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The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

309

A

rticle

2

LITURGICAL DIVERSITY AND

THE UNITY OF THE MYSTERY

Liturgical traditions and the catholicity of the Church

1200

From the first community of Jerusalem until the parousia,

it is the same Paschal mystery that the Churches of God, faithful to

the apostolic faith, celebrate in every place. The mystery celebrated

in the liturgy is one, but the forms of its celebration are diverse.

1201

The mystery of Christ is so unfathomably rich that it

cannot be exhausted by its expression in any single liturgical

tradition. The history of the blossoming and development of these

rites witnesses to a remarkable complementarity. When the

Churches lived their respective liturgical traditions in the com-

munion of the faith and the sacraments of the faith, they enriched

one another and grew in fidelity to Tradition and to the common

mission of the whole Church.

66

1202

The diverse liturgical traditions have arisen by very reason

of the Church’s mission. Churches of the same geographical and

cultural area came to celebrate the mystery of Christ through

particular expressions characterized by the culture: in the tradition

of the “deposit of faith,”

67

in liturgical symbolism, in the organiza-

tion of fraternal communion, in the theological understanding of

the mysteries, and in various forms of holiness. Through the litur-

gical life of a local church, Christ, the light and salvation of all

peoples, is made manifest to the particular people and culture to

which that Church is sent and in which she is rooted. The Church

is catholic, capable of integrating into her unity, while purifying

them, all the authentic riches of cultures.

68

1203

The liturgical traditions or rites presently in use in the Church are

the Latin (principally the Roman rite, but also the rites of certain local

churches, such as the Ambrosian rite, or those of certain religious orders)

and the Byzantine, Alexandrian or Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Maronite,

and Chaldean rites. In “faithful obedience to tradition, the sacred Council

declares that Holy Mother Church holds all lawfully recognized rites to be

of equal right and dignity, and that she wishes to preserve them in the

future and to foster them in every way.”

69

66 Cf. Paul VI,

EN

63-64.

67

2 Tim

1:14 (Vulg.).

68 Cf.

LG

23;

UR

4.

69

SC

4.

2625

2663

1158

814

1674

835

1937