So there we have it!!
WHERE IS THE LITURGY CELEBRATED?
The Church gives us a very clear understanding
Remember the story of the Samaritan woman that Jesus meets?
Jesus tells her, “Woman, believe me. The hour is coming and is now here when true worship of God will be worship in spirit and in truth.”
So it is not tied to any one place EXCLUSIVELY
THE WHOLE WORD IS SACRED AND ENTRUSTED TO THE CHILDREN OF MEN
What matters above all is that we as Baptized Christians become the LIVING STONES
Wherever the Christian is, that is where the Church is
Wherever the Bishop is, that is where the Church is
This goes all the way back to the very beginning of Christianity
Paragraph 1180 says, “When the exercise of religious liberty is not thwarted, Christians construct buildings for divine worship.”
For 2,000 years there have been times when Catholic Christians were in charge and had a lot of power
There are many times and places across the world where Catholic Christians were not in charge
Catholics were persecuted and that has not ended yet
In the last 120 years more people have been martyred than in the previous 1,900 years COMBINED
Christians can’t build churches even right now and it could happen to any one of us
Religious liberty can be thwarted and Catholics may not be allowed to gather in a Church
That happened in the past and history almost always repeats itself
So what do we take consolation in?
Christ has died and Risen from the Dead
Christ conquered death and wins
Our brothers and sisters in the Lord have said they are the LIVING STONES gathered to be built into a SPIRITUAL HOUSE
There are times when Christians are not allowed a house
So wherever we gather for the Eucharist, THAT PLACE IS HOLY and we can go ANYWHERE
Where religious liberty is NOT thwarted, we do construct buildings for divine worship
What is a Church?
Paragraph 1181 says, “A church, ‘a house of prayer in which the Eucharist is celebrated and reserved, where the faithful assemble, and where is worshiped the presence of the Son of God our Savior, offered to us on the sacrificial altar for the help and consolation of the faithful-this house ought to be in good taste and a worth place for prayer and sacred ceremonial.’”
It is very sparse in its description without too many limitations
There are certain aspects of this church building that HAVE to be there
What is the first thing?
We know that Jesus Christ offered Himself on the Cross so the PRIMARY ALTAR is the Cross
In the Church, the altar is that place aka table where we offer up the Sacrifice of the Son to the Father in the Power of the Holy Spirit
The altar is incredibly important
Next is the Tabernacle where the Eucharist is reserved
Paragraph 1183 says, “The tabernacle is to be situated ‘in churches in a most worthy place with the greatest honor.’”
The Tabernacle should be incredibly visible and incredibly preeminent in a primary place of vision and a place of adoration
Paragraph 1183 continues, “The sacred chrism (myron), used in anointings as the sacramental sign of the seal of the gift of the Holy Spirit, is traditionally reserved and venerated in a secure place in the sanctuary. The oil of catechumens and the oil of the sick may also be placed there.”
Paragraph 1184 says, “The chair of the bishop (cathedra) or that of the priest ‘should express his office of presiding over the assembly and of directing prayer.’ The lectern (ambo): ‘The dignity of the Word of God requires the church to have a suitable place for announcing his message so that the attention of the people may be easily directed to that place during the liturgy of the Word.’”
Also the lectern is used for the homily
There should also be a baptistry for baptisms
There should also be confessionals for Confession
Paragraph 1185 says, “A church must also be a space that invites us to the recollection and silent prayer that extend and internalize the great prayer of the Eucharist.”
For Churches that have the ability to do this, there should be a distinction between the place of worship and the social hall
Silent prayer vs socializing
All these things are good
They should all be able to happen in the building that is the church
Those places ought to be separated
There are some priests who try to help people have a place of prayer inside the Church proper
People should not talk in the sanctuary and it should be reserved for silent prayer
These are the places that you and I go to every single day and they ought to be places where we encounter the Lord and worship the Lord
So they ought to have the dignity of that place and time of worship
Fr. Mike is praying FOR YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!