Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Instruction on Eucharistic Worship - Sacred Congregation of Rites 1967 Part 1


1. Recent Documents of the Church Concerning the Mystery of the Eucharist

The mystery of the Eucharist is the true center of the sacred liturgy and indeed of the whole Christian life. Consequently the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, continually seeks to understand and to live the Eucharist more fully.

In our own day the Second Vatican Council has stressed several important aspects of this mystery.
In the Constitution on the Liturgy the council recalled certain facts about the nature and importance of the Eucharist.1 It established principles for the reform of the rites of the sacrifice of the Mass so as to encourage the full and active participation of the faithful in the celebration of this mystery.2 It also extended the practice of concelebration and Communion under both kinds.3

In the Constitution on the Church the council showed the close and necessary connection between the Eucharist and the mystery of the Church.4 Other documents of the council frequently stressed the important role of the Eucharistic Mystery in the life of the faithful.5 They showed its power to reveal the meaning of man's work, and indeed of all created nature, since in it "natural elements, refined by man, are changed into the glorified Body and Blood."6

Pope Pius XII had prepared the way for many of these statements of the council, especially in the encyclical letter <Mediator Dei>,7 while Pope Paul VI in the encyclical letter <Mysterium Fidei>8 has recalled the importance of certain aspects of Eucharistic doctrine, of the real presence of Christ in particular and the worship due to this sacrament even outside the Mass.

No comments: