Prayer Book III: Holy Week and the Liturgical Year

Online: March 8 – May 3, 2021

Tuesday, March 16, 7:30-9pm
Tuesday, March 30, 7:30-9pm
Saturday, April 10, 8-9:30am
Tuesday, April 20, 7:30-9pm

The rhythms of the church year guide us annually through the great stories and themes of the Christian faith. But why do Episcopalians follow a liturgical calendar? Where did the idea come from, and how has it changed through the centuries? How do the liturgies in our Book of Common Prayer express the important themes of faith, and how can they be part of the church’s missional, outward focus? This course will offer an in-depth study of the rhythms and themes of the church year, with particular attention to the liturgies of Holy Week.


  • Familiarity with (and ability to talk about) the liturgical year and lectionary cycles
  • Ability to plan and participate in the liturgies of Holy Week, with attention to each faith community’s size and context, and with understanding of theology underlying liturgical choices
  • Understanding liturgy, particularly during Holy Week, as both an expression of the faith of the church and also an opportunity for missional engagement with the community

Instructor: Therese (Terry) DeLisio, Bexley+Seabury

Therese (Terry) DeLisio is the Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Theology and Liturgy. Prior to joining Bexley Seabury, DeLisio served her alma mater, Union Theological Seminary, for three years as associate dean of academic affairs. For seven years, 2006-2013, she taught theology, worship, and interreligious women’s studies at Chicago-area seminaries and universities, including Seabury-Western Theological Seminary which, in 2013, federated with Bexley Hall. DeLisio earned four degrees at three metro New York institutions: an M.Div. and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology and Worship at Union Theological Seminary; a J.D. at St. John’s University School of Law in Jamaica, New York; and a B.A. in Psychology at Brooklyn’s St. Francis College. Her scholarly research and writing examines the theological, ethical, and liturgical implications of the contemporary “turn to the cosmos” for sacramental theology, liturgical practice, and creation care from an eco-feminist perspective.

Required Resources: 

  1. The Hymnal 1982 — the 2-volume accompaniment edition which contains indexes and other very helpful resources for liturgical planning
  2. Westerhoff, John H. A Pilgrim People: Learning Through the Church Year (New York: Church Publishing, 2005).
  3. Mitchell, Leonel L. Praying Shapes Believing: A Theological Commentary on the Book of Common Prayer (Revised edition — Seabury Books, 2016).
  4. Mitchell, Leonel L. Lent, Holy Week, Easter, and the Great Fifty Days: A Ceremonial Guide. (Boston: Cowley Publications, 1996).
  5. Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2018, available online here
  6. Book of Occasional Services 2018, available online here

Strongly Suggested (You will want them for your reference in the future):

  1. Hatchett, Marion J. Commentary on the American Prayer Book (HarperOne, 1995)
  2. Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2006 (This is the most recent edition)
  3. Episcopal Church supplemental hymnals:
    • Voices Found
    • Lift Every Voice and Sing II
    • My Heart Sings Out
    • Wonder, Love, and Praise