The Celebration of the Christian Mystery
THE PASCHAL MYSTERY IN THE CHURCH’S
The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the
in the Church: Baptism, Confirmation or Chrismation, Eucharist,
Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.
articlewill discusswhat is common to theChurch’s seven sacraments
from a doctrinal point of view. What is common to them in terms of
their celebration will be presented in the second chapter, and what is
distinctive about each will be the topic of
“Adhering to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures, to the
apostolic traditions, and to the consensus . . . of the Fathers,” we
profess that “the sacraments of the new law were . . . all instituted
by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Jesus’ words and actions during his hidden life and public
ministry were already salvific, for they anticipated the power of his
Paschal mystery. They announced and prepared what he was going
to give the Church when all was accomplished. The mysteries of
Christ’s life are the foundations ofwhat hewouldhenceforthdispense
in the sacraments, through theministers of his Church, for “what was
visible in our Savior has passed over into his mysteries.”
Sacraments are “powers that comes forth” from the Body
which is ever-living and life-giving. They are actions
of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church. They are “the
masterworks of God” in the new and everlasting covenant.
As she has done for the canon of Sacred Scripture and for
the doctrine of the faith, the Church, by the power of the Spirit who
guides her “into all truth,” has gradually recognized this treasure
30 Cf. Council of Lyons II (1274) DS 860; Council of Florence (1439): DS 1310;
Council of Trent (1547): DS 1601.
31 Council of Trent (1547): DS 1600-1601.
32 St. Leo the Great,
74, 2: PL 54, 398.
5:17; 6:19; 8:46.