Liturgy Institute London

For a detailed and peaceful study of Liturgy

Seminar on Christian Initiation

photo of Ephrem Carr OSB

IL: L719; PIL:
KU Leuven: B-KUL-A07I4A

Taught byProfessor Ephrem Carr


This seminar considers the history and development of Christian Initiation. Students will examine a selection of texts and trace their origin and development through history, examine how they have been proclaimed and interpreted up to the present. Students are helped to learn from each other by seminar presentations and to edit their own work in the light of others presentations. In this way students refine their research skills and prepare a seminar paper which may later be developed into a Masters thesis.


Students enrolling for ECTS credit at KU Leuven:

This course is taught at Ealing Abbey, London from 13 to 24 August 2018 for academic year 2018-2019. It is completed before enrolment at KU Leuven at the end of August. 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: 13 – 24 August 2018
(free days Saturday 18 , Sunday 19)

Hours: 09.30-12.20 (including a break)

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


Location: Liturgy Institute London (at Ealing Abbey)
74 Castlebar Road Ealing London, W5 2DD, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8862 2156
For further details or to register contact the Institute at:
E-mail: il AT liturgyinstitute DOT com


KU Leuven awards 4 study points upon the successful completion of  this graduate course.
The Institutum Liturgicum requires this course for its IL certificate.


Previous knowledge

A familiarity with the history of western culture is needed in order to understand the context of the documents studied. A familiarity with the history of the christian liturgy and of christian theology is recommended. An understanding of several rites of Christian initiation in their original language or an approved liturgical translation is essential. The methodology will follow that presented in L701 Liturgical Research Seminar. Preparedness for this course is enhanced by Courses: L702 History of the Liturgy; L704 Hermeneutics 1; L705 Theology of Liturgy; L713 Christian Initiation.



During this seminar the students will do the folloiwng:

i.     in class reading of the rites of Christian initiation in their original languages

ii.    privately preparing an hermeneutical and historical study and comparative analysis of several texts

iii.   in class presenting of written work to the seminar group, explaining the study undertaken and discoveries made.

iv.   in class learning from others, thus progressing to self-motivated research. Private reflections reviewed in class.

v.         integrating of method and learning from other members of the seminar group into a final presentation of a seminar paper.


Course Material

♦  Rituale Romanum: editio princeps (1614). Edizione anastatica, Introduzione e Appendice, anastatic copy, ed. M. Sodi – J.J. Flores Arcas (Monumenta liturgica concilii tridentini 5), Libreria editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano 2004 (or equivalent).

♦  Rituale Romanum ex decreto Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Pauli PP. VI promulgatum, Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum, edito typica, Typis polyglottis Vaticanis, Città del Vaticano 1972 (OICA 1972), emendata 1974 (The Roman Ritual revised by decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and published by authority of Pope Paul VI: Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults as approved for use by a bishop’s conference).

♦  Sacraments and Sacramentals, ed. A.J. Chupungco (Handbook for Liturgical Studies 4, A Pueblo Book), The Liturgical Press, Collegeville MN 2000, articles by A. Nocent, 5-48, 49-90. (use with attention to footnotes).

♦  M.E. JOHNSON, The Rites of Christian Initiation, Liturgical Press, Collegeville 1999.

♦  A. KAVANAGH, The Shape of Baptism, Pueblo Books, 1978.

♦  K. MCDONNELL, The Baptism of Jesus, Liturgical Press, Collegeville 1996.


Description of learning activities

♦  In class and private identifying sources and understanding of texts;

♦  in class and private hermeneutical and theological analysis of the texts;

♦  private completion of analysis and synthetic essay;

♦  in class presentation, discussion and review of work assigned.


Evaluation description

Examination type: written paper (60%), class participation (40%)

When: evaluation outside normal examination period. Two printed copies of the paper are to be delivered to the Registrar during the last session held on 24 August 2018 (or a later date set by the professor).

Explanation: Participants present their findings in class and have the chance to revise their material, based on class discussion and feedback from the instructor, before submitting a graduate research paper of 3,500-4,000 words, equivalent to 15-20 pages of text including footnotes and in addition a bibliography, following the KU Leuven norms.

Criteria for evaluation:

Both the regular in class presentations by the students of their ongoing research and the final paper are assessed based on the following:

i.  logical organisation of the material and its clear presentation,

ii.  accuracy of information and analysis,

iii.  consistency in style of notes and bibliography,

iv.  sources preferably in their original languages,

v.  theological accuracy


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.


Future topics:

This research seminar is taught on a different topic each year. In 2012 Ephrem Carr conducted a seminar on the Eucharistic. In 2013 he conducts this course  on the Eucharistic prayers. Following this topic on Christian Initiation, these topics are slated for following years: liturgical history, liturgical theology.


Note: Students must be over 18 years of age.

This course is not designed to be taken simultaneously with any other course, such as the Latin programme offered at the same time. Students will need ample time outside of class sessions to conduct their own independent research and writing of a master’s level seminar paper with the guidance of the professor.

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

This course fulfills IL Certificate in Liturgy programme requirement for a seminar


Dates: Block III

13-17 August (Monday to Friday; Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 are free days)
20-24 August (Monday to Friday).

Students and the public are invited to attend the annual St Bede Lecture, to be held at Ealing Abbey on Saturday afternoon 7 July at 2.30 PM.



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 11 or Sunday 12 August or before the course begins at 10.00 on Monday 13 August 2018.

Residential students may arrange to depart depart after the session on Friday 24 or on Saturday 25 August 2018.


Additional information from KU Leuven course web-site

 Academic year: 2018−2019
 Study points: 4
 Language: English
 Difficulty: Master’s level-Advanced
 Duration: 26.0 hours
 Periodicity: Taught with different topics annually in Block III
 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).

The descriptor of this course ‘Research Seminar in Liturgical Studies’ at KU Leuven is a general description intended to account for the changing topics offered eachyear.

Page updated on 11 October 2017 by DM.