Christian Worship

THL115 / THL490

This subject explores the history and practice of worship across a variety of Christian traditions. It surveys traditional, contemporary and blended worship. The subject looks at the use and purpose of music, words, symbols, rituals, gestures and space in enhancing worship. It examines the role worship plays in effecting pastoral care, in stimulating evangelism and mission and in forming a Christian identity. The subject assists students in appreciating their own worship tradition and that of others.


One Semester


Semester 1 every year

Subject Points



Delivery Mode

On site at St Francis College Milton



White, J. F., (2000), Introduction to Christian worship; Third Revised Edition. ISBN 0687091098

The year of publication and ISBN given corresponds to the copy placed in Closed Reserve at the Roscoe Library; there may be other valid ISBNs that differ because of a different publisher or format. Please contact your lecturer or the Roscoe Library staff to confirm text before purchasing. If purchasing, we recommend that you use

Prescribed Texts

  1. Compare three rituals as found in worship outlined by Justin Martyr (165CE); a contemporary church worship service; and a secular ritual (like Anzac Day). 750 words. 20%

  2. Summarise and critique an article from a list supplied by your lecturer. 1,000 words. 30%

  3. Assess an act of worship using the criteria for a ‘good liturgy’. 1,500 words. 50%



This subject covers the following topics:

  • The nature, origins and practice of Christian worship

  • Rites and forms in worship

  • Eucharist I: Word

  • Eucharist II: Sacrament

  • Worship and time

  • Worship spaces and architecture

  • Worship and music

  • Worship and the body

  • Worship and pastoral care

  • Worship, identity and mission

  • The principles of good worship

  • Prayer books and worship resources

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • discuss the nature of Christian worship in the context of wider human ritual activity;

  • demonstrate an understanding of the origins of Christian worship;

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of particular forms in worship across the Christian tradition;

  • demonstrate an understanding of the effect of words, music, space, and body on the experience of worship;

  • discuss the relationship between worship, mission, identity and pastoral care, including the relationship of worship to questions of power and abuse; and

  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including basic research, writing and communication skills.