Who can participate in The Essentials of Catholic Liturgy (ECL)?

ECL is designed for anyone who requires a basic understanding of Catholic liturgy. This includes music directors, accompanists, cantors, and especially those who are new to Catholic music ministry. Additionally, those who serve as liturgy committee members, sacristans, RCIA coordinators and team members, catechists, and Catholic school teachers will benefit from this course.

Why is ECL a collaborative project between Liturgy Training Publications (LTP) and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM)?

Both LTP and NPM have liturgical formation and training at the center of their mission statements. After years of research and development, the partnership between LTP and NPM became an evident path forward. In order for pastoral musicians to most effectively serve their faith communities, all need to have a high level of liturgical proficiency. Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship, 129, states that “pastoral musicians should develop a working familiarity with the requirements of each rite through a study of the liturgical books themselves.” Finally, the partnership between LTP and NPM will bring about virtual training opportunities and the ability to draw from LTP’s vast collection of presenters, authors, print resources, and media elements.

What is the structure and content of ECL?

ECL will offer instruction and formation in the fundamentals of Catholic liturgy and the essential liturgical documents. Presented in three tracks, ECL sessions will cover key theological concepts, necessary historical groundings, and the practical skills needed as to become a pastoral liturgist. Track One will cover the basics of liturgy. Track Two will survey the sacramental rites and other parish liturgies. Track Three will dive deeper into liturgy and its connection to life and discipleship.

In what format is ECL offered?

ECL will be offered both virtually and at the annual NPM convention.

The online course will be offered periodically throughout the year and will consist of six 90-minute sessions. Participants will be expected to read and/or watch videos between the weekly sessions. The sessions are conducted through the interactive Adobe Connect Platform. Participants will engage in open discussion and reflection throughout the presentation and will gain an effective and enriching formation experience in which they not only learn from the presenter, but from one another as well. Participants in the online course will receive access to a special website where they will have access to special downloads, videos, and a class forum/blog.

The in-person institute will take place throughout the week of the annual NPM convention. Participants will be able to attend convention liturgies, plenum addresses, and performances, but will not be able to choose extra breakout sessions.

There are three tracks to ECL. Must I follow a sequential pattern of courses?

Yes. The second and third track of ECL will build upon the principles that are presented in the preceding track.

How long will ECL take to complete?

By mixing in-person and virtual attendance, participants may be able to complete the three tracks of ECL within as little as a year. At the annual NPM convention, the tracks will rotate each year. If track two or three is scheduled for an annual convention, the previous track/s will be made available virtually.

Will ECL lead to an academic degree?

The ECL course will impart a basic, working knowledge of the Church’s liturgy with costs and schedules accommodating to individuals who wish to further their knowledge and advance their skills in offering leadership for parish worship. The series could serve as a catalyst for seeking further education in the field.

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