Fall 1965

Page 85

Chri.topker Kiesling, O.P.

The Church's Institution of Liturgy The liturgy ts intrinsically unique -Christ's own worship rendered to the Father among men in time, which the Church freely makes her own.

As a result of Vatican Council II, the Church is making, re¡ making and unmaking the liturgy so familiar to us. What are we to think of this? Does it mean that, after all, the whole of the liturgy is not Christ's own worship of the Father, as we have been led to believe, that the liturgy is merely called Christ's own worship because the main part of the liturgy, the sacraments, are Christ's own actions? Does it mean that most of the liturgy is in reality the Church's worship alongside of Christ's worship? We naturally hesitate to say "Yes" to these questions. Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei told us that the sacred liturgy is the entire public worship of the mystical body of Christ, Head and members; he did not tell us that some of the liturgy is Christ's worship, some of it his members'. The Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy repeats Pius' definition (art. 7) and calls the divine Office the very prayer of Christ (art. 84). Another problem confronts us in the Church's making and 309