Higher Diploma in Pastoral Liturgy
The one-year programme in liturgy, conducted by the National Centre for Liturgy, Pontifical University, offers candidates the opportunity to study liturgy under its theological, historical, spiritual and pastoral aspects. It is planned to meet the needs of people for their future or continued work in liturgy at parish, community or diocesan level.
- Students are required to have a primary degree where theology is at least a major component.
- Students with other degrees, or with a professional diploma or equivalent qualification, may be admitted if they have experience in parish or liturgical ministry.
- Students may be required to take extra courses in theology, and to take an oral examination while studying for the Higher Diploma in Pastoral Liturgy.
Aims of the Liturgy Course
- Provides a comprehensive training in liturgy and a leadership role in pastoral work
- Prepares for parish and diocesan ministry
Programme of Study
The course is a taught modular programme through lectures, workshops and practical sessions:
- What, then, is Liturgy?
This module will lead participants to an understanding of liturgy as a primary act of the believing community. It will explore theological and human dimensions, introduce the function of music in Christian worship as well as encompass history and ecumenism
- The Church’s Year: Time, Seasons and Feasts
This module is designed to give participants in-depth theological and liturgical understanding of the Church’s Year and to facilitate appreciation of the growth in Christian faith that happens in the course of its celebration
- Scripture and Liturgy – Ministers, Proclamation, Books
Participants are introduced to how liturgy interprets the scriptural text, as well as the theological intention of the Lectionary. It will open up the riches of the Liturgy of the Hours, understood as the daily participation of the Church in the paschal mystery of Christ. This module will school students in the arts of liturgical proclamation and equip them in the discipline of being spiritually prepared to proclaim the Word of God
- Leading God’s People in Public Prayer
This module is designed to introduce participants to weekday gatherings for public prayer in the absence of the celebration of the Eucharist. Through a mixture of input, practical opportunities and reflection, participants will grow in confidence in this role and how it might be introduced in a parish setting
- Christian Initiation: Baptism and Confirmation
This module is designed to introduce participants to how Christians are made. Through a mixture of input, practical opportunities and reflection, participants will grow in confidence in their knowledge and practice of Christian Initiation and reflect on their own experience and how their pastoral contexts may expand their ministry in this vital aspect of the life of the Church
- Christian Initiation: The Eucharist – Celebration and Theology
This module is designed to introduce participants to the origins, development and theology of the Eucharist. Through a mixture of input, practical opportunities and reflection, participants will grow in confidence in their knowledge and understanding of the Eucharist and its celebration
- Sacraments: Parish Celebrations on Life’s Journey
Taking the official ritual books as a starting point, this module sets out to offer participants an overview of Christian
Marriage; of Christian initiation for Children baptised as children; of the Order of Penance and of those parts of the Order of Funerals that are not covered in Module 1. This module will also look at some elements which can be gleaned for the liturgy in Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation: Evangelii Gaudium
- Pastoral Issues in Contemporary Parish Communities: Moving Forward with Liturgical Confidence
This module looks at ministry from four points of view; the Communion Rite, the care of the sick, breaking open God’s Word and the ‘liturgy,’ which is daily life. This module gives focus, too, to the place for the public act of worship, both its ‘front of house’ and backroom provisions and resources
- Students are assessed through a combination of written work and group projects.
- A minor dissertation/major essay will be submitted by the end of semester two, at which point a final synthesis examination is held.
Benefits of Studying Liturgy
- Helps deepen and appreciate the fullness of life that Christ offers through the liturgical celebrations
- More effective in the ministry of reading, music, baptismal teams, liturgy groups, RCIA, bereavement groups, care of the sick, prayer groups.