Date of Award

Spring 6-10-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Education


College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Fr. Anthony Dosen

Second Advisor

Barbara Rieckhoff

Third Advisor

Cathy Ann Elias


This project examines how people engage with music in the Latin Rite Roman Catholic Liturgy. Despite ongoing debates in the field of liturgical music regarding musical style, music may express theological concepts, explore critical historical developments, reflect different cultural influences, and challenge commonly held beliefs. This inquiry explores these dynamics from the standpoints of educational theory and theology by examining the process of 'doing' and ‘receiving’ music in the liturgy. The site for this study was St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Chicago, whose current curriculum-based, liturgical music program developed over the last twenty-five years. Qualitative, case-study research methods, personal interviews, field observations, historical monographs, and other artifacts were used in the data collection process for interpretive inquiry. The people who reflected on their experiences as music ministers for this project provided a critical glimpse of how the subjective experience is transformative. These findings support the use of a learner-focused model, which necessitates the role of the music director becoming that of an educator to move and guide ministers and the assembly through the formation process.