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"The celebration of Mass [the Sacred Liturgy]", as the action of Christ and the People of God arrayed hierarchically, is the center of the whole Christian life for the Church both universal and local, as well as for each of the faithful individually. In it is found the high point both of the action by which God sanctifies the world in Christ and of the worship that the human race offers to the Father, adoring him through Christ, the Son of God, in the Holy Spirit. In it, moreover, during the course of the year, the mysteries of redemption are recalled so as in some way to be made present. Furthermore, the other sacred actions and all the activities of the Christian life are bound up with it, flow from it, and are ordered to it” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal 16 / Chapter I - The Importance and Dignity of the Eucharistic Celebration)

General Instruction of the Roman Missal -Document

“Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy” On the feast of Pentecost 1998 Pope John Paul II published the Apostolic Letter Dies Domini –  In the introduction to this wonderful treatment of The Lord’s Day, the pope expressed, among other things, his hope that the age old tradition and teaching of the Church be renewed: that Christian believers should come together to hear God’s word and share in the Eucharist.

If Sunday is the “very heart of Christian life,” then the celebration of the Eucharist is the very heart of Sunday. The Eucharist is the celebration of the living presence of the Risen Lord in the midst of his own people. The Eucharist is the “fountainhead” of the Church; it feeds and forms the Church. / Todd Williamson

Apostolic Letter Dies Domini - Document

"Happy Are Those Who Are Called to His Supper" - The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on November 14, 2006  approved an important document - On Preparing to Receive Christ Worthily in the Eucharist.

The Document discusses the following topics:

1. What Do We Believe About Holy Communion?
2. What Is the Significance of Being United to Christ in Holy Communion?

     A. Participating in the One Sacrifice of Christ
     B. Communion with One Another
     C. Sharing in Jesus' Resurrection and Divinity

3. Who May Receive Holy Communion?
4. Should We Ever Refrain From Receiving Holy Communion?

     - Lack of Sanctifying Grace
     - Lack of Adherence to Church Teaching
     - Giving Public Scandal

5. How Can We Prepare to Receive Holy Communion More Worthily?

     - Remote Preparation
     - Proximate Preparation
     - Attentively Participating in the Liturgy
Appendix A: May Those Who Are Not Catholic Receive Holy Communion in the Catholic Church?
Appendix B: May Catholics Receive Holy Communion in Other Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities?

Happy Are They Who Are Called to His Supper - Document

Pope Benedict on Improved Participation

In Verbum Domini, his apostolic exhortation (November 11, 2010) responding to the Twelfth General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (held in 2008), Pope Benedict XVI offered seven practical proposals for promoting fuller participation in the liturgy, especially in the liturgy of the Word. They are:

  • encourage celebrations of the Word of God;
  • encourage inward and outward silence so that people are more receptive to the Word;
  • celebrate the liturgy of the Word in a way that favors meditation;
  • proclaim the Word solemnly, using outward signs like carrying the Book of the Gospels or singing the Gospel on solemnities;
  • remember that the responsorial psalm “is also the Word of God and hence should not be replaced by other texts; indeed, it is most appropriate that it be sung”;
  • use singing as called for in the rite, and focus on biblically-inspired texts;
  • use every possible assistance to help those who are challenged by visual or auditory problems to experience the living Word of God.

Verbum Domini - Document

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