Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Celebration of the Christian Mystery 305 1177 The hymns and litanies of the Liturgy of the Hours inte- grate the prayer of the psalms into the age of the Church, express- ing the symbolism of the time of day, the liturgical season, or the feast being celebrated. Moreover, the reading from the Word of God at each Hour (with the subsequent responses or troparia ) and readings from the Fathers and spiritual masters at certain Hours, reveal more deeply the meaning of the mystery being celebrated, assist in understanding the psalms, and prepare for silent prayer. The lectio divina, where the Word of God is so read and meditated that it becomes prayer, is thus rooted in the liturgical celebration. 1178 The Liturgy of the Hours, which is like an extension of the Eucharistic celebration, does not exclude but rather in a comple- mentary way calls forth the various devotions of the People of God, especially adoration and worship of the Blessed Sacrament. IV. W here I s the L iturgy C elebrated ? 1179 The worship “in Spirit and in truth” 53 of the New Cove- nant is not tied exclusively to any one place. The whole earth is sacred and entrusted to the children of men. What matters above all is that, when the faithful assemble in the same place, they are the “living stones,” gathered to be “built into a spiritual house.” 54 For the Body of the risen Christ is the spiritual temple from which the source of living water springs forth: incorporated into Christ by the Holy Spirit, “we are the temple of the living God.” 55 1180 When the exercise of religious liberty is not thwarted, 56 Christians construct buildings for divine worship. These visible churches are not simply gathering places but signify and make visible the Church living in this place, the dwelling of God with men reconciled and united in Christ. 1181 A church, “a house of prayer in which the Eucharist is celebrated and reserved, where the faithful assemble, and where is worshipped the presence of the Son of God our Savior, offered for us on the sacrificial altar for the help and consolation of the faithful​ —this house ought to be in good taste and a worthy place for prayer and sacred ceremonial.” 57 In this “house of God” the truth and the harmony of the signs that make it up should show Christ to be present and active in this place. 58 53 Jn 4:24. 54 1 Pet 2:4-5. 55 2 Cor 6:16. 56 Cf. DH 4. 57 PO 5; cf. SC 122-127. 58 Cf. SC 7. 2586 1378 586 2106 2691