Friday, May 20, 2011

Instruction on Eucharistic Worship - Sacred Congregation of Rites 1967 - Pt.17

IV. The Celebration of the Eucharist in the Life and Ministry of the Bishop and the Priest

42. The Celebration of the Eucharist in the Life and Ministry of Bishops
The celebration of the Eucharist expresses in a particular way the public and social nature of the liturgical actions of the Church, "which is the sacrament of unity, namely, a holy people united and ordered under its bishops."96

In consequence, "the bishop, endowed with the fullness of the sacrament of Order, is the steward of the grace of the supreme priesthood, above all in the Eucharist, which he offers himself or causes to be offered . . . But every legitimate celebration of the Eucharist is regulated by the bishop. For to him is entrusted the task of offering Christian worship to the majesty of God and of directing it according to the Lord's commandments and the Church's laws, further determined for his diocese by his own decisions."97 The Church is most perfectly displayed in its hierarchic structure in that celebration of the Eucharist at which the bishop presides, surrounded by his priests and ministers, with the active participation of the whole people of God.98

43. Priests Should Take Their Proper Role in the Celebration of the Eucharist
In the celebration of the Eucharist, priests also are deputed to perform a specific function by reason of a special sacrament, namely holy Orders. For they too "as ministers of the sacred mysteries, especially in the sacrifice of the Mass . . . act in the person of Christ in a special way."99 It is, therefore, fitting that, by reason of the sign, they participate in the Eucharist by exercising the order proper to them,100 by celebrating or concelebrating the Mass and not by limiting themselves to communicating like the laity.

44. The Daily Celebration of Mass
"In the mystery of the Eucharistic sacrifice, in which the priest exercises his highest function, the work of our redemption is continually accomplished. Daily celebration of Mass, therefore, is most earnestly recommended, since, even if the faithful cannot be present, it remains an action of Christ and the Church,"101 an action in which the priest is always acting for the salvation of the people.

No comments: