What We’re Reading: The St. John’s MA in Liturgical Studies

The Masters Degree in Liturgical Studies is the highest liturgy degree at St. John’s. As a part of the comprehensive exams the student is responsible for a rather extensive reading list, which includes books that may or may not have been used in the degree courses. Pray Tell readers will be interested in the books selected by the faculty for the liturgy students.


MA Liturgical Studies Comprehensive Exams: Reading List
St. John’s University School of Theology•Seminary  (Spring 2015)


Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry (Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1982); accessible on-line.

Kimberly Hope Belcher, Efficacious Engagement: Sacramental Participation in the Trinitarian Mystery (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2011).

Louis-Marie Chauvet, The Sacraments: The Word of God at the Mercy of the Body (Collegeville: Pueblo, 2001).

David Coffey, The Sacrament of Reconciliation (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2001).

Martin Connell, Eternity Today: On the Liturgical Year (New York: Continuum, 2006):

  • “On God and Time,” Volume 1, 1-52;
  • “Christmas,” Volume 1, 88-146;
  • “Sunday,” Volume 2, 1-51;
  • “The Three Days,” Volume 2, 101-157,
  • “Ordinary Time”: Volume 2, 196-240.

David Fagerberg, Theologia Prima: What Is Liturgical Theology? (Chicago: Hillenbrand/LTP, 2004).

Mark Francis, Local Worship, Global Church: Popular Religion and the Liturgy (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2014).

George Guiver, Company of Voices: Daily Prayer and the People of God (Canterbury, 2005).

Kevin Irwin, Models of the Eucharist (New York: Paulist Press, 2005).

Maxwell Johnson, The Rites of Christian Initiation: Their Evolution and Interpretation, revised edition (Collegeville: Pueblo, 2007).

Josef Jungmann, The Liturgy of the Word, trans. H. E. Winstone (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1966).

Don Handelman and Galina Lindquist, editors, Ritual in its Own Right: Exploring the Dynamics of Transformation: Don Handelman, “Introduction: Why Ritual in Its Own Right? How So,” and Bruce Kapferer, “Ritual Dynamics and Virtual Practice: Beyond Representation and Meaning,” (New York: Berghahn, 2005): 1-54.

Gordon Lathrop, Holy People: A Liturgical Ecclesiology (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1999).

Robin Leaver and Joyce Ann Zimmerman, Liturgy and Music: Lifetime Learning (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1998): Chapters 13, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23.

Thomas Long, Accompany Them with Singing – The Christian Funeral (Louisville: Westminster-John Knox, 2009).

Nathan Mitchell, Cult and Controversy: The Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass (Collegeville: Pueblo, 1992): 310-366.

Bruce Morrill, Divine Worship and Human Healing: Liturgical Theology at the Margins of Life and Death (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2009).

Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy (Crestwood, New York: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1982).

Bryan Spinks and John Fenwick, Worship in Transition: The Liturgical Movement in the Twentieth Century (New York: Continuum, 1995).

Kenneth Stevenson, To Join Together: The Rite of Marriage (New York: Pueblo, 1987).

Paul Turner, Confirmation: The Baby in Solomon’s Court (Chicago: Hillenbrand, 2007).

Johan Van Parys, Symbols that Surround Us (Liguori, Missouri: Liguori, 2012).

Catherine Vincie, Celebrating Divine Mystery: A Primer in Liturgical Theology (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2009).

Herbert Vorgrimler, Sacramental Theology, trans. Linda M. Maloney (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992).

Geoffrey Wainwright and Karen Westerfield Tucker, editors, The Oxford History of Christian Worship (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2006):

  • Maxwell Johnson, “The Apostolic Tradition,” 32-76;
  • Alexander Rentel, “Byzantine and Slavic Orthodoxy,” 254-306;
  • Nathan Mitchell, “Reforms, Protestant and Catholic,” 307-350;
  • Geoffrey Wainwright, “Ecumenical Convergences,” 721-754.

Caroline Bynum Walker, “Women Mystics and Eucharistic Devotion in the Thirteenth Century,” in Fragmentation and Redemption (Boston: Zone, 1991): 119-150.

“The Lectionary and Its Reading,” in Liturgy: Journal of The Liturgical Conference 29.4 (October-December 2014):

  • Fritz West, “The Lectionary and its Readings: Introduction” and “Lectionary Triangulated: Insights from the Late Twentieth Century,” 1-10;
  • Alan F. Detscher, “My Word Shall Not Return to Me Empty: The Lectionary as Ecumenical Event,” 11-17;
  • Kimberly Bracken Long, “Feasting at the Table of the Word: The Liturgical Generativity of the Lectionary,” 18-26;
  • Timothy Andrew Leitzke, “Lectionaries and Little Narratives: Children of the Revised Common Lectionary,” 27-32;
  • Martin Connell, “On Liturgy and Lectionary: The Word of Life in the Body of Christ,” 33-37;
  • Gail Ramshaw, “Christ in the Sea Monster: Biblical Imagery and the Proclamation of the Gospel,” 38-45;
  • Ephraim Radner, “Lectionary and the Figural Meaning of the Scriptures,” 56-62.

James White, Protestant Worship: Traditions in Transition (Louisville: Westminster, 1989).

Susan Wood, Ordering the Baptismal Priesthood: Theologies of Lay and Ordained (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2003).



  1. That’s a great reading list! I think there’s scarcely a title that I haven’t read listed there.

    Glad to see that the memory of my mentor Harold Winstone lives on in the Jungmann book. And surely George Guiver’s Company of Voices has an earlier date than that? (I’m away from my office and unable to check my copy)

  2. In the last year I have read Regan’s Advent to Pentecost and Bradshaw and Johnson’s Origins of Feast, Fasts and Seasons, finding them both extremely informative and insightful. I was hoping I would find those two on the list.

    I trust a thorough knowledge of Church documents like SC is presumed?

    The list is incredibly thorough, only a few I have read. It looks like I have a lot of reading to do in the New (Liturgical) Year!!

  3. Are the students responsible for readings on the Liturgy of the Hours?

    Two suggestions:
    Stanislaus Campbell, From Breviary to Liturgy of the Hours: The Structural Reform of the Roman Office 1964-1971. (that you mentioned recently)
    Paul F. Bradshaw, Two Ways of Praying.

    1. @Derrick Tate – comment #3:
      Then there is of course Robert Taft’s magnum opus on the subject, which offers a historical and ecumenical overview of the Daily Office. (That would be The Liturgy of the Hours in East and West.)

  4. Why is Fortescue not included? I’m not enamored with his methodology. His rubrical manuals are often a jumbled byzantine mess of conflicting instructions. However, the broad stroke reform of the Tridentine solemn Mass in the first Consilium instruction as well as Paul VI’s simplification of court and vestment protocol must be seen against Fortescue’s scholarship. Also, Fortescue is very much alive in today’s EF practice.

    I respect that St. John’s is a liturgically progressive academy. However, the EF is now indubitably legalized. The early modern liturgy must be understood as a phenomenon in the postconciliar world.

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