Saturday, 17 September 2016

Liturgy 2016-2017 (Part-Time)
1.1: Introducing the Module

Patrick Comerford

MTh Part-Time, Years III-IV

TH8824: Liturgy, Worship and Spirituality:

Module outline, including schedule for lectures and workshops, module content, learning outcomes, teaching and learning methods, learning outcomes, teaching and learning methods, assessment, essay titles.

Schedule of Lectures:

Weekend 1, 16-18 September 2016:

1.1, Introducing the Module.
1.2, Liturgical Field-Trip.

2.2, Introduction to liturgy: ritual and symbol, meanings and language;
2.2, Ritual and symbol seen through the eyes of secular liturgy and ritual: evaluating experiences, e.g., drug culture, sports, theatre, &c.

Telephone conference 1, September/October 2016:

3.1, The theology of space, and its implications for church buildings;
3.2, The use of church buildings in the mission of God expressed through the Church (Seminar with readings from Richard Giles).

Weekend 2, 7-9 October 2016:

4.1, Creation, Trinity and theologies of worship and prayer;
4.2, The nature and theology of sacraments.

5.1, Baptism and Eucharist (1) from the early Church to the Reformers;
5.2, Baptism and Eucharist (2) liturgical renewal among Catholics and Protestants in the 20th century.

Telephone conference 2, October/November 2016:

6.1, Traditions of prayer (1): readings on Benedictine and Franciscan prayer.
6.2, Traditions of prayer (2): readings on Reformation prayer.

Weekend 3, 4-6 November 2016

7.1, The development of the liturgical year and the daily office;
7.2, Seminar: ‘Word’ and ‘Sacrament’ expressed in music and the arts.

8.1, Baptism and Eucharist (3) the contemporary life and mission of the Church. Worship and inculturation.
8.2, The theology and rites of ordination; Rites of passage (e.g., Marriages, Funerals).

Telephone conference 3, November/December 2016

9.1, Homiletics and homiletics in history: readings may include Saint Augustine, Thomas Cranmer, Lancelot Andrewes, John Wesley, Martin Luther King.

9.2, Spirituality of ministry; readings on the minister as person, private, public and holy.

Module Content:

Offering time

1, The relationship between doctrines of creation/Trinity and Christian theology of worship and prayer.
2, The development of the liturgical year and the daily office.
3, Different traditions of prayer, e.g. Benedictine, Franciscan, Reformation, contemporary.
4, Patterns of prayer today (including all-age worship, participation of children in worship, worship and youth).

Means of grace

5, The nature and theology of sacraments.
6, Ritual and symbol.
7, The theology and development of rites of Baptism and the Eucharist in the early Church, the Protestant Reformers, liturgical renewal among Catholics and Protestants in the 20th century.
8, Ecumenical statements, e.g., WCC Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry.
9, Baptism and Eucharist in the contemporary life and mission of the Church. Worship and inculturation.
10, Rites of passage, e.g., Marriages, Funerals.

Making space

11, The Christian theology of space, and its implications for church buildings.
12, The use of church buildings in relation to the mission of God expressed through the Church.

Worship and the Word

13, The Ministry of the Word.
14, A critical grasp of the history of homiletics, including close study of examples, e.g. Augustine, Thomas Cranmer, Lancelot Andrewes, John Wesley, Martin Luther King.
15, Patterns and models of homiletics for the context of 21st century Ireland.
16, The ‘Word’ expressed in music and art.
17, The relationship between Word and Sacrament.

Ministers of faith

18, Theology of the whole people of God, and within that the theology of ordination.
19, How such theology is expressed in rites of ordination, historical and contemporary.
20, The minister as person, private, public and holy.
21, Spirituality for ministry; the practice of spiritual direction, in history and contemporary examples; gender, spirituality and ministry.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this module students will be able:

● To understand and appropriate the history, theology and liturgical praxis of Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry;
● To appreciate the significance of both time and place in Christian worship and mission;
● To be able to articulate the way in which liturgies can both reflect and challenge social norms.
● To engage critically with the history of homiletics in the creation and delivery of sermons.
● To display knowledge of the diversity of approaches to spirituality found in the history of the Church; to appreciate the theory and practice of spiritual direction against the background of the history of Christian spirituality; to show awareness of the relationship between different personality types and different paths in Christian spirituality; to demonstrate appreciation of the need for a minister to develop a personal spiritual discipline.

Teaching and Learning Methods:

This module will be taught through a series of lectures, seminars and telephone conferences.

Students are required to take part in and lead class seminars and also to take part in collaborative dialogues and independent study.

There will be a joint seminar with each of the other two strands – Biblical Studies and Theology.

Date for submission: 19 December 2015, 12 noon.

Essay titles:

1, Discuss the principal institution narratives in the New Testament and explain the liturgical problems and insights that may be gained from the narrative of the Last Supper in Saint John’s Gospel.

2, Identify the principal differences between Order I and II for Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer in The Book of Common Prayer (2004), and compare the advantages and disadvantages in using them in a contemporary parish setting on Sundays.


Discuss the three Eucharistic Prayers for Holy Communion 2 in The Book of Common Prayer (2004), comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences in emphases.

3, Outline the changes and reforms in Anglican rites of the Holy Communion (Eucharist) at the Reformation, and outline how they were influenced by changes and developments in the Continental Reformations.


Trace the background to the development of the Sarum Rite or Use of Sarum and discuss its relevance to the development of The Book of Common Prayer (2004) and Anglican liturgy.

4, Discuss the contribution of either John Keble or Charles Gore to the Anglican understandings of tradition and the sacraments, compare them with those of Charles Simeon, and discuss the relevance of their writings today.


Outline and compare the contribution to our understandings of Anglican spirituality made by two of the following writers: Evelyn Underhill, Dorothy Sayers, Cecil Frances Alexander or Elizabeth Canham.

5, Explain the importance of the Eucharistic chapters in the Didache and discuss their relevance for thinking about liturgy in the contemporary church.


‘The Apostolic Fathers and the Desert Fathers provided the inspiration for Christian spirituality throughout the Middle Ages and beyond.’ Discuss their relevance to the Christian tradition of spirituality.

6, Discuss the Service of the Word as outlined in The Book of Common Prayer (2004) and examine the principal opportunities and difficulties it provides in organising a Sunday service in (a) a traditional parish and (b) a new church plant.

7, Baptism has been described as the foundational sacrament of the church. Discuss how you understand the role of baptism in the life of a parish today.


Baptism and confirmation are generally used as two separate rites today. Outline the arguments both for and against maintaining the current practice.

8, Explain the opportunities and difficulties in trying to create a sense of ‘sacred space’ in a contemporary or modern building, discuss the liturgical problems that need to be faced, and explain how you would seek to overcome them.


Give three examples of what may be described as public or secular liturgies, draw comparisons between your examples and the conduct of liturgy in the Church, and discuss the lessons that can be learned and shared mutually.

Required or recommended readings:

P. Bradshaw (ed), The New SCM Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship (London: SCM Press, 2nd ed, 2002).
S. Burns, SCM Studyguide to Liturgy (London: SCM Press, 2006).
M. Earey, G. Myers (eds), Common Worship Today: an illustrated guide to Common Worship today (London: HarperCollins, 2001).
R. Giles, Creating uncommon worship (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 2004).
R. Giles, Re-pitching the tent (Norwich: Canterbury Press, 3rd edition, 2004).
B. Gordon-Taylor and S. Jones, Celebrating the Eucharist, A practical guide (London: SPCK, 2005/2011).
C. Hefling, C. Shattuck (eds), The Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer (Oxford: OUP, 2006).
G. Hughes, Worship as Meaning: a liturgical theology for late modernity (Cambridge: CUP, 2003).
C. Jones, G. Wainwright, E. Yarnold, P. Bradshaw (eds), The Study of Liturgy (London: SPCK, 1992).
H. Miller, The Desire of our Soul: a user’s guide to the Book of Common Prayer (Dublin: Columba, 2004).
M. Perham, New Handbook of Pastoral Liturgy (London: SPCK, 2000).
R. Thompson, SCM Studyguide to the Sacraments (London: SCM Press, 2006).

(Revd Canon Professor) Patrick Comerford is Lecturer in Anglicanism and Liturgy, the Church of Ireland Theological Institute. This module outline was prepared for Year III-IV students on the part-time MTh course at the start of the Module TH8824: Liturgy, Worship and Spirituality, on Saturday 17 September 2016.

No comments: