Sacrosanctum Concilium 26

These next sections (26-32) continue Vatican II’s explanation of liturgical norms. The section is entitled, “Norms drawn from the hierarchic and communal nature of the Liturgy.” Let’s read it:

Liturgical services are not private functions, but are celebrations of the Church, which is the “sacrament of unity,” namely, the holy people united and ordered under their bishops (St. Cyprian, On the Unity of the CatholicChurch, 7; cf. Letter 66, n. 8, 3.)

Therefore liturgical services pertain to the whole body of the Church; they manifest it and have effects upon it; but they concern the individual members of the Church in different ways, according to their differing rank, office, and actual participation.

Here’s a reference to actual participation, but the main thrust of this section maintains a favorite post-conciliar theme, that liturgies are celebrations of the community of the Church. Masses without congregations, baptisms, sacramental visits to the sick, and confessions are not private at all in the sense of their relationship to the functioning and manifestation of the community.

Nobody would suggest seriously that every believer “gets invited” to every celebration. But it is undeniable that the first of norms listed reminds us of the necessary social dimension of liturgy. It is a theological reality. It is a social reality.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to Sacrosanctum Concilium 26

  1. KiwiNomad06 says:

    I can see why you changed over… this will enable much better tracking of your topic posts.

  2. Now if I can only figure out how to put more color into the template. Something to match the header better.

  3. Anne says:

    How many of you celebrate a wedding within Sunday Eucharist? That’s not a new concept coming from Vatican II. My parents were wedded at a normal Sunday Mass in 1949. I remember other familiy members doing the same in the early 50’s. It was pretty normal back then.
    The wedding ritual, is of course for the two being married but Vatican II tells us it’s about the community as well, an ecclesial event.
    I realize that suggesting a wedding within Sunday mass is not without problems. Video tapers and certain cultural practices may pose problems. On the other hand, with the shortage of priests, a nuptial marriage at any time other than the Sunday schedule may be a problem in the future.
    PS: Todd, Good luck with the new site. It’s easier to navigate, from this end anyway.

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