It belongs to the Baptized. Therefore, as worship that includes sacrifice, the liturgy is necessarily a priestly act. As such, it is an exercise of both the baptismal priesthood and the ministerial priesthood – it always involves “spiritual sacrifice. ” Next, within worship it necessary to have signs that signify what they effect – that is, the sanctification of man. The liturgy always involves these sensible realities that represent and effect something else. This means that within the context of liturgy those signs that are used must signify what they effect: i. . the bread and wine signifying and becoming the nourishing and enriching body and blood of Christ. There should be no superfluous signs in the liturgy (i. e. liturgical ministers dressed up as clowns). In this way then, the participants are living sacraments in themselves because they are representing the Bride of Christ offered up to the bridegroom for the salvation of souls. Third, it must be remembered that liturgy is something that is constantly going on in heaven. It is something, here on earth, that is entered into.
The assembly gathered does not “start” liturgy properly speaking, rather they enter into and go forth from (exitus et reditus). Lastly, the liturgy belongs to the baptized as they alone belong to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. It is only those who have been made priests through the waters of Baptism that are in fact in common union with the Church as She exists throughout all time. The liturgy as an act of public worship is the passing over of all that God revealed about Salvation. It is that which fulfills the Old Testament worship.
It always has to do with an action that is salvific. The liturgy, as an effect, brings the people together in order to praise God, enables them to participate in “the sacrifice”, and eat the Lord’s Supper. The Liturgy is always bringing humanity and all creation back into Christ. >>I hope you enjoyed this quick reflection on the Liturgy. Please feel free to share your comments below. It is my hope and prayer that this site will become a forum of discussion about how we as Catholics can rediscover the nature and beauty of worship & liturgy. <<