LI 204 - The Celebrating Church

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Module Level

8 (Undergraduate)

Time Allowance

Lectures: 24 hours Tutorials: 3 hours; Tutorial Assignments (three 600 to 800 word reflection papers): 8 hours


Tutorials: 30% Continuous Assessment: 20% End of semester examination: 50%

Module Aims

This course will introduce students to the liturgy of the Christian Church. 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 ritual nature of liturgical celebration, the role of public prayer in the life of the Church and an introduction to the Sacraments of Christian Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.

Indicative Syllabus

Getting started: Expectations, Outlines and Assessments

Defining liturgy, worship and ritual?

Language, symbol and ritual communication.

Rites of passage and liturgical celebration

The origins and development of Christian liturgy. What is a Rite?

From Jerusalem to Rome: The growth of a Rite.

The Age of Constantine

Medieval Christianity and its celebrations

Crisis, Division and Reform: The Reformations

The liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

Reading the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy

The Sacraments of Christian Initiation

Liturgy in Space and Time

The cult of the saints

Contemporary Concerns and liturgical developments


  • Ferrone, Rita, Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Mahwah: Paulist Press, 2007.
  • Ramshaw, Gail, Christian Worship, 100,000 Sundays of Symbols and Rituals, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009.
  • Day, Juliette, Reading the Liturgy : An exploration of texts in Christian Worship,(London: T&T Clark, 2014).
  • Mitchell, Nathan, Meeting Mystery (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2006).