Institute of Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology

Liturgical Studies are concerned with the history, theology, and pastoral care of liturgy. they address the celebration of faith, which is expressed in and nourished by the various forms of worship present in the Church.

Liturgical Sacramental Theology addresses and reflects on the central issues of faith – God, man, and the world – by working with the Church’s fundamental texts, and by researching the way the sacraments and other forms of liturgical ceremonies are celebrated. Dogmatic and pastoral questions as well as the art of good liturgical ceremony (ars liturgica) are approached in an interdisciplinary way. Hence, Sacramental Theology is not only interested in theory, but also always illuminates the praxis of liturgical celebration.

Current Research

Diploma Theses 

  • Implementation of Liturgical Reform at the Parish Aigen-Schlägl (Christine RICHTFELD, since 2008)

The study of actual implementation of recent liturgical reform, which was initiated by the Second Vatican Council, gives crucial insights into the differences between documents of reform and new books on the one hand and traditional customs and the living faith of parishes on the other hand. The parish Aigen-Schlägl with its connection to the monastery of Norbertine canons is an ideal object of study precisely because of competent contemporary witnesses within the parish.

Earlier Theses

PhD Theses 

  • The Advent of Liturgics in Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages (Florian WEGSCHEIDER)

Advent constitute the most significant liturgical time of the year within the society. However, the existing research has not yet systematically analysed the origin and beginnings of advent. The research paper aims to fill this lack. As base of this research, it is significant to consult the establishment of the liturgical celebration of the birth of Jesus (Christmas or Epiphany). Due to this celebration, a preparation time originates, which represents advent. The following paper will analyse the oldest, existing evidences regarding advent and their content will be examined. Thereby, it will focus on the contextuality of each source and considers inner-church and political controversies and contentions. The presented evidence will not only be analysed on their textual characteristics but the reason for the emergence of this preparation time plays an important role in the following research paper. For this purpose, evidences from the Western as well as Eastern Roman Empire were discussed. Based on the research, new references and suggestions were identified, which demand a new approach  of exploration of the origin of Advent.

  • Sunday Observance of the Paschal Mystery: Reflections on the Liturgical Celebration of the Lord’s Day in Light of Current Developments (Benedikt RODLER)

Based on the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Würzburg Synod this research project takes into account the liturgical Sunday observance in the tension between theological convictions, normative texts of the Church, and current ecclesial and social developments. More specifically, the main question is, how the central content of the celebration of Sunday, the realization of the Paschal mystery and the communion with the risen and exalted Kyrios, can continue to find meaningful and adequate expression in liturgy despite or within an environment of increasingly changing conditions. The declining number of churchgoers and priests should be met by adapting pastoral structures. The attempts of German dioceses to impose structural changes in order to deal with current transformations are as diverse as they are controversial. Besides the traditional Eucharist other forms of liturgy have recently gained traction (for example, word of God celebration, liturgy of the hours, devotions, multimedia church services, etc.). It might be possible to locate these in the Paschal mystery on Sunday (Paschal week). These new forms of liturgy are thus to be reflected in liturgical and theological terms in the context of these new developments. Subsequently, they will be integrated with the requirement of the fulfilment of the church’s Sunday observance. The research project will take an independent stand on current developments by exploring different viewpoints within the current debate and by theologically revitalising them in a liturgical context. The research project is thus aimed at theological experts, at those responsible for structural changes in liturgy in German dioceses as well as those interested in the subject matter. The aim of this project is the formulation of valid theories that can serve as an aid to local churchgoers in their approach to the Sunday observance.

  • On the Role of the Presider in Liturgy (Josef KEPLINGER)  

The question what role the presider takes in liturgy does not only ask for the places of liturgy, but also for the various roles of functionaries within various forms of worship (Eucharist, Liturgy of the Hours, Liturgy of the Word, Sacraments, Prayers). After a brief historical account on the origin and development of the presider his meaning is analyzed in light of the latest liturgical reform. The thesis presents conclusions for the appropriate use of the presider.

  • The Question of Inculturation and the Liturgy vis-avis 1960 Naming Ceremony and Christian Initiation (Anthony Alozie ALAMEZIE)
  • Inculturation and Marriage Liturgy of the Indian Catholic Church (James NIRAVATH, 2006, supervised by Dr. Winfried Haunerland)
  • The Inauguration of the Catholic Priest (Christoph FREILINGER, 2003, supervised by Dr. Winfried Haunerland) 

Diploma Theses …

Websites on Liturgy

Current Documents

Institutes of Liturgy at Austrian Catholic Theological Faculties

Institutes of Liturgy of the Conferences of Bishops: 

Liturgic Calendar / Service Sheets (by Schott, in German) 

Journals (all links in German)

Church Music