Liturgy Institute London

For a detailed and peaceful study of Liturgy

Seminar on Christian Marriage

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 Marriage. 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 10 to 21 August 2015 for academic year 2015-2016. It is completed before enrolment at KU Leuven at the end of August. To enquire please write to:  il AT liturgyinstitute DOT org. 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: 17-28 August 2015 (free days Saturday 22, Sunday 23 August)

Hours: 09.30-12.20 (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
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8862 2156 Fax: +44 (0)20 8862 2133
For further details or to register contact the Centre at:
E-mail:  il AT liturgyinstitute DOT org


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 Marriage 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 LiturgyL704 Hermeneutics 1L705 Theology of Liturgy.



During this seminar the students will do the folloiwng:
i.     in class reading of the rites of Christian Marriage in their original languages (as possible)
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

♦     Documents of the Marriage Liturgy, ed. M. Searle – K.W. Stevenson, Liturgical Press (A Pueblo book), Collegeville 1992.
♦     DUCHESNE, L., “Chapter XIV: The Nuptial Blessing”, in idem, Christian Worship its Origin and Evolution: A Study of the Latin Liturgy up to the time of Charlemagne, tr. M.L. McClure, SPCK, London, Macmillan,  51919, repr. 1931, 428-434.
♦     MARTINEZ, G., Worship: Wedding to Marriage, Pastoral Press, Washington DC 1983.
♦     NOCENT, A., “The Christian Rite of Marriage in the West”, in Sacraments and Sacramentals, ed. A. Chupungco (Handbook for Liturgical Studies 4), Liturgical Press (A Pueblo Book), Collegeville 2000, 275-301
♦     PARENTI, S., “The Christian Rite of Marriage in the East”, in Sacraments and Sacramentals, 255-274.
♦     STEVENSON, K.W., To Join Together: The Rite of Marriage (Studies in the Reformed Rites of the Catholic Church 5), Pueblo Publishing, New York 1987.


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 by 30 August 2015.

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 this seminar on the Eucharist. In 2013 he conducted this seminar on the Eucharistic prayers. In 2014 he conducted this seminar on Christian Initiation. In future years he also hopes to conduct this seminar on 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 in the Study Centre and is also available by appointment.

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


Dates: Block III

17-21 August (Monday – Friday; Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 August are free days)
24-28 (Monday to Friday)



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 15 or Sunday 16 August or before the course begins at 9.30 on Monday 17 August 2015.

Residential students may arrange to depart after the session ends at 12:30 on Friday 28 or on Saturday 29 August 2015.


Additional information from KU Leuven course web-site

 Academic year: 2015−2016

 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

Research Master of Advanced Studies in Theology and Religion (120 ECTS)

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 describes this same seminar offered in summer 2013 on the eucharistic prayers. The KU Leuven link will be updated to this new topic in mid July 2015.