Built of Living Stones 21: The Importance of Liturgy

This is another excellent section for discussion:

§ 21 § The liturgy is the perfect expression of the Church, “the summit toward which [all the Church’s] activity is directed” and the source of all her power. (SC 10) In the New Testament, the term liturgy is intimately connected with the proclamation of the Good News and with active charity. (Cf. Lk 1:23; Acts 13:2; Rom 15:16, 27:2; and Phil 2:14-17, 25, 30) Through baptism and confirmation, Christians share in Christ’s priesthood which they exercise through their worship of God and their vocation of service to others. At the Eucharist, Christ calls his members to conversion in the proclamation of the word; he invites them to join with him in offering his perfect sacrifice to the Father; and he sends them forth from liturgy to serve the community in charity. Liturgical participation commits a person to a life of faithful discipleship. “Every liturgical celebration, because it is an action of Christ the priest and of His Body the Church, is a sacred action surpassing all others.” (SC 7)


The Scriptures and Sacrosanctum Concilium give the backbone of this explanation of the importance of liturgy. I doubt many liturgy geeks need to be reminded of it. But we should know it in order to preach it.

Liturgical participation commits a person to a life of faithful discipleship.

This gives the essence of the importance of participation. True, an interior orientation is essential. But in the corporate (that is, the Body’s) experience of liturgy, something more needs to be in evidence. The interior roots us in personal commitment. But the external singing, moving, speaking, is part of a public commitment we make to God and to one another. If and when participation of any kind leads people to faithful discipleship, then it would seem we have arrived at the optimal expression of worship. Any thoughts on this?

All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Built of Living Stones, USCCB documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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