James Sabak, OFM

  • Adjunct Professor of Liturgy



  • PhD The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
  • MDiv Washington Theological Union, Washington, DC
  • MA The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

“Liturgy is the principle and primary expression of the gift of faith and of the message of the gospel. According to the fifth century Church Father, Prosper of Aquitaine, the manner in which the Church prayers determines what it is the Church believes (lex orandi, lex credendi), a corollary to this statement is that together the belief of the Church expressed through liturgy directly impacts the lived life (lex vivendi) of a believer on a day to day basis. It is crucial to the life of believer to understand not only what the liturgy ‘is,’ but more importantly, what the liturgy ‘does’ in opening up for humanity the true nature and beauty of the created order and how and in what ways the created order speaks of God and enables us to hear God speaking to us.”


Introduction to the Liturgy

A monthly module-based course that explores the practice and significance of the liturgy to the life of faith. In the fall semester the course is divided into four modules that deal with a survey of the history of the liturgy from the beginnings of the Christian movement to the end of the Middle Ages; the history of the liturgy from the Reformation to the 21st century; the concepts and implications of Liturgical Theology; and the particulars of liturgical expression: The Liturgy of the Hours; The Sacraments; and the Liturgical Year. The course intends to offer the student a balanced and substantial introduction to why liturgy is called theologia prima and the manner in which the discipline of theology and the life of a believer are and challenged by liturgical expression.

Select Publications


“Liturgy as Becoming: Appreciating the Crucial Role of Liminality in Liturgical Engagement.” Studia Liturgica 45, no. 2 (2015): 199-220.

“The Goal of Liturgical Language: An Analysis of the English Vernacular Debates of the 1940s and 1950s.” Worship 89, no. 3 (May 2015): 238-257.

“Franciscan Theology of the Eucharist: Does it inform our lives?” In Franciscans and Liturgical Life: Let us Praise, Adore and Give Thanks, ed. Elise Saggau, Washington Theological Union Symposium Papers 2006, 27-49. Saint Bonaventure, NY: The Franciscan Institute, 2006.