The Catholic University of America University Honors Program hstr 102 Liturgy and the Christian Life Spring 2009 t th 2: 10-3: 25 Caldwell 451 Dr. Margaret Mary Kelleher, O. S. U



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The Catholic University of America

University Honors Program HSTR 102

Liturgy and the Christian Life

Spring 2009

T Th 2:10-3:25 Caldwell 451

Dr. Margaret Mary Kelleher, O.S.U. kelleher@cua.edu

Office – Caldwell 435 Phone (202) 319-6891

Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday 3:30 – 4:30
This course is the second in a sequence of four courses that deal with the overall theme of “Tradition and Renewal in Contemporary Catholicism.” These four courses draw their inspiration from the four constitutions of the Second Vatican Council: The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum), The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium), The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium), and The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes).
Course description: an examination of the relationship between liturgy and the Christian life. The course engages students in doing liturgical theology and considers such topics as the ecclesial and ritual nature of liturgy, the sacramental roots of the Christian life, the role of scripture in the liturgy, and liturgy as a cultural reality.
Course goals:

  1. to become familiar with central principles set out in Sacrosanctum Concilium.

  2. to explore liturgy as a form of ritual action.

  3. to understand the significance of liturgy for ecclesial identity.

  4. to understand the relationship between liturgical participation and Christian life.


Course outcomes: Students are expected to

  1. be able to identify central principles set out in Sacrosanctum Concilium.

  2. develop initial skills for doing liturgical theology through analysis of ritual actions, texts, and symbols.

  3. be able to analyze a liturgical rite and articulate the beliefs, memories, hopes and values it offers for the identity of the church.

  4. be able to identify characteristics of Christian life (spirituality) that have their foundation in liturgy.

Successful attainment of these outcomes will be demonstrated through class participation, midterm and final examinations, and two written projects.

(See pg. 3)

Required Books: available at CUA bookstore
Vatican II: The Basic Sixteen Documents. Austin Flannery, O.P. General Editor. Costello Publishing Co., 1996.

John Paul II. On the Eucharist in its Relationship to the Church.

Boston: Pauline Books and Media, 2003.

Francis, Mark R. Shape a Circle Ever Wider: Liturgical Inculturation in the United States. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2000.

Searle, Mark. Called to Participate: Theological, Ritual, and Social Perspectives.

Barbara Searle and Anne Y. Koester, eds. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2006.


Additional Readings: All other assigned readings will be available through Blackboard or, in one case, electronic journals on Aladin. You will also need to use a copy of the New Testament
Course Requirements:


  1. Attendance and participation in class sessions.

  2. Completion of required readings for each class.

  3. Satisfactory completion of written assignments.

  4. Midterm examination – February 26

  5. Final examination – Thursday, May 7 1:30 – 3:30.


Factors to be considered in grading any written work:


  1. Comprehension of material under consideration.

  2. Ability to articulate one’s understanding with clarity.

  3. Correct grammar, sentence structure, spelling,

  4. Ability to organize material.

  5. Ability to establish relationships, synthesize ideas.

  6. Ability to reflect on material and raise serious questions.

  7. Please note that, in accord with the University Policies on Student Academic Dishonesty, the normal sanction for academic dishonesty “will be failure for the course.” Examples of academic dishonesty include plagiarism and cheating. Please review the complete policy at http://policies.cua.edu/academicundergrad/integrity.cfm.



Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss specific needs. Please contact Disability Support Services at 202 319-5211, room 207 Pryzbyla Center to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. To read about the services and policies, please visit the website: http://disabilitysupport.cua.edu.

Written Assignments: more detailed instructions will follow.


  1. a six page essay that presents a liturgical theology of Christmas on the basis of scripture readings, prayers, prefaces, and hymns.

60 points Due – February 17

  1. a ten page essay that presents a synthesis of the liturgical theology present in either the Rite of Anointing the Sick or the Funeral Liturgy of the Order of Christian Funerals.

100 points Due – April 21
Final grade will be based on the following:
The midterm and final examinations are each worth 100 points. Assignment 2 is worth 100 points. Assignment 1 is worth 60 out of 100 points. The remaining 40 points is divided as follows: 20 points for the quality of class participation and 20 points for attendance. Two excused absences are allowed. After that, 2 points will be deleted for each absence.

The four grades (each out of a possible 100) will be added and the average will be your final grade.


Grading Scale:

A 94-100


    1. 90-93

B+ 87-89

B 83-86


B- 80-82

C+ 77-79


C 73-76

C- 70-72


D 65-69

F 0-64


Course Outline: Topics and Required Readings
January 13 Introduction to the course
January 15 Background for understanding Sacrosanctum Concilium

Mark Searle. Called to Participate, 1-14.

Virgil Michel. “The Liturgy the Basis of Social Regeneration.”

Orate Fratres 9 (1935) 536-545. See External Links on Blackboard.

Selected passages from Pius XII Mystici Corporis (1943) and

Mediator Dei (1947). See Documents on Blackboard.
January 20 NO CLASS INAUGURATION DAY
January 22 Liturgy as Ecclesial Action

“In the liturgy…complete and definitive public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Christ, that is, by the Head and his members.” (SC 7)

Read Sacrosanctum Concilium (henceforth SC) #1 - #46.
Participation in the Liturgy “It is very much the wish of the church that all the faithful should be led to take that full, conscious and active part in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy and to which the Christian people, ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people’ (1Pet 2:9, 4-5) have a right and to which they are bound by reason of their Baptism.” (SC 14).
January 27 Participation in ritual behavior

Mark Searle. Called to Participate, 15-27.


January 29 Ritual and Christian Identity

Margaret Mary Kelleher. “Ritual” in The New Dictionary of Theology edited by J. Komonchak, M. Collins, D. Lane., 906-907. See External Links on Blackboard. Additional material will be distributed in class.


February 3 Participation in the liturgy of the church as the work of Christ and participation in the life of God.

Mark Searle. Called to Participate, 27-45.


Baptism as Foundational for the Christian Life “Thus by Baptism men and women are implanted in the paschal mystery of Christ; they die with him, are buried with him, and rise with him.” (SC 6)
February 5 New Testament passages related to Baptism (bring N.T. to class)

Mark 1: 1-13; Mt 28: 16-20;John 3: 1-5; Acts 2: 38; Acts 2: 41-42; Acts 22:16; Romans 6: 3-4; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 Corinthians 12: 12-13; 2 Corinthians 1: 21-22; Galatians 3: 27-28; Colossians 2:12; 1 Peter 2: 1-10; 1 Peter 3:21; 1John 2: 20, 27.


February 10 Some early ritual patterns of Christian Initiation

The Didache

Justin Martyr. First Apology

The Apostolic Tradition

The Apostolic Constitutions

See External Links on Blackboard


February 12 Selected fourth century baptismal homilies from The Awe Inspiring Rites of Initiation

Cyril of Jerusalem. “Sermons 1 – 3”, pp. 70-85

John Chrysostom. “Baptismal Homily II”, pp. 152-164

Theodore of Mopsuestia. “Baptismal Homily III”, pp. 180-200

See External Links on Blackboard

February 17 Symbolism of Baptismal Fonts

S. Anita Stauffer. “Fonts, Baptism, Pascha, and Paradise.”



Studia Liturgica 24 (1994) 58-65. See External Links on Blackboard.

USCCB. Built of Living Stones: Art. Architecture and Worship, #66-69. This is available on the USCCB website. See External Links on Blackboard. Go to Departments, choose Liturgy, click on Documents.



February 19 Principle of Sacramentality as foundational for Christian liturgy

Kevin W. Irwin. “A Sacramental World – Sacramentality as the Primary Language for Sacraments.” Worship 76:3 (May, 2002) 197-211.

See electronic journals on Aladin.
February 24 Christian Initiation in contemporary Roman Catholic liturgy

Sacrosanctum Concilium 59-82

Overview of periods and ritual steps in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults; analysis of Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens (RCIA 48-68); purpose of the catechumenate (RCIA 75).

See External Links on Blackboard.
February 26 Midterm examination
March 3 & 5 Spring recess
Role of Scripture in the Liturgy “Sacred scripture is of the greatest importance in the celebration of the liturgy. For from it are drawn the lessons which are read and which are explained in the homily; from it too come the psalms which are sung. It is from scripture that the petitions, prayers and hymns draw their inspiration and their force, and that actions and signs derive their meaning.” (SC 24)
March 10 Principles set out in Sacrosanctum Concilium: #7, 24, 33, 35, 51-52, 56, 90-92.

Introduction to the Lectionary for Mass (1998) #1-23; 58-69.

See External Links on Blackboard.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal (2002) #55-65. This is available on the USCCB website. See External Links on Blackboard. Go to Departments, choose Liturgy, choose Roman Missal, choose General Instruction.

Mark Searle. Called to Participate, 46-67.


March 12 Study of selected readings from the Lectionary for Mass.

Readings for the third (March 15), fourth (March 22), fifth (March 29) Sundays of Lent (A cycle). These are available on the USCCB website. See External Links on Blackboard. Click on “Readings” on the top of the page and use the calendar.

Ritual for the first scrutiny of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults #150-155. See External Links on Blackboard.

The Paschal Triduum: the annual celebration of the Paschal Mystery and Christian Initiation “Every week, on the day which it has called the Lord’s Day, it (the church) commemorates the Lord’s resurrection. It also celebrates it once every year, together with his blessed passion, at Easter, that most solemn of all feasts.” (SC 102)
March 17 Background and Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Sacrosanctum Concilium #102-111.

Paul Bradshaw. “The Origins of Easter” in Between Memory and Hope, ed. Maxwell Johnson, 111-124. See External Links on Blackboard.

Scripture readings for Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper (April 9):

Exodus 12: 1-8, 11-14; 1Cor 11: 23-36; Jn 13: 1-15. See USCCB website.

See Documents on Blackboard for the ritual order, prayers, and symbolic actions of the Holy Thursday liturgy.
March 19 Liturgy for Good Friday

Egeria’s Travels, 40-51; 135-138. See External Links.

Scripture readings for Good Friday liturgy (April 10): Isaiah 52:13- 53:12; Hebrews 4: 14-16, 5: 7-9; John 18:1 – 19:42. See USCCB website.

See Documents on Blackboard for the ritual order, prayers, and symbolic actions of the Good Friday liturgy.
March 24 Liturgy for the Easter Vigil

Egeria’s Travels, 138-139.

Service of Light: see documents on Blackboard for the ritual order, prayers and symbolic actions of the liturgy.

Liturgy of the Word: Genesis 1:1-2:2; Genesis 22: 1-18; Exodus 14:15- 15:1; Isaiah 54: 5-14; Isaiah 55: 1-11; Baruch 3: 9-15, 32-4:4; Ezekiel 36: 16-17, 18-28. Romans 6: 3-11. Matthew 28: 1-10. See USCCB website for April 11.
March 26 Liturgy for the Easter Vigil continued

See documents on Blackboard for the ritual order, prayers, and symbolic actions of the Liturgy of Baptism and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.


Eucharist in the Life of the Church “For the liturgy, through which ‘the work of our redemption takes place,’ especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, is supremely effective in enabling the faithful to express in their lives and portray to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true church.” (SC 2)
March 31 Background on the early tradition

Enrico Mazza. The Celebration of the Eucharist: the Origin of the Rite and the Development of Its Interpretation. (Liturgical Press, 1999) 22-34. Selected ancient sources: Didache, First Apology, Apostolic Tradition from Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and Reformed, 20-24; 28-35.

See External links on Blackboard.
April 2 Selected patristic sources on the eucharist:

Augustine of Hippo. “Three Eucharistic Catecheses.”

John Chrysostom. “Homilies on the Eucharist.”

See external links on Blackboard.

Selected compositions attributed to Thomas Aquinas for the feast of Corpus Christi. See Documents on Blackboard.
April 9 NO CLASS – HOLY THURSDAY
April 14 Selected contemporary Eucharistic Prayers

Eucharistic Prayer I (Roman Canon); Eucharistic Prayer III; Eucharistic Prayers for Masses of Reconciliation; Eucharistic Prayer for Masses for Various Needs and Occasions: IV, Jesus, the Compassion of God.

See Documents on Blackboard.

Sacrosanctum Concilium #46 - 58
April 16 John Paul II. On the Eucharist in its Relationship to the Church.

Liturgy and Culture “Even in the liturgy the church does not wish to impose a rigid uniformity in matters which do not affect the faith or well-being of the entire community. Rather does it cultivate and foster the qualities and talents of the various races and nations.” (SC 37)
April 21 Liturgy, culture, and the church: some historical background

Mark Francis. Shape a Circle Ever Wider, 1-47.


April 23 Liturgy, culture, and the church: Vatican II and beyond

Sacrosanctum Concilium 19; 23; 36; 37-40; 63; 65; 77; 81; 107; 112-130.

Mark Francis. Shape a Circle Ever Wider, 48-77.


April 28 An example of liturgical inculturation in Africa

The Roman Missal for the Dioceses of Zaire (1988)

Order of the Mass and prayers as found in Appendix 2 of

Chris Nwaka Egbulem, O.P. The “Rite Zairois” in the Context of Liturgical Inculturation in Middle-Belt Africa Since the Second Vatican Council. See External Links on Blackboard.
April 30 Liturgy, culture, and the church in the United States

Mark Searle. Called to Participate, 68-88.

Mark Francis. Shape a Circle Ever Wider, 78-118.

USCCB. Built of Living Stones, # 1-45 (especially 38-45)

USCCB. Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship (2007)

Section II.H. “Diverse Cultures and Languages” #57-60.



Available on USCCB website. Go to Departments, Liturgy, Documents.


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