The Liturgical Year

Next Session: Sep 04, 2023

Course Description

This course will explore liturgical time – the structure of the Church’s calendar, its theological meaning, and its liturgical expression. Christians are invited to enter ever more deeply into Christ’s life through the liturgical use of time.

The presentations in this course come from a conference, sponsored by the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, entitled "Unfolding the Mystery of Christ: Exploring Liturgical Time." The conference attempted to discuss all aspects of liturgical time: two of the primary presentations concerned the regular passage of the liturgical year through the Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter seasons, one concerned the special calendar of saints interposed within the liturgical year, and the final talk concerned the passage of each day and week, looking at the Liturgy of the Hours and the Sunday Mass.

These talks, and the other materials presented in this STEP course, are intended to make you conscious of the way liturgical time is used by God for our redemption.

Course Content

Unit 1 - Introduction to liturgical time

Unit 2 - The mystery of the Incarnation

  • Advent – Christmas – Epiphany

Unit 3 - The mystery of the Resurrection

  • Lent – Easter – Pentecost

Unit 4 - Discovering God’s presence

  • Through the day and the week: Sunday and the Liturgy of the Hours

Unit 5 - Discovering God’s presence

  • Through celebrations of His holy ones: the feasts of Mary and the saints

Course Format

  • Six weeks in duration, with one week for orientation.
  • Typically 15-20 students in each course.
  • Lectures delivered via streaming video, with transcripts also available.
  • Supplemental readings are provided to encourage further exploration of topic.
  • Written assignments (150-200 words) required.
  • Facilitator-moderated chat session with students in course.

Required Texts

  • All course materials are available online in the course.

Participation Requirements

  • View or read the lecture for each unit.
  • Read assigned texts; keep notes, questions, and comments for class discussion.
  • Participate in the class discussion using the Forums area: post at least 2 comments, questions, or responses per unit.
  • Write 150-200 words in response to the assignment in each unit.
  • Participate in at least 3 scheduled chat sessions throughout the course.
  • Complete the course evaluation.

Time Expectations

3 to 5 hours per week, depending on your learning style and schedule.

Course Certificate

A certificate of completion awarding 25 contact hours will be sent upon completion of all course requirements.