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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

283

“apostolic succession” structures the whole liturgical life of the

Church and is itself sacramental, handed on by the sacrament of

Holy Orders.

. . . is present in the earthly liturgy . . .

1088

“To accomplish so great a work”—the dispensation or com-

munication of his work of salvation—“Christ is always present in his

Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the

Sacrifice of the Mass not only in the person of his minister, ‘the same

now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered

himself on the cross,’ but especially in the Eucharistic species. By his

power he is present in the sacraments so that when anybody baptizes,

it is really Christ himself who baptizes. He is present in his word since

it is he himself who speaks when the holy Scriptures are read in the

Church. Lastly, he is present when the Church prays and sings, for he

has promised ‘where two or three are gathered together in my name

there am I in the midst of them.’”

11

1089

“Christ, indeed, always associates the Church with himself

in this great work in which God is perfectly glorified and men are

sanctified. The Church is his beloved Bride who calls to her Lord

and through him offers worship to the eternal Father.”

12

. . . which participates in the liturgy of heaven

1090

“In the earthly liturgy we share in a foretaste of that

heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the Holy City of Jerusalem

toward which we journey as pilgrims, where Christ is sitting at the

right hand of God, Minister of the sanctuary and of the true

tabernacle. With all the warriors of the heavenly army we sing a

hymn of glory to the Lord; venerating the memory of the saints, we

hope for some part and fellowship with them; we eagerly await the

Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, until he, our life, shall appear and we

too will appear with him in glory.”

13

III.

T

he

H

oly

S

pirit and

the

C

hurch

in

the

L

iturgy

1091

In the liturgy the Holy Spirit is teacher of the faith of the

People of God and artisan of “God’s masterpieces,” the sacraments

of the NewCovenant. The desire and work of the Spirit in the heart

11

SC

7;

Mt

18:20.

12

SC

7.

13

SC

8; cf.

LG

50.

1536

776

669

1373

796

1137-1139

798