Understanding Active Participation in the Sacred Liturgy

This course examines the groundbreaking insights into liturgical theology and practice which set the context for the Second Vatican Council’s famous call for “active participation” in the sacred liturgy. Beginning in the nineteenth century and continuing up to the Council documents themselves, the writings of great liturgical thinkers are examined to provide the understanding of liturgical participation as a mystical sharing in the very actions of Christ through the rites of the Church.


Your Instructor


Dr. Denis McNamara
Dr. Denis McNamara

Dr. Denis McNamara is an Associate Professor and the Executive Director of the Center for Beauty and Culture at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He is the former Academic Director of the Liturgical Institute. He holds a BA in the History of Art from Yale University and a PhD in Architectural History from the University of Virginia, where he concentrated his research on the study of ecclesiastical architecture with Richard Guy Wilson and Carroll William Westfall.

Dr. McNamara makes a specialty of bridging the gap between the Church’s great artistic tradition and the documents of the Second Vatican Council. He has also done groundbreaking research on scriptural understandings of architecture and the sacramental meaning of the classical architectural tradition.

He is the author Heavenly City: The Architectural Tradition of Catholic Chicago, Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy, and How to Read Churches: A Crash Course In Christian which was published in eight languages.


He has appeared on Catholic and secular television and radio and is a frequent presenter in academic as well as parish settings and is co-host of a podcast on the sacred liturgy called “The Liturgy Guys,” which won “Best Podcast” from Fisher’s Net in 2017.


An experienced singer, Dr. McNamara has been a member of numerous large and small vocal ensembles for over three decades. He has led training classes in liturgical singing and teaches the Liturgical Institute’s course on the documents of sacred music.


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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
How do I receive a certificate of completion for this course?
If you are interested in obtaining a certificate of completion for this course, you must pass this quiz. A passing grade is 14 correct answers or higher. Once you have passed this quiz, you will receive your certificate via e-mail.
Do you offer bulk discounts if I have a large group of people that want to take the class?
Yes, we do have bulk discounts available. Please give us a call to inquire: 847-837-4542
How long is this course?
This course is comprised of 5 one-hour classes. You can pause it at any time and resume where you left off.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
Teachable Troubleshooting
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Viewing Completed Quizzes
Quiz questions and answers are unable to be viewed after completing the course quiz. Once you have passed the quiz, you will receive your certificate of completion via e-mail.
Do these courses count as credits towards a degree?
These courses are stand-alone resources and will not count as credit towards a degree. However, you can use these courses for Continuing Education Units. Each course will count as .5 CEUs.

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