We are Christians. The very centre of our life is Jesus Christ. It is the Christ who is risen and present today through the Holy Spirit. Because we are Christians we must worship God. We became Christians through our Baptism and Chrismation. We live in Christ because we receive the Holy Eucharist. To put it in another way, what Jesus did when He was on earth, He continues to do this for us by the liturgical practices we perform in church.
All the Mysteries (Sacraments) of the church are a form of liturgical life. Each ceremony we perform to commemorate the fact that Jesus is alive and works with us today is a form of liturgy. The whole life of Christ is in our church and expressed in the form of our liturgical prayer. The Holy Eucharist is the Last Supper. The days of Holy Week celebrate the death and Resurrection of Christ and all the events which lead to our own resurrection and salvation. The liturgical services of Holy Week are amongst the most beautiful in our church.
Our liturgical prayers are our spiritual formation. They form us into Ukrainian Catholic Christians.
Liturgy is not a celebration of something which happened in the past; it is a celebration of our present participation in the life of Christ today. This unity is so real and so intense that it actually makes all of us “other Christs”; asSt. Paulsays in Galatians 2:20, “It is no longer I who lives but Christ lives in me”.
You cannot celebrate liturgy alone. Liturgical prayer is a prayer of the whole church or the whole community. It is incorrect to say – I do not need to go to church because I can pray alone. Pray you can, but you cannot be liturgical alone. The very act of coming to church and praying in common with the whole community is so very important. Society and the church as Christ are based on our relationship with one another and with God. It is not always easy facing everyone in the community but even that exercise is very important to each one of us. The Sacred Scriptures teach us to love one another, to forgive each other, to feed the hungry etc. This is all done in the liturgical assembly.
The parish is a Christian family only because it meets and experiences Christ as a family. All of this is so very important. Some spiritual writers say that if we do not celebrate and live the liturgy of the church according to the mind of the church, as the church has always presented it, then one cannot pretend to be either a Christian or an apostle who is true to the church which Jesus Christ Himself instituted.
We must know and be certain of it that our church is a true church of Christ and that we live and pray the way that Jesus taught his apostles and disciples and that is what has been handed down to us by our spiritual ancestors. Our church is not the creation of some wise and holy people from the past; it is a creation of Jesus Christ Himself.
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