Why the Liturgy
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Simplified
Proclaiming These Mysteries (1068)
In her liturgy, the Church proclaims these mysteries so the faithful may live them and bear witness to them. "In the liturgy, especially the Eucharist, our redemption is accomplished and the faithful can express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ" (Second Vatican Council).
Sharing in God's Work (1069)
"Liturgy" originally meant service on behalf of the people. In Christian Tradition, it means God's People participating in "the work of God." Through the liturgy, Christ continues his redemptive work in the Church.
Actions of Christ (1070)
In the New Testament, liturgy refers to worship, proclaiming the Gospel and acts of charity. The Church shares in Christ's priesthood (worship) which is prophetic (proclaiming the Gospel) and kingly (acts of service). In liturgy, full public worship is performed by the Mystical Body. Since these are actions of Christ and his Church, they surpass all others. No other action can equal their efficacy (Second Vatican Council).
Actions of the Church (1071-1072)
This work also manifests the Church as a visible sign of communion between God and man. It engages the faithful and involves everyone's fruitful participation. Evangelization, faith, and conversion must precede liturgy, which then produces new life in the Spirit.
Summit of Prayer and Activity (1073-1074)
Because liturgy participates in Christ's prayer to the Father, all Christian prayer finds its source and goal in the liturgy. All Church activity is directed to the summit of the liturgy and all her power flows from the liturgy (Second Vatican Council). All catechesis is linked to the liturgy, especially to the Eucharist.
From Visible to Invisible (1075)
Liturgical catechesis leads people from the visible sign (sacraments) to the invisible realities (the mysteries). This Catechism (which serves the whole Church) will present what is universally common and fundamental in the celebration of liturgy (Section One) and in the sacraments and sacramentals (Section Two).
Dispensing Christ's Gifts (1076)
By the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost, the new age of the Church began. In this "dispensation of the mystery" Christ lives and acts in the Church and communicates his salvation through the liturgy until he comes. Both East and West call this "the sacramental economy", dispensing Christ's gifts through the Church's "sacramental" liturgy. We will explain this "sacramental dispensation" and its essential features.