Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  202 / 665 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 202 / 665 Next Page
Page Background

174 • Part II. The Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated

Liturgy of the Hours, in which the whole Church pours out her praise

to God, prolongs the Eucharistic celebration, and leads us back to it.

Besides offering praise to God, the Church in the Liturgy of the Hours

expresses the prayers and desires of the Christian faithful. This is evident

especially in the Intercessions at Morning and Evening Prayer, the pray-

ing of the Our Father, and the concluding prayer.

This public prayer of the Church is intended for the whole People of

God. In this prayer Christ continues his priestly work and consecrates

time. All God’s people can participate in it according to their calling

and circumstances. In this prayer, we harmonize our voices with praying

hearts, and we come to a more profound understanding of the Psalms

and other parts of Scripture that make up the largest part of the Liturgy

of the Hours.

Even though the Liturgy of the Hours is celebrated in various ways

in the Eastern and Latin Churches, the hymns, canticles, and readings

from Church Fathers, other saints, and other Church writers offer us

a rich meditation on God’s Word. This public prayer prepares us for

private prayer.

Where Do We Celebrate?

In one sense, worship is not confined to any one place, for the whole

earth is entrusted to God’s people. But practically, when religious free-

dom is not suppressed, it is customary to build churches for divine wor-

ship. A church is “a house of prayer in which the Eucharist is celebrated

and reserved, where the faithful assemble, and where is worshiped the

presence of the Son of God our Savior” (CCC, no. 1181, citing Second

Vatican Council,

Decree on Priestly Life and Ministry




; PO], no. 5). While the church building is important, the wor-

shiping community, “living stones built into a spiritual house” (1 Pt 2:4-

5), is of greater importance. Nevertheless, church buildings should be

dignified enough to reflect the importance of what takes place there. They

should be beautiful places that foster prayer and a sense of the sacred.