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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

287

The Holy Spirit makes present the mystery of Christ

1104

Christian liturgy not only recalls the events that saved us

but actualizes them, makes them present. The Paschal mystery of

Christ is celebrated, not repeated. It is the celebrations that are

repeated, and in each celebration there is an outpouring of the Holy

Spirit that makes the unique mystery present.

1105

The

Epiclesis

(“invocation upon”) is the intercession in

which the priest begs the Father to send the Holy Spirit, the

Sanctifier, so that the offerings may become the body and blood of

Christ and that the faithful, by receiving them, may themselves

become a living offering to God.

23

1106

Together with the anamnesis, the epiclesis is at the heart

of each sacramental celebration, most especially of the Eucharist:

You ask how the bread becomes the Body of Christ, and the

wine . . . the Bloodof Christ. I shall tell you: theHoly Spirit comes

upon them and accomplishes what surpasses every word and

thought. . . . Let it be enough for you to understand that it is by

the Holy Spirit, just as it was of the Holy Virgin and by the Holy

Spirit that the Lord, through and in himself, took flesh.

24

1107

The Holy Spirit’s transforming power in the liturgy has-

tens the coming of the kingdom and the consummation of the

mystery of salvation. While we wait in hope he causes us really to

anticipate the fullness of communion with the Holy Trinity. Sent

by the Father who hears the epiclesis of the Church, the Spirit gives

life to those who accept him and is, even now, the “guarantee” of

their inheritance.

25

The communion of the Holy Spirit

1108

In every liturgical action the Holy Spirit is sent in order to

bring us into communion with Christ and so to form his Body. The

Holy Spirit is like the sap of the Father’s vine which bears fruit on

its branches.

26

The most intimate cooperation of the Holy Spirit

and the Church is achieved in the liturgy. The Spirit, who is the

Spirit of communion, abides indefectibly in the Church. For this

reason the Church is the great sacrament of divine communion

which gathers God’s scattered children together. Communion with

23 Cf.

Rom

12:1.

24 St. John Damascene,

De fide orth.

4, 13: PG 94, 1145A.

25 Cf.

Eph

1:14;

2 Cor

1:22.

26 Cf.

Jn

15:1-17;

Gal

5:22.

1085

1153

1375

2816

788

1091

775