Summer Course in Trier: “Understanding the Bible from the Liturgy”

Catholic University of America and the Theologische Fakultät Trier announced a summer program of interest to graduate students of liturgy – flyer here.

● 3-credit course “Understanding the Bible from the Liturgy” in Trier (in English; see the course description below)
● Visit to the Archive and Library of the German Liturgical Institute: A glimpse behind the liturgical reform after Vatican II (in reference to the course).
● Use research opportunities at the theological libraries in Trier, esp. at the Library of the German Liturgical Institute. It is one of the best international libraries for liturgical studies in the world (including sacred art and music; in various languages, esp. German, English, and French; 75,000 volumes and 250 journals).

● Discover various liturgical manuscripts from Trier (there will be a practical introduction to working with them).
● Meet German students (a seminar with doctoral students and social gatherings).
● In addition, attend optional classes on the Liturgy of the Hours (“Praying the Bible”) and Old Testament and New Testament classes in German.
● Trier is a World Heritage Site with Roman architecture (the emperor Constantine lived in Trier; early Christian excavations), medieval city center, wonderful churches, and modern atmosphere (Click here for a video about Trier).
● Enjoy study trips to Cologne, Maria Laach (center of the Liturgical Movement in Germany), Mainz (Gutenberg Bible), and get in touch with German culture and language.
● In preparation/clarification: Take part in the international conference “Bible, Life, and Worship: The Liturgical and the Biblical Movement in the US and Germany in Comparison” (June 4-7). There will be a call for papers (including publication) and the possibility of receiving a $200-grant (more information to follow).

Costs: from $1,850 (for 4 weeks!)
● Program fee includes tuition, housing (single room with shared bathroom [$1,850], shared two-bed room with private bathroom [$2,200] or single room with private bathroom [$2,490]) at the St. Joseph’s Sisters in the city center with a lovely garden. Included also are the study trips, the conference (with meals), wine tasting, daily breakfast, bus to Maria Laach.
● Other meals can easily be found in the city or at the university (with a student discount).
● Travel expenses incurred for the excursions and public transportation cannot be covered, since tickets must be obtained individually. The “Germany-ticket” provides regional and local public transport for €49 (approx. $55) per month. You receive assistance to book the ticket (see more:
● Since we are applying for funding, we might be able to give a small travel grant.

Course description: “Understanding the Bible from the Liturgy” (3 credits)
Professors: Dr. Marco Benini (liturgy, Trier; taught 6 semesters at CUA), with some classes by Dr. Stefanos Alexopoulos (liturgy, CUA), Dr. Michael Witczak (liturgy, CUA), Dr. Hans-Georg Gradl (NT, Trier), and Dr. Carolin Neuber (OT, Trier).

“Sacred Scripture is of the greatest importance in the celebration of the liturgy.” (SC 24). The Bible shapes the liturgy like no other book: OT and NT readings are intertextually combined. Psalms are often specifically chosen. Prayers and hymns are biblically permeated. Liturgical actions and symbols (e.g., the washing of feet on Holy Thursday, baptismal rites, etc.) are inspired by sacred Scripture. At the same time, the liturgy interprets sacred Scripture and makes the Bible, a written echo of the revelation, to the living Word of God, whom we encounter in the liturgy. The reception of Scripture (e.g., according to the literary reception theory) is part of the active participation in the liturgy.

The course explores the rich relationships between Bible and liturgy. The first part examines liturgical elements within the OT and NT. The second part discusses the various ways in which liturgy uses Scripture (cf. SC 24). The course finally pays attention to systematic-theological dimensions of the liturgical hermeneutics of Scripture. The whole course promotes an interdisciplinary dialogue of liturgical and biblical studies and considers pastoral implications in the current challenges and opportunities for the Church.

Assigned readings for each class are in English (additional ones in German and other languages are optional).

In the place of the final exam students will submit a research paper on a topic related to the course. An official transcript in German and English will be provided. That will facilitate the transfer of credits.

Some feedback from the 2022 participants:
• “I think the course mixed with the trips and research classes was wonderful. All of it was very enriching for me and my growth. All of them combined in a logical fashion I can already tell have helped my grow intellectually and spiritually in a way I hadn’t expected.”
• “This was a remarkable time for me. It has been very well organized, and you have been amazingly patient with all of us. This has helped me in my vocation a great deal. Thank you so much for all of the work you put into having us here and I hope to see you guys again in the future.”
• “The overall program was truly excellent! I learned a lot, being both challenged and supported. The events were also wonderful. Thank you so much!”
• “I highly enjoyed my time here. Overall, I would highly recommend the summer! Thank you for your time and effort and interest in me as a theologian and a person! If nothing else, the connections/networking students have with other students from various universities is a reason to come.”
• See video feedback of participants 2022: https://theologie-trier.

How to apply:
● Please send your application (CV, letter of intent, recommendation letter from your professor) to by October 15, 2023 (please also specify your preference for the housing options. The number of rooms is limited).
● The application will be reviewed by the professors Stefanos Alexopoulos (CUA), Hans-Georg Gradl (Trier), and Marco Benini (Trier). We will reply to all applicants by October 25, 2023 and invite the chosen students to a Zoom-meeting (Nov. 7, 2023, 12:15 pm EST) to provide further information on practical steps.

For any questions please contact Fr. Marco Benini at: