Friday, August 31, 2007

Liturgical life

Eucharistic Adoration, tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All who wish to adore Jesus in the Eucharist are invited!!
Anon asked, “Can someone explain what Liturgical life means?” (hand raised), I can, I can! Well, at least I can try. I would define liturgical life as meaning the practice and participation of worshipping Almighty God. As Christians, it means participating in Christ’s work of Redemption. We most commonly do this when we participate in the sacraments, most especially the Eucharist. But, as the Catechism reminds us, “in the New Testament the word ‘liturgy’ refers not only to the celebration of divine worship but also to the proclamation of the Gospel and to active charity” (CCC, # 1070).

Living out the liturgy is a way of life. Hence, we use the term ‘liturgical life’. Yes, liturgical life can refer to our participation in liturgical celebrations; in other words, how faithful we are to Mass, Confession, etc. But, in a general sense, it refers to the way in which we live out what we hear, see, and profess in liturgical celebrations – namely, the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The liturgy is the work of Christ through us: “Through the liturgy Christ, our redeemer and high priest, continues the work of our redemption in, with, and through his Church” (CCC, #1069).

Liturgy is the work of Christ but also an action of the Church. It involves the “conscious, active, and fruitful participation” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, Vatican II) of all the faithful. How do we consciously, actively, and fruitfully participate in the liturgy? One way, as I am saying, certainly takes place at Mass, the Divine Liturgy. We can engage in full participation at Mass through a prayerful and attentive spirit, proclaiming the responses, and singing the hymns as well as possible. I would also add that we can make an individual and silent prayer of thanksgiving after Mass, in the tradition of the saints.

A general way to consciously, actively, and fruitfully participate in the liturgy is to be in sync with the Church throughout the liturgical year. What I mean by this is that we can follow the liturgical calendar of the Church. While the liturgical calendar coincides with the secular calendar in that it shares the same months, weeks, and days, it serves a different purpose and has different celebrations. For example, New Year’s Day in the secular calendar is January 1; New Year’s Day in the liturgical calendar is the first Sunday of Advent. We begin each new liturgical year, then, by preparing for the coming of Christ.

Throughout the liturgical year, the Church celebrates solemnities, feasts, and memorials. These are days which are devoted to “commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord (every Sunday is a feast day) as well as the principle liturgical feasts honoring the mysteries of the Lord, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the saints” (CCC, # 2042, 1st Precept of the Church). On this blog, we have mentioned certain feast days and memorials of saints. These are important parts of living out the liturgical life because they get us all on the same page with the mind of the Church in her celebration of our Redemption. Whenever we remember the Blessed Mother, the saints, and the angels in extraordinary ways, we honor the Grace of Christ and celebrate the victory he has won for us in his Death and Resurrection.


At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bless your persecutors; never curse them, bless them. ... Never pay back evil with evil. ... Never try to get revenge. ... If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat; if thirsty, something to drink. ... Do not be mastered by evil, but master evil with good" (Romans 12:14-21)


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