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308

Part Two

assembly, the day of the Christian family, and the day

of joy and rest from work. Sunday is “the foundation

and kernel of the whole liturgical year” (

SC

106).

1194

The Church, “in the course of the year, . . . unfolds the

whole mystery of Christ from his Incarnation and

Nativity through his Ascension, to Pentecost and the

expectation of the blessed hope of the coming of the

Lord” (

SC

102 § 2).

1195

By keeping the memorials of the saints—first of all the

holy Mother of God, then the apostles, the martyrs,

and other saints—on fixed days of the liturgical year,

the Church on earth shows that she is united with the

liturgy of heaven. She gives glory to Christ for having

accomplished his salvation in his glorified members;

their example encourages her on her way to the Father.

1196

The faithful who celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours are

united to Christ our high priest, by the prayer of the

Psalms, meditation on the Word of God, and canticles

and blessings, in order to be joined with his unceasing

and universal prayer that gives glory to the Father and

implores the gift of the Holy Spirit on the whole world.

1197

Christ is the true temple of God, “the place where his

glory dwells”; by the grace of God, Christians also

become temples of the Holy Spirit, living stones out of

which the Church is built.

1198

In its earthly state the Church needs places where the

community can gather together. Our visible churches,

holy places, are images of the holy city, the heavenly

Jerusalem, toward which we are making our way on

pilgrimage.

1199

It is in these churches that the Church celebrates public

worship to the glory of the Holy Trinity, hears the

word of God and sings his praise, lifts up her prayer,

and offers the sacrifice of Christ sacramentally present

in the midst of the assembly. These churches are also

places of recollection and personal prayer.