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Our team of writers has created a foundational course that speaks to the needs of the average person in the pew and those involved in church ministry; open to everyone interested in learning about the most central aspect of our Catholic faith.
- Bernadette Gasslein
- John Hibbard
- Marilyn Sweet
- Instructor: Bernadette Gasslein, s.t.l.
St. Francis Xavier University offers this 14-week course through distance education in the fall term. (Not Offered 2012)
Course schedule: Begins early October to the end November, breaks for Advent and Christmas, and resumes mid-January.
The study of liturgy is a fundamental element in the formation of adults for Christian discipleship. When we seek to grow in faith and action, we stand on much firmer ground when the union between liturgical action and discipleship is clarified. In many communities, the most common way in which adults take a specific role in their parish community is as a liturgical minister or as a catechist.
-“I recently became Chairperson of our Parish Liturgy Committee and was seeking a way to become better informed about Liturgy. This course certainly did that for me. I learned so much about Liturgy. Not only does this help me in my ministry, but it has also helped me in my weekly participation in Liturgy. It makes such a difference when one understands WHY we do the things we do, and every action in Liturgy has a meaning. I am so much more informed and reflective. Thank you for such a wonderful course.” (Liturgy course participant, 2007/08 offering).
Tuition & Registration Information
Tuition for Canadian residents is $500 (tax deductible). Tuition for participants in Continental USA: $600 (Cdn). If applying from other areas, contact the program office. Application fees do not apply to this course. Textbooks and course packs are available for purchase through the University Bookstore.
This course will benefit everyone interested in learning about liturgy, the most central aspect of our Catholic faith.
- Lay presiders must understand the structure of the prayer and the way in which the community enters the prayer in order to lead effectively.
- Musicians need a good appreciation of how song is a partner in the prayer of the whole community, so as to be faithful ministers as well as competent performers.
- Catechists need a strong sense of the liturgical year in order to draw the learners into the life of Christ.
- Parish administrators rely on a basic understanding of the principles of liturgy so they can be helpful guides to the community in its planning and programming.
- Ongoing formation for deacons and lay ministers.
Our most common experience as Roman Catholic Christians is our participation in the celebration of Sunday Eucharist. It is at Eucharist that we most truly know ourselves to be the community of the baptized, the brothers and sisters of Jesus, the children of God. Those who pray the Liturgy of the Hours deliberately and consciously join in the worldwide, continuous prayer of the whole community of believers. Authentic popular devotion stems from and leads back to the Eucharist and the Sacred Scripture. Those who develop a rich understanding of liturgy are more adequately formed for discipleship.
The majority of participants who took part in the evaluation of the 2007-08 offering said the major strength of the course was the “course resources and required readings.” One participant put it this way:
-“I especially loved the required reading in the course pack. The articles were extremely interesting and so rich in their content. I have much of it highlighted. I’m so grateful for all of this. Since the course, I’ve reread some of the articles and some of them actually make me quite emotional. The liturgy is such a great gift from God! The more you understand/enter in, the greater the effect on your whole life...”
This course in the basics of liturgy introduces the learner to the principles and practices of Christian worship within the Roman Catholic tradition. Through the lens of the weekly Sunday Eucharist, we explore such topics as the paschal mystery, the assembly, prayer, ritual, music, ministry, liturgical seasons, word and sacrament. Learning activities include opportunities for guided observation and practical experience in the parish context.
In this course, participants will
- explore liturgy in our parish church
- identify the principal actors in the liturgy, especially the Sunday Eucharist
- discover the liturgical and theological role of the people of God, (the assembly), and the role of the ministers and their relationship to the assembly
- develop a theology of ministry and examine the principal action of the assembly and the role of the presider
- examine symbolism in the liturgy, the liturgical year and the space in which we worship
- look at the centrality of the Sunday Eucharist to life and the liturgy and its principal parts and acts
- review the principles that underlie the work of liturgical renewal and identify the positive ways to exercise those principles
Assignments are based on Liturgical observation and evaluation.
This 14-week, non-credit, distance education (online) course is available in the fall term. The online format allows participants to print the material at their leisure for ease of use and portability while also providing them with video clips, audio clips, various web-site links and other resources. There are no exams in this course. Participants submit two short assignments, one at mid-term and one at end of term. Participants receive a certificate from St. Francis Xavier University upon successful completion of the course.
Distance education is an excellent alternative for those unable to attend on-site programs. Contact the Program Office for details or a registration form.
Participants receive a certificate from St. Francis Xavier University upon successful completion of the course.
Please contact the Ministry Programs Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further details.
Ministry Programs Office
Continuing & Distance Education Department
St. Francis Xavier University
P. O. Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
Toll free (within Canada): 1-877-867-5562