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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

291

positive disposition for grace, a promise and guarantee of divine

protection, and as a vocation to divine worship and to the service

of the Church. Therefore these sacraments can never be repeated.

III.

T

he

S

acraments of

F

aith

1122

Christ sent his apostles so that “repentance and forgive-

ness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations.”

41

“Go

therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the

name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

42

The

mission to baptize, and so the sacramental mission, is implied in

the mission to evangelize, because the sacrament is prepared for

by

the word of God and by the faith

which is assent to this word:

The People of God is formed into one in the first place by the

Word of the living God. . . . The preaching of the Word is

required for the sacramental ministry itself, since the sacra-

ments are sacraments of faith, drawing their origin and

nourishment from the Word.

43

1123

“The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men, to build

up the Body of Christ and, finally, to give worship to God. Because

they are signs they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith,

but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and ex-

press it. That is why they are called ‘sacraments

of faith.

’”

44

1124

The Church’s faith precedes the faith of the believer who

is invited to adhere to it. When the Church celebrates the sacra-

ments, she confesses the faith received from the apostles—whence

the ancient saying:

lex orandi, lex credendi

(or:

legem credendi lex

statuat supplicandi,

according to Prosper of Aquitaine [5th cent.]).

45

The law of prayer is the law of faith: the Church believes as she

prays. Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living

Tradition.

46

1125

For this reason no sacramental rite may be modified or

manipulated at the will of the minister or the community. Even the

supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy

arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious

respect for the mystery of the liturgy.

41

Lk

24:47.

42

Mt

28:19.

43

PO

4 §§ 1, 2.

44

SC

59.

45

Ep.

8.

46 Cf.

DV

8.

849

1236

1154

166

1327

78

1205