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” (
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
102 § 2).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.