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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

295

1138

“Recapitulated in Christ,” these are the ones who take part

in the service of the praise of God and the fulfillment of his plan:

the heavenly powers, all creation (the four living beings), the

servants of the Old and New Covenants (the twenty-four elders),

the newPeople of God (the one hundred and forty-four thousand),

4

especially the martyrs “slain for the word of God,” and the all-holy

Mother of God (the Woman), the Bride of the Lamb,

5

and finally

“a great multitude which no one could number, from every nation,

from all tribes, and peoples and tongues.”

6

1139

It is in this eternal liturgy that the Spirit and the Church

enable us to participate whenever we celebrate the mystery of

salvation in the sacraments.

The celebrants of the sacramental liturgy

1140

It is the whole

community,

the Body of Christ united with its

Head, that celebrates. “Liturgical services are not private functions but

are celebrations of the Church which is ‘the sacrament of unity,’

namely, the holy people united and organized under the authority of

the bishops. Therefore, liturgical services pertain to the whole Body

of the Church. They manifest it, and have effects upon it. But they

touch individual members of the Church in different ways, depending

on their orders, their role in the liturgical services, and their actual

participation in them.”

7

For this reason, “rites which are meant to be

celebrated in common, with the faithful present and actively partici-

pating, should as far as possible be celebrated in that way rather than

by an individual and quasi-privately.”

8

1141

The celebrating assembly is the community of the baptized

who, “by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit, are

consecrated to be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood, that

through all the works of Christian men they may offer spiritual

sacrifices.”

9

This “common priesthood” is that of Christ the sole

priest, in which all his members participate:

10

Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should

be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in

liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature

of the liturgy, and to which the Christian people, “a chosen

4 Cf.

Rev

4-5; 7:1-8; 14:1;

Isa

6:2-3.

5

Rev

6:9-11;

Rev

21:9; cf. 12.

6

Rev

7:9.

7

SC

26.

8

SC

27.

9

LG

10; cf.

1 Pet

2:4-5.

10 Cf.

LG

10; 34;

PO

2.

335

1370

752, 1348

1372

1120