The Celebration of the Christian Mystery
The liturgy is the work of the whole Christ, head and
body. Our high priest celebrates it unceasingly in the
heavenly liturgy, with the holy Mother of God, the
apostles, all the saints, and the multitude of those who
have already entered the kingdom.
In a liturgical celebration, the whole assembly is
each member according to his own function. The
baptismal priesthood is that of thewhole Body of Christ.
But some of the faithful are ordained through the sacra-
ment of Holy Orders to represent Christ as head of the
The liturgical celebration involves signs and symbols
relating to creation (candles, water, fire), human life
(washing, anointing, breaking bread), and the history
of salvation (the rites of the Passover). Integrated into
the world of faith and taken up by the power of the
Holy Spirit, these cosmic elements, human rituals, and
gestures of remembrance of God become bearers of the
saving and sanctifying action of Christ.
The Liturgy of the Word is an integral part of the
celebration. The meaning of the celebration is ex-
pressed by the Word of God which is proclaimed and
by the response of faith to it.
Song andmusic are closely connectedwith the liturgical
action. The criteria for their proper use are the beauty
expressive of prayer, the unanimous participation of the
assembly, and the sacred character of the celebration.
Sacred images in our churches and homes are in-
tended to awaken and nourish our faith in the mystery
of Christ. Through the icon of Christ and his works of
salvation, it is he whom we adore. Through sacred
images of the holy Mother of God, of the angels and
of the saints, we venerate the persons represented.
Sunday, the “Lord’s Day,” is the principal day for the
celebration of the Eucharist because it is the day of the
Resurrection. It is the pre-eminent day of the liturgical