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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