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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    vine which bears fruit on its branches 26 The most intimate cooperation of the Holy Spirit and the Church is achieved in the liturgy The Spirit who is the Spirit of communion abides indefectibly in the Church For this reason the Church is the great sacrament of divine communion which gathers God s scattered children together Communion with the Holy Trinity and fraternal communion are inseparably the fruit of the Spirit in the liturgy 27 1109 The epiclesis is also a prayer for the full effect of the assembly s communion with the mystery of Christ The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit 28 have to remain with us always and bear fruit beyond the Eucharistic celebration The Church therefore asks the Father to send the Holy Spirit to make the lives of the faithful a living sacrifice to God by their spiritual transformation into the image of Christ by concern for the Church s unity and by taking part in her mission through the witness and service of charity IN BRIEF 1110 In the liturgy of the Church God the Father is blessed and adored as the source of all the blessings of creation and salvation with which he has blessed us in his Son in order to give us the Spirit of filial adoption 1111 Christ s work in the liturgy is sacramental because his mystery of salvation is made present there by the power of his Holy Spirit because his Body which is the Church is like a sacrament sign and instrument in which the Holy Spirit dispenses the mystery of salvation and because through her liturgical actions the pilgrim Church already participates as by a foretaste in the heavenly liturgy 1112 The mission of the Holy Spirit in the liturgy of the Church is to prepare the assembly to encounter Christ to recall and manifest Christ to the faith of the assembly to make the saving work of Christ present and active by his transforming power and to make the gift of communion bear fruit in the Church ARTICLE 2 THE PASCHAL MYSTERY IN THE CHURCH S SACRAMENTS 1113 The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments 29 There are seven sacraments in the Church Baptism Confirmation or Chrismation Eucharist Penance Anointing of the Sick Holy Orders and Matrimony 30 This article will discuss what is common to the Church s seven sacraments from a doctrinal point of view What is common to them in terms of their celebration will be presented in the second chapter and what is distinctive about each will be the topic of the Section Two THE SACRAMENTS OF CHRIST 1114 Adhering to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures to the apostolic traditions and to the consensus of the Fathers we profess that the sacraments of the new law were all instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord 31 1115 Jesus words and actions during his hidden life and public ministry were already salvific for they anticipated the power of his Paschal mystery They announced and prepared what he was going to give the Church when all was accomplished The mysteries of Christ s life are the foundations of what he would henceforth dispense in the sacraments through the ministers of his Church for what was visible in our Savior has passed over into his mysteries 32 1116 Sacraments are powers that comes forth from the Body of Christ 33 which is ever living and life giving They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body the Church They are the masterworks of God in the new and everlasting covenant II THE SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH 1117 As she has done for the canon of Sacred Scripture and for the doctrine of the faith the Church by the power of the Spirit who guides her into all truth has gradually recognized this treasure received from Christ and as the faithful steward of God s mysteries has determined its dispensation 34 Thus the Church has discerned over the centuries that among liturgical celebrations there are seven that are in the strict sense of the term sacraments instituted by the Lord 1118 The sacraments are of the Church in the double sense that they are by her and for her They are by the Church for she is the sacrament of Christ s action at work in her through the mission of the Holy Spirit They are for the Church in the sense that the sacraments make the Church 35 since they manifest and communicate to men above all in the Eucharist the mystery of communion with the God who is love One in three persons 1119 Forming as it were one mystical person with Christ the head the Church acts in the sacraments as an organically structured priestly community 36 Through Baptism and Confirmation the pRiestly people is enabled to celebrate the liturgy while those of the faithful who have received Holy Orders are appointed to nourish the Church with the word and grace of God in the name of Christ 37 1120 The ordained ministry or ministerial priesthood is at the service of the baptismal priesthood 38 The ordained priesthood guarantees that it really is Christ who acts in the sacraments through the Holy Spirit for the Church The saving mission entrusted by the Father to his incarnate Son was committed to the apostles and through them to their successors they receive the Spirit of Jesus to act in his name and in his person 39 The ordained minister is the sacramental bond that ties the liturgical action to what the apostles said and did and through them to the words and actions of Christ the source and foundation of the sacraments 1121 The three sacraments of Baptism Confirmation and Holy Orders confer in addition to grace a sacramental character or seal by which the Christian shares in Christ s priesthood and is made a member of the Church according to different states and functions This configuration to Christ and to the Church brought about by the Spirit is indelible 40 it remains for ever in the Christian as a positive disposition for grace a promise and guarantee of divine protection and as a vocation to divine worship and to the service of the Church Therefore these sacraments can never be repeated III THE SACRAMENTS OF FAITH 1122 Christ sent his apostles so that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations 41 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit 42 The mission to baptize and so the sacramental mission is implied in the mission to evangelize because the sacrament is prepared for by the word of God and by the faith which is assent to this word The People of God is formed into one in the first place by the Word of the living God The preaching of the Word is required for the sacramental ministry itself since the sacraments are sacraments of faith drawing their origin and nourishment from the Word 43 1123 The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men to build up the Body of Christ and finally to give worship to God Because they are signs they also instruct They not only presuppose faith but by words and objects they also nourish strengthen and express it That is why they are called sacraments of faith 44 1124 The Church s faith precedes the faith of the believer who is invited to adhere to it When the Church celebrates the sacraments she confesses the faith received from the apostles whence the ancient saying lex orandi lex credendi or legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi according to Prosper of Aquitaine 5th cent 45 The law of prayer is the law of faith the Church believes as she prays Liturgy is a constitutive element of the holy and living Tradition 46 1125 For this reason no sacramental rite may be modified or manipulated at the will of the minister or the community Even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the liturgy arbitrarily but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the liturgy 1126 Likewise since the sacraments express and develop the communion of faith in the Church the lex orandi is one of the essential criteria of the dialogue that seeks to restore the unity of Christians 47 IV THE SACRAMENTS OF SALVATION 1127 Celebrated worthily in faith the sacraments confer the grace that they signify 48 They are efficacious because in them Christ himself is at work it is he who baptizes he who acts in his sacraments in order to communicate the grace that each sacrament signifies The Father always hears the prayer of his Son s Church which in the epiclesis of each sacrament expresses her faith in the power of the Spirit As fire transforms into itself everything it touches so the Holy Spirit transforms into the divine life whatever is subjected to his power 1128 This is the meaning of the Church s affirmation 49 that the sacraments act ex opere operato literally by the very fact of the action s being performed i e by virtue of the saving work of Christ accomplished once for all It follows that the sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient but by the power of God 50 From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated in accordance with the intention of the Church the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it independently of the personal holiness of the minister Nevertheless the fruits of the sacraments also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them 1129 The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation 51 Sacramental grace is the grace of the Holy Spirit given by Christ and proper to each sacrament The Spirit heals and transforms those who receive him by conforming them to the Son of God The fruit of the sacramental life is that the Spirit of adoption makes the faithful partakers in the divine nature 52 by uniting them in a living union with the only Son the Savior V THE SACRAMENTS OF ETERNAL LIFE 1130 The Church celebrates the mystery of her Lord until he comes when God will be everything to everyone 53 Since the apostolic age the liturgy has been drawn toward its goal by the Spirit s groaning in the Church Marana tha 54 The liturgy thus shares in Jesus desire I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God 55 In the sacraments of Christ the Church already receives the guarantee of her inheritance and even now shares in everlasting life while awaiting our blessed hope the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus 56 The Spirit and the Bride say Come Come Lord Jesus 57 St Thomas sums up the various aspects of sacramental signs Therefore a sacrament is a sign that commemorates what precedes it Christ s Passion demonstrates what is accomplished in us through Christ s Passion grace and prefigures what that Passion pledges to us future glory 58 IN BRIEF 1131 The sacraments are efficacious signs of grace instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church by which divine life is dispensed to us The visible rites by which the sacraments are celebrated signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions 1132 The Church celebrates the sacraments as a priestly community structured by the baptismal priesthood and the priesthood of ordained ministers 1133 The Holy Spirit prepares the faithful for the sacraments by the Word of God and the faith which welcomes that word in well disposed hearts Thus the sacraments strengthen faith and express it 1134 The fruit of sacramental life is both personal and ecclesial For every one of the faithful an the one hand this fruit is life for God in Christ Jesus for the Church on the other it is an increase in charity and in her mission of witness NOTES 1 Cf SC 6 LG 2 2 I Cor 11 26 3 Eph 1 3 6 4 eu logia bene dictio 5 Lk 10 21 6 2 Cor 9 15 7 Eph 1 6 8 Rom 6 10 Heb 7 27 9 12 cf Jn 13 1 17 1 9 SC 6 10 Cf Jn 20 21 23 11 SC 7 Mt 18 20 12 SC 7 13 SC 8 cf LG 50 14 LG 2 15 Cf DV 14 16 Lk 24 13 49 16 Cf 2 Cor 3 14 16 17 Cf I Pet 3 21 18 Jn 6 32 cf I Cor 10 1 6 19 Cf Jn 14 26 20 SC 24 21 PO 4 22 DV 2 23 Cf Rom 12 1 24 St John Damascene De fide orth 4 13 PG 94 1145A 25 Cf Eph 1 14 2 Cor 1 22 26 Cf Jn 15 1 17 Gal 5 22 27 Cf I Jn 1 3 7 28 2 Cor 13 13 29 Cf SC 6 30 Cf Council of Lyons II 1274 DS 860 Council of Florence 1439 DS 1310 Council of Trent 1547 DS 1601 31 Council of Trent 1547 DS 1600 1601 32 St Leo the Great Sermo 74 2 PL 54 398 33 Cf Lk 5 17 6 19 8 46 34 Jn 16 13 cf Mt 13 52 I Cor 4 1 35 St Augustine De civ Dei 22 17 PL 41 779 cf St Thomas Aquinas STh III 64 2 ad 3 36 LG 11 cf Pius XII Mystici Corporis 1943 37 LG 11 2 38 Cf LG 10 2 39 Cf Jn 20 21 23 Lk 24 47 Mt 28 18 20 40 Cf Council of Trent 1547 DS 1609 41 Lk 24 47 42 Mt 28 19 43 PO 4 1 2 44 SC 59 45 Ep 8 46 Cf DV 8 47 Cf UR 2 15 48 Cf Council of Trent 1547 DS 1605 DS 1606 49 Cf Council of Trent 1547 DS 1608 50 St Thomas Aquinas STh III 68 8 51 Cf Council of Trent 1547 DS 1604 52 Cf 2 Pet 1 4 53 I Cor 11 26 15 28 54 I Cor 16 22 55 Lk 22 15 56 Titus 2 13 57 Rev 22 17 20 58 St Thomas Aquinas STh III 60 3 CHAPTER TWO THE SACRAMENTAL CELEBRATION OF THE PASCHAL MYSTERY 1135 The catechesis of the liturgy entails first of all an understanding of the sacramental economy Chapter One In this light the innovation of its celebration is revealed This chapter will therefore treat of the celebration of the sacraments of the Church It will consider that which through the diversity of liturgical traditions is common to the celebration of the seven sacraments What is proper to each will be treated later This fundamental catechesis on the sacramental celebrations responds to the first questions posed by the faithful regarding this subject Who celebrates the liturgy How is the liturgy celebrated When is the liturgy celebrated Where is the liturgy celebrated ARTICLE 1 CELEBRATING THE CHURCH S LITURGY I WHO CELEBRATES 1136 Liturgy is an action of the whole Christ Christus totus Those who even now celebrate it without signs are already in the heavenly liturgy where celebration is wholly communion and feast The celebrants of the heavenly liturgy 1137 The book of Revelation of St John read in the Church s liturgy first reveals to us A throne stood in heaven with one seated on the throne the Lord God 1 It then shows the Lamb standing as though it had been slain Christ crucified and risen the one high priest of the true sanctuary the same one who offers and is offered who gives and is given 2 Finally it presents the river of the water of life flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb one of most beautiful symbols of the Holy Spirit 3 1138 Recapitulated in Christ these are the ones who take part in the service of the praise of God and the fulfillment of his plan the heavenly powers all creation the four living beings the servants of the Old and New Covenants the twenty four elders the new People of God the one hundred and forty four thousand 4 especially the martyrs slain for the word of God and the all holy Mother of God the Woman the Bride of the Lamb 5 and finally a great multitude which no one could number from every nation from all tribes and peoples and tongues 6 1139 It is in this eternal liturgy that the Spirit and the Church enable us to participate whenever we celebrate the mystery of salvation in the sacraments The celebrants of the sacramental liturgy 1140 It is the whole community the Body of Christ united with its Head that celebrates Liturgical services are not private functions but are celebrations of the Church which is the sacrament of unity namely the holy people united and organized under the authority of the bishops Therefore liturgical services pertain to the whole Body of the Church They manifest it and have effects upon it But they touch individual members of the Church in different ways depending on their orders their role in the liturgical services and their actual participation in them 7 For this reason rites which are meant to be celebrated in common with the faithful present and actively participating should as far as possible be celebrated in that way rather than by an individual and quasi privately 8 1141 The celebrating assembly is the community of the baptized who by regeneration and the anointing of the Holy Spirit are consecrated to be a spiritual house and a holy priesthood that through all the works of Christian men they may offer spiritual sacrifices 9 This common priesthood is that of Christ the sole priest in which all his members participate 10 Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy and to which the Christian people a chosen race a royal priesthood a holy nation a redeemed people have a right and an obligation by reason of their Baptism 11 1142 But the members do not all have the same function 12 Certain members are called by God in and through the Church to a special service of the community These servants are chosen and consecrated by the sacrament of Holy Orders by which the Holy Spirit enables them to act in the person of Christ the head for the service of all the members of the Church 13 The ordained minister is as it were an icon of Christ the priest Since it is in the Eucharist that the sacrament of the Church is made fully visible it is in his presiding at the Eucharist that the bishop s ministry is most evident as well as in communion with him the ministry of priests and deacons 1143 For the purpose of assisting the work of the common priesthood of the faithful other particular ministries also exist not consecrated by the sacrament of Holy Orders their functions are determined by the bishops in accord with liturgical traditions and pastoral needs Servers readers commentators and members of the choir also exercise a genuine liturgical function 14 1144 In the celebration of the sacraments it is thus the whole assembly that is leitourgos each according to his function but in the unity of the Spirit who acts in all In liturgical celebrations each person minister or layman who has an office to perform should carry out all and only those parts which pertain to his office by the nature of the rite and the norms of the liturgy 15 II HOW IS THE LITURGY CELEBRATED Signs and symbols 1145 A sacramental celebration is woven from signs and symbols In keeping with the divine pedagogy of salvation their meaning is rooted in the work of creation and in human culture specified by the events of the Old Covenant and fully revealed in the person and work of Christ 1146 Signs of the human world In human life signs and symbols occupy an important place As a being at once body and spirit man expresses and perceives spiritual realities through physical signs and symbols As a social being man needs signs and symbols to communicate with others through language gestures and actions The same holds true for his relationship with God 1147 God speaks to man through the visible creation The material cosmos is so presented to man s intelligence that he can read there traces of its Creator 16 Light and darkness wind and fire water and earth the tree and its fruit speak of God and symbolize both his greatness and his nearness 1148 Inasmuch as they are creatures these perceptible realities can become means of expressing the action of God who sanctifies men and the action of men who offer worship to God The same is true of signs and symbols taken from the social life of man washing and anointing breaking bread and sharing the cup can express the sanctifying presence of God and man s gratitude toward his Creator 1149 The great religions of mankind witness often impressively to this cosmic and symbolic meaning of religious rites The liturgy of the Church presupposes integrates and sanctifies elements from creation and human culture conferring on them the dignity of signs of grace of the new creation in Jesus Christ 1150 Signs of the covenant The Chosen People received from God distinctive signs and symbols that marked its liturgical life These are no longer solely celebrations of cosmic cycles and social gestures but signs of the covenant symbols of God s mighty deeds for his people Among these liturgical signs from the Old Covenant are circumcision anointing and consecration of kings and priests laying on of hands sacrifices and above all the Passover The Church sees in these signs a prefiguring of the sacraments of the New Covenant 1151 Signs taken up by Christ In his preaching the Lord Jesus often makes use of the signs of creation to make known the mysteries of the Kingdom of God 17 He performs healings and illustrates his preaching with physical signs or symbolic gestures 18 He gives new meaning to the deeds and signs of the Old Covenant above all to the Exodus and the Passover 19 for he himself is the meaning of all these signs 1152 Sacramental signs Since Pentecost it is through the sacramental signs of his Church that the Holy Spirit carries on the work of sanctification The sacraments of the Church do not abolish but purify and integrate all the richness of the signs and symbols of the cosmos and of social life Further they fulfill the types and figures of the Old Covenant signify and make actively present the salvation wrought by Christ and prefigure and anticipate the glory of heaven Words and actions 1153 A sacramental celebration is a meeting of God s children with their Father in Christ and the Holy Spirit this meeting takes the form of a dialogue through actions and words Admittedly the symbolic actions are already a language but the Word of God and the response of faith have to accompany and give life to them so that the seed of the Kingdom can bear its fruit in good soil The liturgical actions signify what the Word of God expresses both his free initiative and his people s response of faith 1154 The liturgy of the Word is an integral part of sacramental celebrations To nourish the faith of believers the signs which accompany the Word of God should be emphasized the book of the Word a lectionary or a book of the Gospels its veneration procession incense candles the place of its proclamation lectern or ambo its audible and intelligible reading the minister s homily which extends its proclamation and the responses of the assembly acclamations meditation psalms litanies and profession of faith 1155 The liturgical word and action are inseparable both insofar as they are signs and instruction and insofar as they accomplish what they signify When the Holy Spirit awakens faith he not only gives an understanding of the Word of God but through the sacraments also makes present the wonders of God which it proclaims The Spirit makes present and communicates the Father s work fulfilled by the beloved Son Singing and music 1156 The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value greater even than that of any other art The main reason for this pre eminence is that as a combination of sacred music and words it forms a necessary or integral part of solemn liturgy 20 The composition and singing of inspired psalms often accompanied by musical instruments were already closely linked to the liturgical celebrations of the Old Covenant The Church continues and develops this tradition Address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart He who sings prays twice 21 1157 Song and music fulfill their function as signs in a manner all the more significant when they are more closely connected with the liturgical action 22 according to three principal criteria beauty expressive of prayer the unanimous participation of the assembly at the designated moments and the solemn character of the celebration In this way they participate in the purpose of the liturgical words and actions the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful 23 How I wept deeply moved by your hymns songs and the voices that echoed through your Church What emotion I experienced in them Those sounds flowed into my ears distilling the truth in my heart A feeling of devotion surged within me and tears streamed down my face tears that did me good 24 1158 The harmony of signs song music words and actions is all the more expressive and fruitful when expressed in the cultural richness of the People of God who celebrate 25 Hence religious singing by the faithful is to be intelligently fostered so that in devotions and sacred exercises as well as in liturgical services in conformity with the Church s norms the voices of the faithful may be heard But the texts intended to be sung must always be in conformity with Catholic doctrine Indeed they should be drawn chiefly from the Sacred Scripture and from liturgical sources 26 Holy images 1159 The sacred image the liturgical icon principally represents Christ It cannot represent the invisible and incomprehensible God but the incarnation of the Son of God has ushered in a new economy of images Previously God who has neither a body nor a face absolutely could not be represented by an image But now that he has made himself visible in the flesh and has lived with men I can make an image of what I have seen of God and contemplate the glory of the Lord his face unveiled 27 1160 Christian iconography expresses in images the same Gospel message that Scripture communicates by words Image and word illuminate each other We declare that we preserve intact all the written and unwritten traditions of the Church which have been entrusted to us One of these traditions consists in the production of representational artwork which accords with the history of the preaching of the Gospel For it confirms that the incarnation of the Word of God was real and not imaginary and to our benefit as well for realities that illustrate each other undoubtedly reflect each other s meaning 28 1161 All the signs in the liturgical celebrations are related to Christ as are sacred images of the holy Mother of God and of the saints as well They truly signify Christ who is glorified in them They make manifest the cloud of witnesses 29 who continue to participate in the salvation of the world and to whom we are united above all in sacramental celebrations Through their icons it is man in the image of God finally transfigured into his likeness 30 who is revealed to our faith So too are the angels who also are recapitulated in Christ Following the divinely inspired teaching of our holy Fathers and the tradition of the Catholic Church for we know that this tradition comes from the Holy Spirit who dwells in her we rightly define with full certainty and correctness that like the figure of the precious and life giving cross venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ our inviolate Lady the holy Mother of God and the venerated angels all the saints and the just whether painted or made of mosaic or another suitable material are to be exhibited in the holy churches of God on sacred vessels and vestments walls and panels in houses and on streets 31 1162 The beauty of the images moves me to contemplation as a meadow delights the eyes and subtly infuses the soul with the glory of God 32 Similarly the contemplation of sacred icons united with meditation on the Word of God and the singing of liturgical hymns enters into the harmony of the signs of celebration so that the mystery celebrated is imprinted in the heart s memory and is then expressed in the new life of the faithful III WHEN IS THE LITURGY CELEBRATED Liturgical seasons 1163 Holy Mother Church believes that she should celebrate the saving work of her divine Spouse in a sacred commemoration on certain days throughout the course of the year Once each week on the day which she has called the Lord s Day she keeps the memory of the Lord s resurrection She also celebrates it once every year together with his blessed Passion at Easter that most solemn of all feasts In the course of the year moreover she unfolds the whole mystery of Christ Thus recalling the mysteries of the redemption she opens up to the faithful the riches of her Lord s powers and merits so that these are in some way made present in every age the faithful lay hold of them and are filled with saving grace 33 1164 From the time of the Mosaic law the People of God have observed fixed feasts beginning with Passover to commemorate the astonishing actions of the Savior God to give him thanks for them to perpetuate their remembrance and to teach new generations to conform their conduct to them In the age of the Church between the Passover of Christ already accomplished once for all and its consummation in the kingdom of God the liturgy celebrated on fixed days bears the imprint of the newness of the mystery of Christ 1165 When the Church celebrates the mystery of Christ there is a word that marks her prayer Today a word echoing the prayer her Lord taught her and the call of the Holy Spirit 34 This today of the living God which man is called to enter is the hour of Jesus Passover which reaches across and underlies all history Life extends over all beings and fills them with unlimited light the Orient of orients pervades the universe and he who was before the daystar and before the heavenly bodies immortal and vast the great Christ shines over all beings more brightly than the sun Therefore a day of long eternal light is ushered in for us who believe in him a day which is never blotted out the mystical Passover 35 The Lord s day 1166 By a tradition handed down from the apostles which took its origin from the very day of Christ s Resurrection the Church celebrates the Paschal mystery every seventh day which day is appropriately called the Lord s Day or Sunday 36 The day of Christ s Resurrection is both the first day of the week the memorial of the first day of creation and the eighth day on which Christ after his rest on the great sabbath inaugurates the day that the Lord has made the day that knows no evening 37 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 38 The Lord s day the day of Resurrection the day of Christians is our day It is called the Lord s day because on it the Lord rose victorious to the Father If pagans call it the day of the sun we willingly agree for today the light of the world is raised today is revealed the sun of justice with healing in his rays 39 1167 Sunday is the pre eminent day for the liturgical assembly when the faithful gather to listen to the word of God and take part in the Eucharist thus calling to mind the Passion Resurrection and glory of the Lord Jesus and giving thanks to God who has begotten them again by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead unto a living hope 40 When we ponder O Christ the marvels accomplished on this day the Sunday of your holy resurrection we say Blessed is Sunday for on it began creation the world s salvation the renewal of the human race On Sunday heaven and earth rejoiced and the whole universe was filled with light Blessed is Sunday for on it were opened the gates of paradise so that Adam and all the exiles might enter it without fear 41 The liturgical year 1168 Beginning with the Easter Triduum as its source of light the new age of the Resurrection fills the whole liturgical year with its brilliance Gradually on either side of this source the year is transfigured by the liturgy It really is a year of the Lord s favor 42 The economy of salvation is at work within the framework of time but since its fulfillment in the Passover of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit the culmination of history is anticipated as a foretaste and the kingdom of God enters into our time 1169 Therefore Easter is not simply one feast among others but the Feast of feasts the Solemnity of solemnities just as the Eucharist is the Sacrament of sacraments the Great Sacrament St Athanasius calls Easter the Great Sunday 43 and the Eastern Churches call Holy Week the Great Week The mystery of the Resurrection in which Christ crushed death permeates with its powerful energy our old time until all is subjected to him 1170 At the Council of Nicaea in 325 all the Churches agreed that Easter the Christian Passover should be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon 14 Nisan after the vernal equinox Because of different methods of calculating the 14th day of the month of Nisan the date of Easter in the Western and Eastern Churches is not always the same For this reason the Churches are currently seeking an agreement in order once again to celebrate the day of the Lord s Resurrection on a common date 1171 In the liturgical year the various aspects of the one Paschal mystery unfold This is also the case with the cycle of feasts surrounding the mystery of the incarnation Annunciation Christmas Epiphany They commemorate the beginning of our salvation and communicate to

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    and men are sanctified The Church is his beloved Bride who calls to her Lord and through him offers worship to the eternal Father 12 which participates in the liturgy of heaven 1090 In the earthly liturgy we share in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the Holy City of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle With all the warriors of the heavenly army we sing a hymn of glory to the Lord venerating the memory of the saints we hope for some part and fellowship with them we eagerly await the Savior our Lord Jesus Christ until he our life shall appear and we too will appear with him in glory 13 III THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CHURCH IN THE LITURGY 1091 In the liturgy the Holy Spirit is teacher of the faith of the People of God and artisan of God s masterpieces the sacraments of the New Covenant The desire and work of the Spirit in the heart of the Church is that we may live from the life of the risen Christ When the Spirit encounters in us the response of faith which he has aroused in us he brings about genuine cooperation Through it the liturgy becomes the common work of the Holy Spirit and the Church 1092 In this sacramental dispensation of Christ s mystery the Holy Spirit acts in the same way as at other times in the economy of salvation he prepares the Church to encounter her Lord he recalls and makes Christ manifest to the faith of the assembly By his transforming power he makes the mystery of Christ present here and now Finally the Spirit of communion unites the Church to the life and mission of Christ The Holy Spirit prepares for the reception of Christ 1093 In the sacramental economy the Holy Spirit fulfills what was prefigured in the Old Covenant Since Christ s Church was prepared in marvellous fashion in the history of the people of Israel and in the Old Covenant 14 the Church s liturgy has retained certain elements of the worship of the Old Covenant as integral and irreplaceable adopting them as her own notably reading the Old Testament praying the Psalms above all recalling the saving events and significant realities which have found their fulfillment in the mystery of Christ promise and covenant Exodus and Passover kingdom and temple exile and return 1094 It is on this harmony of the two Testaments that the Paschal catechesis of the Lord is built 15 and then that of the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church This catechesis unveils what lay hidden under the letter of the Old Testament the mystery of Christ It is called typological because it reveals the newness of Christ on the basis of the figures types which announce him in the deeds words and symbols of the first covenant By this re reading in the Spirit of Truth starting from Christ the figures are unveiled 16 Thus the flood and Noah s ark prefigured salvation by Baptism 17 as did the cloud and the crossing of the Red Sea Water from the rock was the figure of the spiritual gifts of Christ and manna in the desert prefigured the Eucharist the true bread from heaven 18 1095 For this reason the Church especially during Advent and Lent and above all at the Easter Vigil re reads and re lives the great events of salvation history in the today of her liturgy But this also demands that catechesis help the faithful to open themselves to this spiritual understanding of the economy of salvation as the Church s liturgy reveals it and enables us to live it 1096 Jewish liturgy and Christian liturgy A better knowledge of the Jewish people s faith and religious life as professed and lived even now can help our better understanding of certain aspects of Christian liturgy For both Jews and Christians Sacred Scripture is an essential part of their respective liturgies in the proclamation of the Word of God the response to this word prayer of praise and intercession for the living and the dead invocation of God s mercy In its characteristic structure the Liturgy of the Word originates in Jewish prayer The Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical texts and formularies as well as those of our most venerable prayers including the Lord s Prayer have parallels in Jewish prayer The Eucharistic Prayers also draw their inspiration from the Jewish tradition The relationship between Jewish liturgy and Christian liturgy but also their differences in content are particularly evident in the great feasts of the liturgical year such as Passover Christians and Jews both celebrate the Passover For Jews it is the Passover of history tending toward the future for Christians it is the Passover fulfilled in the death and Resurrection of Christ though always in expectation of its definitive consummation 1097 In the liturgy of the New Covenant every liturgical action especially the celebration of the Eucharist and the sacraments is an encounter between Christ and the Church The liturgical assembly derives its unity from the communion of the Holy Spirit who gathers the children of God into the one Body of Christ This assembly transcends racial cultural social indeed all human affinities 1098 The assembly should prepare itself to encounter its Lord and to become a people well disposed The preparation of hearts is the joint work of the Holy Spirit and the assembly especially of its ministers The grace of the Holy Spirit seeks to awaken faith conversion of heart and adherence to the Father s will These dispositions are the precondition both for the reception of other graces conferred in the celebration itself and the fruits of new life which the celebration is intended to produce afterward The Holy Spirit recalls the mystery of Christ 1099 The Spirit and the Church cooperate to manifest Christ and his work of salvation in the liturgy Primarily in the Eucharist and by analogy in the other sacraments the liturgy is the memorial of the mystery of salvation The Holy Spirit is the Church s living memory 19 1100 The Word of God The Holy Spirit first recalls the meaning of the salvation event to the liturgical assembly by giving life to the Word of God which is proclaimed so that it may be received and lived In the celebration of the liturgy Sacred Scripture is extremely important From it come the lessons that are read and explained in the homily and the psalms that are sung It is from the Scriptures that the prayers collects and hymns draw their inspiration and their force and that actions and signs derive their meaning 20 1101 The Holy Spirit gives a spiritual understanding of the Word of God to those who read or hear it according to the dispositions of their hearts By means of the words actions and symbols that form the structure of a celebration the Spirit puts both the faithful and the ministers into a living relationship with Christ the Word and Image of the Father so that they can live out the meaning of what they hear contemplate and do in the celebration 1102 By the saving word of God faith is nourished in the hearts of believers By this faith then the congregation of the faithful begins and grows 21 The proclamation does not stop with a teaching it elicits the response of faith as consent and commitment directed at the covenant between God and his people Once again it is the Holy Spirit who gives the grace of faith strengthens it and makes it grow in the community The liturgical assembly is first of all a communion in faith 1103 Anamnesis The liturgical celebration always refers to God s saving interventions in history The economy of Revelation is realized by deeds and words which are intrinsically bound up with each other T he words for their part proclaim the works and bring to light the mystery they contain 22 In the Liturgy of the Word the Holy Spirit recalls to the assembly all that Christ has done for us In keeping with the nature of liturgical actions and the ritual traditions of the churches the celebration makes a remembrance of the marvelous works of God in an anamnesis which may be more or less developed The Holy Spirit who thus awakens the memory of the Church then inspires thanksgiving and praise doxology The Holy Spirit makes present the mystery of Christ 1104 Christian liturgy not only recalls the events that saved us but actualizes them makes them present The Paschal mystery of Christ is celebrated not repeated It is the celebrations that are repeated and in each celebration there is an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that makes the unique mystery present 1105 The Epiclesis invocation upon is the intercession in which the priest begs the Father to send the Holy Spirit the Sanctifier so that the offerings may become the body and blood of Christ and that the faithful by receiving them may themselves become a living offering to God 23 1106 Together with the anamnesis the epiclesis is at the heart of each sacramental celebration most especially of the Eucharist You ask how the bread becomes the Body of Christ and the wine the Blood of Christ I shall tell you the Holy Spirit comes upon them and accomplishes what surpasses every word and thought Let it be enough for you to understand that it is by the Holy Spirit just as it was of the Holy Virgin and by the Holy Spirit that the Lord through and in himself took flesh 24 1107 The Holy Spirit s transforming power in the liturgy hastens the coming of the kingdom and the consummation of the mystery of salvation While we wait in hope he causes us really to anticipate the fullness of communion with the Holy Trinity Sent by the Father who hears the epiclesis of the Church the Spirit gives life to those who accept him and is even now the guarantee of their inheritance 25 The communion of the Holy Spirit 1108 In every liturgical action the Holy Spirit is sent in order to bring us into communion with Christ and so to form his Body The Holy Spirit is like the sap of the Father s vine which bears fruit on its branches 26 The most intimate cooperation of the Holy Spirit and the Church is achieved in the liturgy The Spirit who is the Spirit of communion abides indefectibly in the Church For this reason the Church is the great sacrament of divine communion which gathers God s scattered children together Communion with the Holy Trinity and fraternal communion are inseparably the fruit of the Spirit in the liturgy 27 1109 The epiclesis is also a prayer for the full effect of the assembly s communion with the mystery of Christ The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit 28 have to remain with us always and bear fruit beyond the Eucharistic celebration The Church therefore asks the Father to send the Holy Spirit to make the lives of the faithful a living sacrifice to God by their spiritual transformation into the image of Christ by concern for the Church s unity and by taking part in her mission through the witness and service of charity IN BRIEF 1110 In the liturgy of the Church God the Father is blessed and adored as the source of all the blessings of creation and salvation with which he has blessed us in his Son in order to give us the Spirit of filial adoption 1111 Christ s work in the liturgy is sacramental because his mystery of salvation is made present there by the power of his Holy Spirit because his Body which is the Church is like a sacrament sign and instrument in which the Holy Spirit dispenses the mystery of salvation and because through her liturgical actions the pilgrim Church already participates as by a foretaste in the heavenly liturgy 1112 The mission of the Holy Spirit in the liturgy of the Church is to prepare the assembly to encounter Christ to recall and manifest Christ to the faith of the assembly to make the saving work of Christ present and active by his transforming power and to make the gift of communion bear fruit in the Church ARTICLE 2 THE PASCHAL MYSTERY IN THE CHURCH S SACRAMENTS 1113 The whole liturgical life of the Church revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments 29 There are seven sacraments in the Church Baptism Confirmation or Chrismation Eucharist Penance Anointing of the Sick Holy Orders and Matrimony 30 This article will discuss what is common to the Church s seven sacraments from a doctrinal point of view What is common to them in terms of their celebration will be presented in the second chapter and what is distinctive about each will be the topic of the Section Two THE SACRAMENTS OF CHRIST 1114 Adhering to the teaching of the Holy Scriptures to the apostolic traditions and to the consensus of the Fathers we profess that the sacraments of the new law were all instituted by Jesus Christ our Lord 31 1115 Jesus words and actions during his hidden life and public ministry were already salvific for they anticipated the power of his Paschal mystery They announced and prepared what he was going to give the Church when all was accomplished The mysteries of Christ s life are the foundations of what he would henceforth dispense in the sacraments through the ministers of his Church for what was visible in our Savior has passed over into his mysteries 32 1116 Sacraments are powers that comes forth from the Body of Christ 33 which is ever living and life giving They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body the Church They are the masterworks of God in the new and everlasting covenant II THE SACRAMENTS OF THE CHURCH 1117 As she has done for the canon of Sacred Scripture and for the doctrine of the faith the Church by the power of the Spirit who guides her into all truth has gradually recognized this treasure received from Christ and as the faithful steward of God s mysteries has determined its dispensation 34 Thus the Church has discerned over the centuries that among liturgical celebrations there are seven that are in the strict sense of the term sacraments instituted by the Lord 1118 The sacraments are of the Church in the double sense that they are by her and for her They are by the Church for she is the sacrament of Christ s action at work in her through the mission of the Holy Spirit They are for the Church in the sense that the sacraments make the Church 35 since they manifest and communicate to men above all in the Eucharist the mystery of communion with the God who is love One in three persons 1119 Forming as it were one mystical person with Christ the head the Church acts in the sacraments as an organically structured priestly community 36 Through Baptism and Confirmation the pRiestly people is enabled to celebrate the liturgy while those of the faithful who have received Holy Orders are appointed to nourish the Church with the word and grace of God in the name of Christ 37 1120 The ordained ministry or ministerial priesthood is at the service of the baptismal priesthood 38 The ordained priesthood guarantees that it really is Christ who acts in the sacraments through the Holy Spirit for the Church The saving mission entrusted by the Father to his incarnate Son was committed to the apostles and through them to their successors they receive the Spirit of Jesus to act in his name and in his person 39 The ordained minister is the sacramental bond that ties the liturgical action to what the apostles said and did and through them to the words and actions of Christ the source and foundation of the sacraments 1121 The three sacraments of Baptism Confirmation and Holy Orders confer in addition to grace a sacramental character or seal by which the Christian shares in Christ s priesthood and is made a member of the Church according to different states and functions This configuration to Christ and to the Church brought about by the Spirit is indelible 40 it remains for ever in the Christian as a positive disposition for grace a promise and guarantee of divine protection and as a vocation to divine worship and to the service of the Church Therefore these sacraments can never be repeated III THE SACRAMENTS OF FAITH 1122 Christ sent his apostles so that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations 41 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit 42 The mission to baptize and so the sacramental mission is implied in the mission to evangelize because the sacrament is prepared for by the word of God and by the faith which is assent to this word The People of God is formed into one in the first place by the Word of the living God The preaching of the Word is required for the sacramental ministry itself since the sacraments are sacraments of faith drawing their origin and nourishment from the Word 43 1123 The purpose of the sacraments is to sanctify men to build up the Body of Christ and finally to give worship to God Because they are signs they also instruct They not only presuppose faith but by

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    speaks when the holy Scriptures are read in the Church Lastly he is present when the Church prays and sings for he has promised where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them 11 1089 Christ indeed always associates the Church with himself in this great work in which God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified The Church is his beloved Bride who calls to her Lord and through him offers worship to the eternal Father 12 which participates in the liturgy of heaven 1090 In the earthly liturgy we share in a foretaste of that heavenly liturgy which is celebrated in the Holy City of Jerusalem toward which we journey as pilgrims where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle With all the warriors of the heavenly army we sing a hymn of glory to the Lord venerating the memory of the saints we hope for some part and fellowship with them we eagerly await the Savior our Lord Jesus Christ until he our life shall appear and we too will appear with him in glory 13 III THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE CHURCH IN THE LITURGY 1091 In the liturgy the Holy Spirit is teacher of the faith of the People of God and artisan of God s masterpieces the sacraments of the New Covenant The desire and work of the Spirit in the heart of the Church is that we may live from the life of the risen Christ When the Spirit encounters in us the response of faith which he has aroused in us he brings about genuine cooperation Through it the liturgy becomes the common work of the Holy Spirit and the Church 1092 In this sacramental dispensation of Christ s mystery the Holy Spirit acts in the same way as at other times in the economy of salvation he prepares the Church to encounter her Lord he recalls and makes Christ manifest to the faith of the assembly By his transforming power he makes the mystery of Christ present here and now Finally the Spirit of communion unites the Church to the life and mission of Christ The Holy Spirit prepares for the reception of Christ 1093 In the sacramental economy the Holy Spirit fulfills what was prefigured in the Old Covenant Since Christ s Church was prepared in marvellous fashion in the history of the people of Israel and in the Old Covenant 14 the Church s liturgy has retained certain elements of the worship of the Old Covenant as integral and irreplaceable adopting them as her own notably reading the Old Testament praying the Psalms above all recalling the saving events and significant realities which have found their fulfillment in the mystery of Christ promise and covenant Exodus and Passover kingdom and temple exile and return 1094 It is on this harmony of the two Testaments that the Paschal catechesis of the Lord is built 15 and then that of the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church This catechesis unveils what lay hidden under the letter of the Old Testament the mystery of Christ It is called typological because it reveals the newness of Christ on the basis of the figures types which announce him in the deeds words and symbols of the first covenant By this re reading in the Spirit of Truth starting from Christ the figures are unveiled 16 Thus the flood and Noah s ark prefigured salvation by Baptism 17 as did the cloud and the crossing of the Red Sea Water from the rock was the figure of the spiritual gifts of Christ and manna in the desert prefigured the Eucharist the true bread from heaven 18 1095 For this reason the Church especially during Advent and Lent and above all at the Easter Vigil re reads and re lives the great events of salvation history in the today of her liturgy But this also demands that catechesis help the faithful to open themselves to this spiritual understanding of the economy of salvation as the Church s liturgy reveals it and enables us to live it 1096 Jewish liturgy and Christian liturgy A better knowledge of the Jewish people s faith and religious life as professed and lived even now can help our better understanding of certain aspects of Christian liturgy For both Jews and Christians Sacred Scripture is an essential part of their respective liturgies in the proclamation of the Word of God the response to this word prayer of praise and intercession for the living and the dead invocation of God s mercy In its characteristic structure the Liturgy of the Word originates in Jewish prayer The Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical texts and formularies as well as those of our most venerable prayers including the Lord s Prayer have parallels in Jewish prayer The Eucharistic Prayers also draw their inspiration from the Jewish tradition The relationship between Jewish liturgy and Christian liturgy but also their differences in content are particularly evident in the great feasts of the liturgical year such as Passover Christians and Jews both celebrate the Passover For Jews it is the Passover of history tending toward the future for Christians it is the Passover fulfilled in the death and Resurrection of Christ though always in expectation of its definitive consummation 1097 In the liturgy of the New Covenant every liturgical action especially the celebration of the Eucharist and the sacraments is an encounter between Christ and the Church The liturgical assembly derives its unity from the communion of the Holy Spirit who gathers the children of God into the one Body of Christ This assembly transcends racial cultural social indeed all human affinities 1098 The assembly should prepare itself to encounter its Lord and to become a people well disposed The preparation of hearts is the joint work of the Holy Spirit and the assembly especially of

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    word and gift 4 When applied to man the word blessing means adoration and surrender to his Creator in thanksgiving 1079 From the beginning until the end of time the whole of God s work is a blessing From the liturgical poem of the first creation to the canticles of the heavenly Jerusalem the inspired authors proclaim the plan of salvation as one vast divine blessing 1080 From the very beginning God blessed all living beings especially man and woman The covenant with Noah and with all living things renewed this blessing of fruitfulness despite man s sin which had brought a curse on the ground But with Abraham the divine blessing entered into human history which was moving toward death to redirect it toward life toward its source By the faith of the father of all believers who embraced the blessing the history of salvation is inaugurated 1081 The divine blessings were made manifest in astonishing and saving events the birth of Isaac the escape from Egypt Passover and Exodus the gift of the promised land the election of David the presence of God in the Temple the purifying exile and return of a small remnant The Law the Prophets and the Psalms interwoven in the liturgy of the Chosen People recall these divine blessings and at the same time respond to them with blessings of praise and thanksgiving 1082 In the Church s liturgy the divine blessing is fully revealed and communicated The Father is acknowledged and adored as the source and the end of all the blessings of creation and salvation In his Word who became incarnate died and rose for us he fills us with his blessings Through his Word he pours into our hearts the Gift that contains all gifts the Holy Spirit 1083 The

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    that Christ is all that he did and suffered for all men participates in the divine eternity and so transcends all times while being made present in them all The event of the Cross and Resurrection abides and draws everything toward life from the time of the Church of the Apostles 1086 Accordingly just as Christ was sent by the Father so also he sent the apostles filled with the Holy Spirit This he did so that they might preach the Gospel to every creature and proclaim that the Son of God by his death and resurrection had freed us from the power of Satan and from death and brought us into the Kingdom of his Father But he also willed that the work of salvation which they preached should be set in train through the sacrifice and sacraments around which the entire liturgical life revolves 9 1087 Thus the risen Christ by giving the Holy Spirit to the apostles entrusted to them his power of sanctifying 10 they became sacramental signs of Christ By the power of the same Holy Spirit they entrusted this power to their successors This apostolic succession structures the whole liturgical life of the Church and is itself sacramental handed on by the sacrament of Holy Orders is present in the earthly liturgy 1088 To accomplish so great a work the dispensation or communication of his work of salvation Christ is always present in his Church especially in her liturgical celebrations He is present in the Sacrifice of the Mass not only in the person of his minister the same now offering through the ministry of priests who formerly offered himself on the cross but especially in the Eucharistic species By his power he is present in the sacraments so that when anybody baptizes it

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    1 000 769 to go Catechism of the Catholic Church Christ glorified 1084 Seated at the right hand of the Father and pouring out the Holy Spirit on his Body which is the Church Christ now acts through the sacraments he instituted to communicate his grace The sacraments are perceptible signs words and actions accessible to our human nature By the action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit they make present efficaciously the grace that they signify 1085 In the liturgy of the Church it is principally his own Paschal mystery that Christ signifies and makes present During his earthly life Jesus announced his Paschal mystery by his teaching and anticipated it by his actions When his Hour comes he lives out the unique event of history which does not pass away Jesus dies is buried rises from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father once for all 8 His Paschal mystery is a real event that occurred in our history but it is unique all other historical events happen once and then they pass away swallowed up in the past The Paschal mystery of Christ by contrast cannot remain only in

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    Site Tour Web Widgets Feeds Contact Us Advertise Subscribe Login Donate Resources Home Library Website Reviews What You Need to Know Catholic Dictionary Catechism Church Fathers Most Collection Free eBooks Catechism of the Catholic Church from the time of the Church of the Apostles 1086 Accordingly just as Christ was sent by the Father so also he sent the apostles filled with the Holy Spirit This he did so that they might preach the Gospel to every creature and proclaim that the Son of God by his death and resurrection had freed us from the power of Satan and from death and brought us into the Kingdom of his Father But he also willed that the work of salvation which they preached should be set in train through the sacrifice and sacraments around which the entire liturgical life revolves 9 1087 Thus the risen Christ by giving the Holy Spirit to the apostles entrusted to them his power of sanctifying 10 they became sacramental signs of Christ By the power of the same Holy Spirit they entrusted this power to their successors This apostolic succession structures the whole liturgical life of the Church and is itself sacramental handed on by

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    Home Library Website Reviews What You Need to Know Catholic Dictionary Catechism Church Fathers Most Collection Free eBooks Catechism of the Catholic Church is present in the earthly liturgy 1088 To accomplish so great a work the dispensation or communication of his work of salvation Christ is always present in his Church especially in her liturgical celebrations He is present in the Sacrifice of the Mass not only in the person of his minister the same now offering through the ministry of priests who formerly offered himself on the cross but especially in the Eucharistic species By his power he is present in the sacraments so that when anybody baptizes it is really Christ himself who baptizes He is present in his word since it is he himself who speaks when the holy Scriptures are read in the Church Lastly he is present when the Church prays and sings for he has promised where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them 11 1089 Christ indeed always associates the Church with himself in this great work in which God is perfectly glorified and men are sanctified The Church is his beloved

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