Friday, February 12, 2010

Sacrosanctum Concilium on the boundaries of the Eucharist

Sacrosanctum Concilium is the Second Vatican Council’s document on the Liturgy, signed by Pope Paul VI in December 1963.

(10) The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the fount from which all her power flows."

(7) 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,' (Council of Trent) 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 (Cf. St. Augustine, Tractatus in Ioannem, VI, n. 7). He is present in his Word since it is he himself who speaks when the Holy Scriptures are read in 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.' (Matthew 18:20)

(8) 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 (Cf. Revelation. 21:2; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 8:2). 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 Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, until he, our life, shall appear and we too shall appear with him in glory. (Cf. John 17:3; Luke 24:27; Acts 2:38)


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