Sunday, April 25, 2004

another wondrous passage

another wondrous passage from Redemptionis Sacramentum

1. Active and Conscious Participation

[36.] The celebration of the Mass, as the action of Christ and of the Church, is the center of the whole Christian life for the universal as well as the particular Church, and also for the individual faithful, who are involved "in differing ways according to the diversity of orders, ministries, and active participation. In this way the Christian people, "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy people, a people God has made His own", manifests its coherent and hierarchical ordering". "For the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial or hierarchical Priesthood, though they differ in essence and not only in degree, are ordered to one another, for both partake, each in its own way, of the one Priesthood of Christ".

[37.] All of Christ's faithful, freed from their sins and incorporated into the Church through Baptism, are deputed by means of a sacramental character for the worship of the Christian religion, so that by virtue of their royal priesthood, persevering in prayer and praising God, they may offer themselves as a living and holy sacrifice pleasing to God and attested to others by their works, giving witness to Christ throughout the earth and providing an answer to those who ask concerning their hope of eternal life that is in them. Thus the participation of the lay faithful too in the Eucharist and in the other celebrations of the Church's rites cannot be equated with mere presence, and still less with a passive one, but is rather to be regarded as a true exercise of faith and of the baptismal dignity.


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