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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/catechism/index.cfm?recnum=3875 (2016-02-11)
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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    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

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/catechism/index.cfm?recnum=3882 (2016-02-11)
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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/catechism/index.cfm?recnum=3891 (2016-02-11)
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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    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

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/catechism/index.cfm?recnum=3895 (2016-02-11)
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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    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

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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    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 us the first fruits of the Paschal mystery The sanctoral in the liturgical year 1172 In celebrating this annual cycle of the mysteries of Christ Holy Church honors the Blessed Mary Mother of God with a special love She is inseparably linked with the saving work of her Son In her the Church admires and exalts the most excellent fruit of redemption and joyfully contemplates as in a faultless image that which she herself desires and hopes wholly to be 44 1173 When the Church keeps the memorials of martyrs and other

    Original URL path: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/catechism/index.cfm?recnum=3904 (2016-02-11)
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  • Catechism of the Catholic Church | Catholic Culture
    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

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