The Celebration of the Christian Mystery

Eucharist - Sacraments - Divine Office

The liturgy is considered an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy the sanctification of man is betokened by signs perceptible to the senses, and is effected in a way which is proper to each of these signs; in the liturgy full public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and His members. The liturgy consists of the celebration of the Mass, imparting the Sacraments, and praying the Divine Office.

The word liturgy originally meant a public work or a service in the name of or on behalf of the people. In Christian tradition it means the participation of the People of God in the work of God. Through the liturgy Christ, our redeemer and high priest, continues the work of our redemption in, with, and through His Church.

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.

The sacred liturgy does not exhaust the entire activity of the Church. It must be preceded by evangelization, faith, and conversion. It can then produce its fruits in the lives of the faithful: new life in the Spirit, involvement in the mission of the Church, and service to her unity.

For the liturgy to be effective:
        the faithful must be well disposed
        know what they are doing

The Liturgical Year

The Church year:
        recalls the mysteries of redemption, the life and resurrection of our Lord
        honors Mary, the Mother of God
        remembers the martyrs and other saints
        completes the formation of the faithful with pious practices, instruction, prayer, works of penance
         and of mercy

The Liturgical Year begins with Advent (from the Latin word adventus, which means "arrival" or "coming"). It begins four Sundays before Christmas, the Sunday falling on or nearest to 30 November, and ends on Christmas Eve. Traditionally observed as a "fast", it focuses on preparation for the coming of Christ, not only the coming of the Christ-child at Christmas, but also, in the first weeks, on the eschatological final coming of Christ, making Advent a period for devout and joyful expectation. This season is often marked by the Advent Wreath, a garland of evergreens with four candles. Although the main symbolism of the advent wreath is simply marking the progression of time, many churches attach themes to each candle, most often 'hope', 'faith', 'joy', and 'love'. Liturgical colour: purple