Day by day, Christians gather together for public worship and have done so since the apostles met to pray, read the scriptures and break bread in the days after the Ascension.
The study of Christian Liturgy within theology seeks to learn how Christians have worshipped in the past, and to understand better the evolving worship patterns in today’s churches. The influence of social, cultural and even political matters lie behind many of these developments just as much as theological and historical ones and so the study of Christian liturgy has developed to draw insights from many different disciplines outside those traditionally found in theology.
The primary concern of the study of Christian liturgy is what happens in worshipping communities and our studies necessarily look for application to the contemporary church. Studying liturgy at Sarum will not tell you how the eucharist should be celebrated (See Pastoral Liturgy Programme), rather it will enable you to understand the many different factors which lie behind the celebration: the history of the text, the function of ritual, the theological interpretations, the pastoral issues.
The MA in Christian Liturgy allows students to study the most significant aspects of Christian worship – the eucharist, baptism, prayer, the calendar, music, art and architecture, mission and culture as well as the opportunity to pursue personal interests in a guided reading module and of course in the dissertation.
The programme is designed to equip students to competently interpret contemporary worship as well as the historical sources and this emphasis runs through all the modules.