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172 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated

reading emphasize its dignity: the use of a beautiful book, a procession

with the Book of the Gospels including incense and candles, an effec-

tive reading of the Scripture, a homily that breaks open the word, silent

reflection, and a prayerful response from the assembly. The combination

of word and action helps make visible the invisible action of Christ and

the Holy Spirit to open the hearts of the assembly to the grace of the

particular sacramental celebration.

Liturgical Traditions and the Catholicity

of the Church

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, centered

in Milan, Italy, or those of certain religious orders) and the

Byzantine, Alexandrian or Coptic, Syrian, Armenian, Maronite,

and Chaldean rites. In “faithful obedience to tradition the

sacred Council declares that Holy Mother Church holds all law-

fully 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.” (CCC, no. 1203, citing SC, no. 4)

The rich variety of ecclesiastical disciplines, liturgical rites, and

theological and spiritual heritages proper to the local churches,

“unified in a common effort, shows all the more resplendently

the catholicity of the undivided Church.” (CCC, no. 835, citing

LG, no. 23)

When Do We Celebrate?

The Lord’s Day

Central to the Church’s liturgical life is Sunday, the day of Christ’s

Resurrection. The observance begins with the evening of the preceding

day. It is a day when all Catholics are obliged to take part in the Mass.

“The Lord’s Supper is its center, for there the whole community of the

faithful encounters the risen Lord who invites them to his banquet”