Liturgics and Church Music

Liturgy lies at the core of the church’s being: in its classical definition, the ekklesia or “church” is the worshiping assembly. The study of liturgy is therefore of crucial importance in theological study.

Core courses in liturgics and church music offer a basic education in historical, theoretical, and practical aspects of liturgical studies. Electives enrich this core, allowing students to pursue greater knowledge of various aspects of the liturgy.

Through participation in the chapel ROTA as officiants in the daily office, and as readers and lay assistants, and through participation in liturgy planning meetings in their final year, students gain practical experience in various liturgical ministries. This participation carries no academic credit but is required of all Master of Divinity, Diploma of Anglican Studies, and Master of Sacred Theology students.


LTCM 507     Church Music  (3)

Music is a force of immense power in the church's worship. This course lays the foundations for students to participate in and oversee the ministry of music in the parish in collaboration with persons skilled in music. It includes theological engagement with music, the role of music in the liturgy and the congregation, a working knowledge of The Hymnal 1982, and vocal techniques for the student's own singing of the liturgy as deacon and priest. Participation in this course is required for functioning as a cantor in the Chapel of the Apostles.

LTCM 511     History of Christian Worship  (3)

This course introduces students to the history of Christian ritual activity. Students acquire a basic knowledge of the history of Christian worship and develop the skills of thinking critically and historically about liturgy. This course also has the attribute of CHHT.

LTCM 521     Pastoral Liturgics: The Prayer Book of the Episcopal Church  (3)

This course introduces students to the history, theology, and pastoral use of The Book of Common Prayer (1979 edition). Through a mix of academic work and practical exercises, students demonstrate mastery of the church's basic liturgical texts.

LTCM 536     Ritual and Worship in the Long English Reformation  (3)

This course examines the role of ritual and worship in the religious history of England, ca. 1530 to ca. 1700. It studies the transformation of a traditional religion based on rituals into a religious system based as much on word as on rite. The course draws connections between these religious changes and the larger political, social, and cultural contexts in which they occurred. This course also has the attribute of ANGL.

LTCM 537     Senior Chant Practicum  (1)

There are over 200 items contained in the Altar Book, its Musical Appendix, and The Hymnal 1982, volumes 1 and 2, which may be sung by deacons and/or priests. This course will provide a broad overview of those sung portions and their place in the liturgy. The student will concentrate on vocal technique and the practical skill needed in the successful performance of the most commonly used of these musical settings.

LTCM 542     Liturgy and Theology of the Eucharist in the Anglican Tradition  (3)

In the Anglican tradition, the eucharistic theology enacted in and implied by our rites and how we formulate eucharistic theology (-ies) in formal treatises and historical documents often live in tension and sometimes in direct contradiction to each other. It is important for students to deepen their experience and skills of integrating and differentiating between liturgical and non-liturgical understandings of the Eucharist. This course also has the attribute of CHHT.

LTCM 543     The Liturgical Music of Johann Sebastian Bach  (3)

This course explores the musical, poetic, and theological contexts of the works Johann Sebastian Bach composed for the Lutheran liturgy from his early career (the cantata Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106) through his final years (Mass in B Minor, BWV 232). Consideration is given not only to the texts Bach sets but also, and more importantly, to the ways in which the music itself comments on and interprets those texts. A working knowledge of basic music notation is helpful for class discussion.

LTCM 544     The Hymn since 1982  (1)

The past half-century has seen an explosion of new hymn texts and tunes; the number of good poets and composers writing hymns is perhaps greater now than at any other point in church history. Additionally, American churches are beginning to sing hymns from a wider range of cultures. This class will examine what has happened to congregational singing since the publication of the Hymnal 1982.

LTCM 545     Even at the Grave: Music and the Christian Funeral  (3)

Since the early church, the order of burial has almost always involved singing. This class will investigate the history of Christian funeral music, looking especially at a series of pieces by important composers, from the earliest polyphonic setting of the Requiem mass (Ockeghem) to twentieth-century masterworks (Duruflé, Britten, and others). The class will conclude by discussing funeral music in the contemporary parish context.

LTCM 546     ¡Fiesta!: Liturgical Celebrations in Latino/a Contexts  (3)

The 2018 General Convention passed a resolution recognizing the importance of “multicultural liturgies” and adding a number of liturgies from Latin American traditions to the Book of Occasional Services. This course will examine the historical development, theological significance, and common practice of these and other celebrations, including Día de los Muertos, las Posadas, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Día de los Tres Reyes, and Semana Santa. It will also consider rites of passage in Latino/a contexts, such as Quinceañeras and the Presentation of a Child. Students will learn the distinctive characteristics of these celebrations and practice designing liturgies for bilingual and multicultural congregations. Knowledge of Spanish is not required.

LTCM 547     Music in the Reformation  (3)

This class will examine theologies of music in sixteenth century Lutheranism, Calvinism, Anglicanism, and Roman Catholicism, and discover how those theologies informed musical practice. Prerequisite: LTCM 507.

LTCM 594     Directed Readings in Liturgics and Church Music  (1 to 4)

A Liturgics and Church Music topic developed by the student and a School of Theology faculty member to meet an educational goal not met through existing courses.

LTCM 624     The Catechumenate  (3)

The preparation of candidates for baptism has been accomplished in various ways, ranging from benign neglect to intensive training in the Christian faith and life. In this course, we will study the catechumenate, which originated in the ancient church as a means of baptismal preparation. We will focus particularly on its revival in the late twentieth century, reflect on its theory and practice, and look at the dynamics of its implementation in the parish. Students will gain an understanding of the history, structure, and theory of the modern catechumenate, as well as learn practical approaches to deploying it in congregations.

LTCM 625     Mapping Ritual Structures  (3)

A seminar on the ritual patterns of the Christian Initiation and Holy Eucharist with attention to the evolution and theology of effective pastoral practice for the church today. Readings will emphasize current pastoral practice against the background of grounded liturgical theology.

LTCM 626     Ordination and Eucharist: the Theological Foundations of the Presider's Role  (3)

The content of this course will be a theological and historical overview of the ministry of eucharistic presidency, with attention to developments in the Church's contextual situation which shaped the theological and pastoral understanding of that ministry.

LTCM 627     Liturgical Time  (3)

A seminar on the history, theology, and pastoral practice of the church's articulation of sacred time. The rhythms of day and week, season and year, paschal pattern and sanctoral cycle, will be examined from the standpoint of their origins and development, theological content, and best practices for ritual enactment in parish life.

LTCM 628     Liturgy and Moral Imagination  (3)

We will examine some of the major rites of the BCP and ecumenical sources asking the question: in what ways does liturgy both shape and express life of a congregation in the moral life? Sources such as Rowan Williams, Iris Murdoch, Madeline L'Engle and Stanley Hauerwas will come into play. Considerations will also be given to the role of musical settings of prayer.

LTCM 629     Ritualizing Relationships  (3)

This course considers ways in which the church ritualizes relationships between persons, looking principally at the marriage liturgies and their cognates, official and unofficial. Students will begin by examining foundational issues in gender and sexuality. Students will examine the historical evolution of the marriage rites and ancillary marriage practices, before examining emerging frontiers in the ritualizing of relationships. The purpose of this inquiry is to enable students to assess critically the marriage rites of the 1979 prayer book, the trial use marriage texts of 2015, and the growing number of blessing rites for other sorts of relationships, as well as to understand the historical development of marriage rites.

LTCM 630     Eucharistic Theology  (3)

This course examines Eucharistic theology and practice as the sacramental source and summit of Christian life in community and its individual members. Study of historical and contemporary sources encourages the development of a critical appreciation of what liturgy does, a constructive theology of the faith revealed in symbol and ritual, and why this all matters ecclesially, pastorally, and ethically.

LTCM 631     Major Texts in Liturgical Renewal from Ecumenical Perspective  (3)

This is an advanced seminar in pastoral liturgy designed specifically for those in the liturgy track, but open to others as an elective. The seminar explores a variety of texts from the mid-19th century to the present that have had significant impact on liturgical renewal. Treatises, papal encyclicals, acts of ecumenical bodies, denominational position papers, and similar documents, are examined in order to trace the development of current thinking, the crossovers and interchange between traditions, and the relevance of these documents as we move into the new phase of liturgical revision.

LTCM 633     Liturgical Renewal Movements in Anglicanism  (3)

This course explores five centuries of Anglican liturgical renewal. The liturgical changes wrought by the English Reformers, Puritans, Laudians, Oxford Movement, and Liturgical Movement are examined through primary sources (prayer books and other texts on liturgical practice from each period). Consideration is given to how each of these five groups interpreted what their predecessors had achieved and failed to achieve enables discussions at an advanced level of both the history and historiography of liturgical development.

LTCM 634     Rites with the Sick, The Dying, and the Dead  (3)

This class explores Christian liturgical rites surrounding care of the sick, the dying, and funerals from historical, theological, and ritual perspectives. After surveying the historical development of each of the ritual trajectories, we will turn to a comparative ecumenical study of current liturgical traditions as well as specifically Anglican developments. Contemporary issues of inculturation and interplay between the health professions, pastoral care, ethics, and spirituality will also be entertained.

LTCM 635     Baptism and Confirmation: Patterns and Practices  (3)

Anthropologists tell us that rites of initiation provide a window into the core beliefs and symbols of a culture. This course will examine the history, theology, and present practice of Christian baptism, as well as its derivative, confirmation. By considering the development of these rites, we will point towards ways to renew the practice of baptism and confirmation in the Episcopal Church and other denominations.

LTCM 636     Liturgy and Ethics  (3)

An exploration of the interrelated roles of sacrament, word, and ethics in the praxis of Christian faith in both church and society. Focused on theological methods and practical implications, the course will attend to history, major theologians, and current constructive proposals in the areas of early Christian sources, fundamental and political theology, and liturgical and sacramental theology.

LTCM 637     The Prayer Book in its Global Context  (3)

This course examines the history of the relationship between Anglican mission and the Book of Common Prayer, and the ways liturgical inculturation has grown out of and responded to that history. Students will explore the ways the Prayer Book served as an instrument both of mission and empire, and will analyze Anglican liturgies from around the Communion written before the Liturgical Movement. Students will then turn to an examination of liturgical inculturation and its manifestations within the Anglican Communion, with a particular eye towards recent works of liturgical revision and renewal. The implications of inculturation for Anglican identity will also be considered.

LTCM 638     The Incarnation of Worship: The Church, its Worship and Cultures  (3)

An intensive course exploring the theology of inculturation of the life of the Church in its liturgical dimensions. The course includes the relationship between church and cultures, the nature of liturgy as a ritual event, and ways in which liturgy may be incarnated in a culture so as to support all that is godly in it and confront all that is incompatible with the gospel. We will also examine degrees and methods for the inculturation of the liturgy at the local level.

LTCM 639     The Prayer Book in its North American Context  (3)

This course examines the history of the development of the Book of Common Prayer in the United States, with an eye towards Canada and Mexico as well. Course topics include the revisions of 1789, 1892, 1928, and 1979. Special attention will be paid to the Liturgical Movement of the mid-twentieth century and its implications for the revision of 1979. The course will also look towards possibilities for future Prayer Book revision.

LTCM 640     Early Christian Initiation and Eucharist  (3)

This course studies the Rites of Christian Initiation and their Eucharistic culmination in the early Churches of the Christian East and West along with the feasts and seasons of the liturgical year and daily prayer. Special attention will be given to both historical development and theological interpretation.

LTCM 641     Rachel’s Tears, Hannah’s Hopes: Pastoral Liturgies Related to Childbearing, Child Loss, Adoption, an  (3)

In this course, we will examine the liturgical, pastoral, and theological resources related to issues around adoption, childbirth, child loss, foster care, and infertility. We will examine the ways these issues are presented in scripture, and how the Church has sought to address them historically. We will then turn to the liturgies of Enriching Our Worship V to discuss the ways the Episcopal Church's official liturgies address the needs of those going through these experiences, and how these resources can be incorporated into the parish context.

LTCM 642     The Liturgical Movement in Anglican Context  (3)

This course will examine the liturgical movement within an Anglican context. It will examine the historical antecedents of the liturgical movement, as well as its foundational texts. It will then explore the ways Anglican churches, in particular the Episcopal Church, took up the vision of the liturgical movement and how that manifested in the liturgical reforms of the mid-twentieth century. The course will end by looking at the ways the vision of the liturgical movement has or has not been embraced since the movement itself, and how proposed liturgical reforms either uphold or move away from the liturgical movement.