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Theology 5554B
Pastoral Liturgy

WEDNESDAY 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Instructor: Rev. Michael Béchard, BA, MDiv, MA 



The purpose of this course is to come to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the roles of both the presider and the assembly in the praise and worship of God. The ritual books of the Roman Catholic Church will be examined to determine their operative theology, their proper execution and the spirituality intrinsic therein.



This course will assist students to grow in the following knowledge, skills and attitudes:

Knowledge: Competency with the Ritual Texts

Skills: Competency in the area of presiding

Attitudes: Essential cooperation of all of God’s priestly people, ordained and lay



In cooperation with the instructor, the students will examine the Sacramentary for the celebration of the Eucharist, as well at the General Instruction on the Roman Missal, the proposed Pastoral Notes and other necessary materials.

There are two (3) assignments in this course.

1) Each student will be expected by the end of the semester to have videotaped himself “celebrating mass” for the critique of both the instructor and his peers. Any liturgy from the church’s year is appropriate. Students are encouraged, however, to use the mass for the Sunday of their ordination weekend.

2) The second requirement is a presentation of your analysis and critique or a particular rite.

3) The third requirement is that the students complete a two to three page summary of each of the articles assigned. The assignments are due on the dates indicated.


A. Required:

As listed below by date.

B. Recommended:

Mahoney, Cardinal Roger. Gather Faithfully Together: Guide for Sunday Mass. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1997

Smolarski, Dennis C., S.J. How Not to Say Mass: A Guidebook for All Concerned About Authentic Worship. New York: Paulist Press, 1986

Smolarski, Dennis C., S.J. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal 1969-2002. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2003

Turner, Paul. A Guide to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2003.




January 9 - Music (L. Manzara)

January 16 - Music (L. Manzara)

January 23 - Role of the Assembly/Role of the Presider in Worship (M. Bechard)

Kevin Irwin. “Presiding, Preaching and Priestly Spirituality.” Liturgical Ministry 14 (Fall 2005) 197-204

January 30 - The Eucharist (M. Bechard)

Richard E. McCarron. “The Assembly and the Eucharistic Prayer.” Liturgical Ministry 14 (Summer 2005) 132-140


February 6 - The Eucharist (M. Bechard)

February 13 - The Eucharist (M. Bechard)

Daniel J. Merz. “Prayer? Performance? A Performative Prayer? Reflections on the Presider and the Eucharistic Prayer.” Liturgical Ministry 14 (Summer 2005) 141-148

February 20 - Baptism (D. MacDonald)


March 5 - Confirmation (V. deGagne)

March 12 - Marriage (A. Knox)

March 19 - Anointing (V. Fiore)

March 26 - Funerals (J. Thomas)


April 2 - Blessings and Sacramentals (D. Nguyen)

April 9 - RCIA Scrutinies (K. Nguyen)



Students are responsible for knowing the University’s academic policies and regulations and any particularities of their own course of study. These can all be found at the University’s website ( Ignorance of these policies is not an excuse for any violation thereof. The following policies are particularly important to note:

Submission of Assignments: It is the responsibility of the student to organize his or her work so that the assignments are completed on time. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment will be deducted for each day it is overdue without permission.

Plagiarism: Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words. Whenever students take an idea or a passage from another author, they must acknowledge their debt by quotation marks and/or footnotes. Plagiarism is a major academic offense. Students may be required to submit their work in electronic form for plagiarism checking.

Selection and Registration of Courses: Students are responsible for ensuring that their selection of courses is appropriate and accurately recorded, that all prerequisite course(s) have been successfully completed, and that they are aware of any anti-requisite course(s) that they have taken.