Introduction to Liturgy


Foundational Unit

Rev. Dr Elio Capra SDB
Not offered in 2020
The aim of this unit is to lead the students to an understanding of the importance of the liturgy in the life of the Church and of every Christian. The unit will begin by exploring the historical development of the liturgy. This will be followed by a study of Sacrosanctum Concilium, and on how this document was implemented in the life of the Church over the last 52 years. This will be done through the exploration of all the essential elements of the liturgy: the theology of liturgy; the liturgical year and the Easter Triduum; the role of ministers and of the assembly; the role and meaning of symbols; the liturgy of the Hours; the criteria for liturgical preparation; the role of music; the celebration of liturgy with children; liturgical gestures and movements; liturgical space and the language of the liturgy 




face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester


  • one 6,000-word essay 100%
  • one 2,000-word essay 30%
  • one 4,000-word essay 70%


  • Capra, Elio. Called Gifted Sent: The Sacraments of Christian Initiation and the Triduum. Melbourne: James Goold House, 2010.
  • Dalmais, Irénée Henri, Pierre Jounel, and Aimé Georges Martimort. The Liturgy and Time. The Church at Prayer 4. Edited by Aimé Georges Martimort. Translated by Matthew J. O’Connell. New ed. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1986.
  • Gelineau, Joseph. Liturgical Assembly: Liturgical Song. Translated by Bernadette Gasslein. Portland: Pastoral Press, 2001.
  • General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Strathfield: St Pauls, 2012.
  • Huck, Gabe, and Gerald Chinchar. Liturgy with Style and Grace. 3rd ed. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1998.
  • Lysik, David A., ed. The Liturgy Documents: A Parish Resource. 4th ed. 2 vols. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1999–2004.
  • Pilcher, Carmel, David Orr, and Elizabeth Harrington, eds. Vatican II: Reforming Liturgy. Vatican II. Hindmarsh: ATF, 2013.
  • Ratzinger, Joseph. The Spirit of the Liturgy. Translated by John Saward. San Francisco: Ignatius, 2000.
  • Searle, Mark, Barbara Searle, and Anne Koester, eds. Called to Participate: Theological, Ritual and Social Perspectives. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2006.
  • Torevell, David. Losing the Sacred: Ritual, Modernity and Liturgical Reform. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 2000.
  • Vatican Council II. Sacrosanctum Concilium. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. 4 December 1963.
  • Vosko, Richard S. God’s House is Our House: Re-imagining the Environment for Worship. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2006.