Module A1: Historical outline of Christian liturgy and worship
This is an introductory historical outline of Christian liturgy, surveying a wide chronological span and a large subject area. The emphasis is on the study of liturgy, but this cannot be separated from the broader study of theology. The primary focus is on the Mass and Office (or their equivalents after the Reformation). There are four main areas of study: the early Church (up to the ninth century), the medieval Church (c.900-1500), Reformation and Counter-Reformation (c.1500-1650), the modern Church (c.1650-1950).
At the end of the module you will have gained a historical perspective on Christian worship up to the mid twentieth century, a grasp of the related theological issues, and an understanding of the forms and contents of liturgy which underpin worship today.
Suggested initial reading
Overview: James F. White, A Brief History of Christian Worship
Theology of liturgy: Cheslyn Jones, Geoffrey Wainwright, Edward Yarnold and Paul Bradshaw (eds.), The Study of Liturgy, Part One
The Mass/Eucharist: J. D. Crichton, A Short History of the Mass
The Office: George Guiver, Company of Voices
As a companion: F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church.
For reference, see The New Catholic Encyclopedia (20 volumes)
The bibliography at the end of this document gives abbreviated details of place of publication, publisher, and date of publication (usually only the first and the most recent edition are cited). Many of the titles listed are available in paperback. Works which are out of print are often obtainable through inter-library loan.
1 Christian liturgy in the early Church (up to the ninth century)
1.1 Evidence of worship in the early Church and the influence of Judaism
1.2 The formation of the Mass
1.3 Cathedral liturgy
1.4 The formation of monasticism and monastic liturgy
1.5 The impact of the Roman and Frankish empires on liturgical formation and practice
Suggested reading for study area 1
The Study of Liturgy, Part Two, chapters 1.1-12, 3.1-8 and 5.1-3
Paul Bradshaw, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship, especially chapters 1, 6, 8
On early monasticism: C. H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism, chapters 1-5
For general historical background, see Henry Chadwick, The Early Church
Essay questions related to study area 1:
A1.1.1 What were the principal influences on the formation of Christian liturgy up until about 900?
A1.1.2 Outline the development of either the Mass or the Office up until about 900.
2 Christian liturgy in the medieval Church (c.900-1500)
2.1 The forms and orders of the Latin liturgy, secular and monastic
2.2 The impact of Benedictine reforms: codification, elaboration, reaction
2.3 The friars and their influence
2.4 St Thomas Aquinas and the theology of the Mass
2.5 Medieval spirituality and devotion
Suggested reading for study area 2
John Harper, The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy, Part Two throughout
The Study of Liturgy Part Two, chapters 3.9, 5.4, 6.1-2 and 7.1-7
On medieval monasticism, see C. H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism, chapters 6-9
On the friars, see C. H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism, chapter 12, and in more detail C. H. Lawrence, The Friars
For a brief introduction to Aquinas, see Henry Chadwick, Aquinas
For general historical background, see R. W. Southern, Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages
Essay questions related to study area 2:
A1.2.1 Outline the development of Christian liturgy between c.900 and c.1500.
A1.2.2 What are the principal distinctions between the 'secular' and the 'monastic' patterns of liturgy?
A1.2.3 In what ways did the monks and the friars influence medieval liturgy and spirituality?
3 Christian liturgy in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation (c.1500-1650)
3.1 The late medieval crisis
3.2 Luther and Calvin: theology, authority and liturgical reform
3.3 The English Reformation and the Book of Common Prayer
3.4 The Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation and the Tridentine Rite
Suggested reading for study area 3
The Study of Liturgy Part Two, chapters 1.13-14, 2.6-7, 3.10-12, 4.7 and 5.5-7
Geoffrey Cuming, A History of Anglican Liturgy, chapters 1-7
John Harper, The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy, Part Three
James F. White, Protestant Worship; Traditions in Transition
James F. White, Roman Catholic Worship: Trent to Today
For general historical background, see Owen Chadwick, The Reformation (or an equivalent study, e.g. A.G. Dickens, The Reformation and A.G. Dickens, The Counter-Reformation
Essay questions related to study area 3:
A1.3.1 Outline the impact of the Reformation on the liturgy of the Lutheran and Calvinist Churches.
A1.3.2 Summarise the liturgical history of the Book of Common Prayer up until about 1640.
A1.3.3 In what ways was the Roman Catholic liturgy 'reformed' during the sixteenth and earlier seventeenth centuries?
4 Christian liturgy in the modern Church (c.1650-1950)
4.1 Authority and local practice: the Roman Catholic church
4.2 The Church of England: internal diversity and the spread of non-conformity
4.3 Continental Protestantism
4.4 New scholarship: editing of texts in the nineteenth century
4.5 The foundations of liturgical renewal in the early twentieth century
Suggested reading for study area 4
The Study of Liturgy, Part Two, chapters 1.14, 2.8, 3.13-14 and 4.5-7
Geoffrey Cuming, A History of Anglican Liturgy, chapters 7-12
C. D. Jasper, The Development of the Anglican Liturgy, 1662-1980, chapters 1-8
Luther D. Reed, The Lutheran Liturgy
Frank C. Senn (ed.), Protestant Spiritual Traditions
James F. White, Roman Catholic Worship: Trent to Today
James F. White, Protestant Worship: Traditions in Transition
Essay questions related to study area 4:
A1.4.1 To what extent was Roman Catholic worship unchanging and internationally consistent in the period c.1650-1950?
A1.4.2 Summarise the liturgical history of the Church of England between 1660 and 1950.
A1.4.3 Consider the development of worship in the Lutheran church between c.1650 and 1950.
A1.4.4 Were there signs of liturgical renewal in the nineteenth and earlier twentieth centuries, and how were they made manifest?
Although you may choose (or be directed by a supervisor in) your own pattern of study it must include those issues listed in the study areas above, and you are advised to take account of the recommended reading.
In undertaking the writing of essays you are advised to consult the guidance for presentation of written work in the general study notes.
Assessment and satisfactory completion
At the end of the module you must submit two essays, each of 3,750-4,000 words, for assessment. The subjects of the essays must be selected from the topics set above. Each essay must relate to a different study area. A bibliography of materials consulted should be appended to the essay.
The assessment of the module will be based on the two essays, but you must establish that you have satisfactorily completed study of all four areas. You should complete a module log listing materials used for the study, time spent in study, and noting any special factors or difficulties encountered. You may also be required to provide additional evidence of study undertaken in the two areas not covered by the two assessed essays. In each case this may consist either of notes made during study or an essay on a topic related to the area. The examiners will request these materials if they require them.
Two copies of all materials for assessment and establishment of satisfactory completion should be forwarded to the Course Secretary and postmarked not later than 31 January or 30 June in the appropriate study period.
Bibliography: Module A1
Basic introductory texts
D. Crichton, A Short History of the Mass (London, Catholic Truth Society, 1983)
George Guiver, Company of Voices: Daily Prayer and the People of God (London, SPCK, 1988; 2nd ed. Norwich, Canterbury Press, 2001)
Cheslyn Jones, Geoffrey Wainwright, Edward Yarnold and Paul Bradshaw (eds.), The Study of Liturgy (London, SPCK, 1978; rev. ed. 1992)
H. Maude, A History of the Book of Common Prayer (London, Rivingtons, 1899; 6th ed. 1964)
S. Phillips, The Background of the Prayer Book (London, SPCK, 1938; repr. 1949)
James F. White, A Brief History of Christian Worship (Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1993)
Other books included in suggested reading
Paul F. Bradshaw, The Search for the Origins of Christian Worship (London, SPCK, 1992; 2nd ed. 2002)
Henry Chadwick, The Early Church (London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1968; rev. ed. London, Penguin, 1993)
Owen Chadwick, The Reformation (Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1973; new ed. 1990)
L. Cross, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1957; 3rd ed. edited by E. A. Livingstone, 1997)
Geoffrey Cuming, A History of Anglican Liturgy (London, Macmillan, 1969; 2nd ed. 1982)
G. Dickens, The Counter Reformation (London, Thames & Hudson, 1968; repr. 1992)
G. Dickens, The English Reformation (London, Batsford, 1964; 2nd ed. 1989)
Margot E. Fassler and Rebecca A. Baltzer (eds.), The Divine Office in the Latin Middle Ages (New York, Oxford University Press, 2000)
John Harper, The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy from the 10th to the 18th Century (Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1991)
C. D. Jasper, The Development of the Anglican Liturgy, 1662-1980 (London, SPCK, 1989)
H. Lawrence, Medieval Monasticism (London, Longman, 1984; 3rd ed. 2001)
H. Lawrence, The Friars (London, Longman, 1994)
Luther D. Reed, The Lutheran Liturgy (Philadelphia, Muhlenberg Press, 1947; rev. ed. Philadelphia, Fortress Press, 1960)
Frank C. Senn (ed.), Protestant Spiritual Traditions (New York, Paulist Press, 1986)
W. Southern, Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages (London, Hodder & Stoughton, 1970; repr. Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1990)
James F. White, Protestant Worship: Traditions in Transition (Westminster, John Knox Press, (c.1989))
James F. White, Roman Catholic Worship: Trent to Today (Paulist Press, New York, 1995)
D. Crichton, Christian Celebration, three volumes - Understanding the Mass, Understanding the Sacraments, Understanding the Prayer of the Church (London, Geoffrey Chapman, 1981; new ed. 1r993; available both in separate volumes and also in a single volume containing the three parts)
Gregory Dix, The Shape of the Liturgy (Westminster, Dacre Press, (1943); 2nd ed. 1978)
Donald A. Withey, Catholic Worship: An Introduction to Liturgy (Bury St. Edmunds, Kevin Mayhew, 1990)