Liturgy Institute London

For a detailed and peaceful study of Liturgy

Liturgical Spirituality

Photo of Geert Leenknegt

Geert Leenknegt

IL: L714; PIL: 95036
KULeuven: B-KUL-A0717A, 4 study points

Taught by: Geert Leenknegt

with the moderation of James Leachman

Aims: At the end of the course each student will be prepared to:

i.  describe the history of the growing separation of liturgy and interior prayer,
ii. understand and describe the conflict over liturgical spirituality and popular piety,
iii. analyse and coherently present specific examples of reconciling liturgy and spirituality,
iv. understand the celebration of the liturgy as source of motivation for daily life,
v. explain the role of the liturgy in promoting the integral human formation of the ecclesial person.

Photo of James Leachman

James Leachman

Students enrolling for credit at KU Leuven:

This course is taught at Ealing Abbey, London from 1 to 12 July 2019 for academic year 2019-2020. This course begins well before its course description is first posted on the KU Leuven web-site. To enquire please write to: il AT liturgyinstitute DOT com. After successfully completing this course at Ealing, you may thereafter enrol for this course at KU Leuven to receive KU Leuven study points / ECTS credits.

Dates: 1-12 July 2019 (Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July are free days)

Hours: 9:45-12:45 (including a break)

The course anticipates the student will spend 60 hours in personal reading and study.

Location: Institutum Liturgicum London (at Ealing Abbey)
74 Castlebar Road Ealing London, W5 2DD, UK uk; il AT liturgyinstitute DOT com
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8862 2156; Fax: +44 (0)20 8862 2133

KU Leuven awards 4 study points to this graduate course.
This course fulfils the required elective course for the award in Liturgical Studies offered by the Institutum Liturgicum.

Previous knowledge

It is recommended that students have a general familiarity with the Bible and the history of western civilization in the Christian period and, in particular, with the various liturgical celebrations of the Catholic or another Church in order to understand the general context of these events and celebrations.


This course addresses not only the historical data and theological expressions, but also how to interpret the different understandings of liturgical spirituality. Through participation, reflection and private study students prepare for an oral presentation during the last encounter. The course focuses on the following elements:

i. a survey of historical models of liturgical spirituality,
ii. a comparative critical study of the growing separation of liturgy from interior prayer and popular piety,
iii. a synthetic-interdisciplinary discussion of ways for reconciling liturgy and spirituality,
iv. a final proposal of the divine-human exchange in the celebration of the liturgy as motivation for daily Christian living and for promoting the integral human formation of the ecclesial person.


Course Material

♦ The Library resources are available to the participants including research tools, and many study editions of Latin liturgical books.
♦ Participants with a personal computer, with a LAN cable or wireless connectivity and a UK plug-in adapter will benefit more readily from online resources.
♦ CORBON, J., Wellsprings of Worship, tr M. O’Connell, Paulist, Mahwah NY 1993.
♦ MADIGAN, S., Liturgical Spirituality and the RCIA (Forum Essay 5), Liturgy Training Publications, Chicago IL 1997.
♦ WAAIJMAN, “ Liturgical Spirituality ”, Forms, Foundations, Models, Peeters, Leuven 2002, 138-146.
♦ AGNEW, U., “ Patrick Kavanagh: Poet of the Transformative Power of the Incarnation ”, in Sources of Transformation: Revitalizing christian Spirituality, ed. E. Howells – P. Tyler, Continuum, London 2010, 159-170.

Course activities

♦ group study and discussion of the recommended literature and liturgical and cultural records
♦ participate in class activities
♦ identify some of the theological issues in the renewal and development of the liturgy
♦ discuss some of the major issues concerning liturgical spirituality since Vatican II
♦ identify some of the major issues in a named country or context.

Evaluation description

Examination type: oral (100%); with written preparation.

When: the oral exam is conducted during the final session; and written preparation comprises preparatory notes handed in at the beginning of the oral exam.

Explanation: Students choose and prepare one model of liturgical spirituality in church history for more detailed study and are able to compare other understandings of liturgical spirituality for a more synthetic and reflective response. At the beginning of the oral exam students hand in one copy of their written notes. The function of the written preparation is to support the student in his or her oral presentation and discussion, and then is kept on file for one year. Students may use their prepared written notes in the exam, but the full mark is based on the student’s oral presentation of their reflection to the instructor and their discussion.

Criteria for evaluation: There are two questions in the final oral exam. The first question asks for a descriptive-analytical response concerning the characteristics of one of the models of liturgical spirituality examined in the course, selected by the student. The second question asks for a synthetic-applied response covering the major issues concerning different understandings and models of liturgical spirituality since the Second Vatican Council. The discussion is intended to help the student provide a satisfactory answer.

Second opportunity to sit the exam: Because this is an intensive summer course, the opportunity for a second exam is by appointment and depends upon the availability of the instructor.

Note: Students must be over 18 years of age.

The course anticipates the student will spend 60 hours in personal reading and study.

This course is designed so that prepared students may also enrol in Liturgy in the WestHistory and Context, L702, but students may wish to prepare for the intensive schedule by reading suggested texts before the course begins.

Dates: Block I

1-5 July (Monday to Friday; Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 July are free days)
8-12 July  (Monday to Saturday)

Students are invited to attend the St Bede Annual Lecture to be held at on Saturday afternoon,  6 July.

The instructor will arrange with the students to be available regularly for some time in the Study Centre and is also available by appointment.


Non residential day students are welcome.

Limited accommodation is available through Ealing Abbey house for guests or other religious houses or nearby.

Residential students may arrange to arrive on Saturday 29 or Sunday 30 June or before the lecture begins at 9:30 AM on Monday 1 July 2019.

Residential students may arrange to depart after the lecture ends at 12:30 on Friday 12 or Saturday 13 July 2019.

Additional information from KU Leuven course web-site

 Academic year: 2019−2020

 Study points: 4

 Language: English

 Difficulty: Graduate-Intermediate

 Duration: 26.0 hours

 Periodicity: Taught biennially in Block I

 POC: POC Theology and Religious Studies


This course is included in

Master of Theology and Religious Studies Study Abroad Programme in European Culture and Society (PECS).

A link to the course descriptor at KU Leuven is here. The course is based one offered in Italian by the same professor at Sant’Anselmo, Rome.