro Ambrosiano, 2018.
  • Sandra M. Schneiders, The Revelatory Text. Interpreting the New Testament as Sacred Scripture. Second Edition. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1999.
  • Raymond Studzinski OSB. Reading to Live: The Evolving Practice of Lectio Divina. Cistercian Studies 231; Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2009.
  • Rowan Williams. “The Church as Sacrament.” International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church 10 (2010): 6–12
  • Frances M. Young, The Art of Performance: Towards a Theology of Holy Scripture. London: Darton, Longman, and Todd, 1990.