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.