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THEO 564 - Liturgical Year
Summer Session 2002

Course Description

The dynamics of time, story and history in the liturgical shaping of time. Evolution of the liturgical year especially in relation to Christological models. Theology of Sunday, festivals and seasons reflected in today's liturgical books and calendars. Liturgical time and the rhythms of American life.

Goals and Objectives

This course is about the acquisition of knowledge with a view toward the critical evaluation of the liturgical year especially within the Roman Catholic Church and in a variety of contemporary churches today. While pastoral issues may certainly be considered, the course is neither a "how-to-do-the rites" course nor is it concerned with offering blueprints for pastoral practice in the variety of settings from which students come or to which they are going. Rather, this course takes as its premise that the only way to know what the Liturgical Year is is to study its manifestation as it actually appears within the various strata of the Christian tradition. Only then can one adequately evaluate its current shape(s). This means, concretely, both history of the Liturgical Year and the history of its theological interpretation.

More specifically, this course intends to assist M.A. students in Liturgical Studies and others in acquiring:

  1. A thorough knowledge of the history and theology of the liturgical year in
    preparation for either further research and study or serving in various pastoral ministries in an informed manner;
  2. An ability to articulate the central foci of the various feasts and seasons in the
    life of the Church; and
  3. An ability to celebrate "fully, actively, and consciously" the One Mystery of Christ as it is expressed and reflected in the Sundays, feasts, and seasons of the liturgical year.

Course Requirements

The above goals and objectives will be met by:

  1. Attendance at and participation (discussion, dialogue, etc.) in all class sessions;
  2. Keeping up with the assigned reading;
  3. Three Unit Take-Home Written Examinations


Grades will be determined on the basis of "full, active, and conscious participation," as well as the take-home exams.

  • The grades A is reserved for what is considered to be exceptional work on the graduate level;
  • an A- or B+ means that work is at a level of solid and high quality, a level above what is necessary to successfully complete the requirements for the course; a B is good solid work, the average and minimum required (and expected of graduate students) for the successful completion of a graduate-level course;
  • a C+ is a passing grade for graduate-level study meaning that an assignment was completed but in need of improvement and/or further development or clarification; and
  • a C, although a passing grade, indicates some serious problems.

Required Texts and Reading

  • A. Adam, The Liturgical Year: Its History and Meaning after the Reform of the Liturgy, New York/Collegeville 1981.
  • J. Neil Alexander, Waiting for the Coming. The Liturgical Meaning of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, Washington, D.C. 1993.
  • R. Brown, A Crucified Christ in Holy Week, Collegeville 1986.
  • R. Brown, An Adult Christ at Christmas, Collegeville 1975.
  • M. Johnson (ed.), Between Memory and Hope: Readings on the Liturgical Year, Collegeville, 2000.
  • T. Talley, The Origins of the Liturgical Year (Second, Emended Addition), Collegeville 1986.

Recommended Texts and Reading on Reserve

NOTE: Some "required reading" for discussion purposes will be expected from some of the following texts as indicated in the syllabus!

  • R. Brown, A Coming Christ in Advent, Collegeville.
  • R. Brown, A Risen Christ in Eastertime, Collegeville 1991.
  • R. Cantalamessa, Easter in the Early Church: An Anthology of Jewish and Early Christian Texts, Collegeville 1992.
  • A.G. Martimort, et. al., The Liturgy and Time . Vol. IV of The Church at Prayer: An Introduction to the Liturgy, ed. A. G. Martimort, et. al., Collegeville 1986.
  • A Nocent, The Liturgical Year, 4 vols., Collegeville 1977.

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Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame
130 Malloy Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556-5602
Phone: 574-631-7811