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23-10 Liturgical Theology is a Course

23-10 Liturgical Theology

Oct 23, 2023 - Dec 1, 2023

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Full course description

Partner dioceses receive discounted courses. This link provides a list of partner dioceses and discount codes to use when registering.


What is “liturgical theology”? To many, it is the study of liturgy much the way any other topic might be studied – by dissecting and examining it. This course suggests a different approach, though, to see liturgy as a source of theology itself. In the words of the prominent liturgical scholar Fr. Aidan Kavanagh, “liturgy is the faith of the Church in motion.” Liturgy expresses and forms the identity of the Christian. The first unit of the course will introduce you to this view of liturgical theology. The next unit will ask about the origins of the Church, and the origins of the structure of the liturgy she does (and I will connect it to the opening rite of the Mass, the Gathering Rite). Our third unit will consider liturgy's connection to Scripture, the Liturgy of the Word, where God instructs the people he has gathered. Toward that end I would like to look not only at the first half of the mass, but also at the Liturgy of the Hours and the Liturgical Year. Our fourth unit will consider the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the central life-giving source for the Christian, and identify five dominant theological themes in it. Our final unit will consider the cost and consequence of entering into this mystery (something I have recently called “liturgical asceticism”). 

Course Content

Unit 1: What Is Liturgical Theology?

Unit 2: Liturgy and Church

Unit 3: Liturgy and Scripture

Unit 4: Liturgy and Eucharist

Unit 5: Liturgical Asceticism

Course Format

  • Six weeks in duration; first week for orientation.
  • Up to 20 students in each course.
  • Video lectures with text transcripts available.
  • Supplemental readings are provided to encourage further exploration, internet links provided for all readings.
  • Written assignments (200-250) required.
  • Facilitator-moderated weekly Zoom sessions with participants.

Participation Requirements

  • View or read the lecture for each unit.
  • Read assigned texts; keep notes, questions, and comments for class discussions.
  • Answer weekly discussion question. 
  • Respond to weekly unit assignment.
  • Attend weekly Zoom for each unit. If you cannot attend, you can still meet the participation requirements.
  • Complete the course evaluation.

Time Expectations

3 to 5 hours per week, depending on your learning style and schedule.

Course Certificate

An electronic certificate of completion awarding 30 contact hours will be available in course when completing all course requirements.

Area: Liturgy

Course Begins: October 2023