Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Celebration of the Christian Mystery 307 IN BRIEF 1187 The liturgy is the work of the whole Christ, head and body. Our high priest celebrates it unceasingly in the heavenly liturgy, with the holy Mother of God, the apostles, all the saints, and the multitude of those who have already entered the kingdom. 1188 In a liturgical celebration, the whole assembly is leitour­ gos, each member according to his own function. The baptismal priesthood is that of thewhole Body of Christ. But some of the faithful are ordained through the sacra- ment of Holy Orders to represent Christ as head of the Body. 1189 The liturgical celebration involves signs and symbols relating to creation (candles, water, fire), human life (washing, anointing, breaking bread), and the history of salvation (the rites of the Passover). Integrated into the world of faith and taken up by the power of the Holy Spirit, these cosmic elements, human rituals, and gestures of remembrance of God become bearers of the saving and sanctifying action of Christ. 1190 The Liturgy of the Word is an integral part of the celebration. The meaning of the celebration is ex- pressed by the Word of God which is proclaimed and by the response of faith to it. 1191 Song andmusic are closely connectedwith the liturgical action. The criteria for their proper use are the beauty expressive of prayer, the unanimous participation of the assembly, and the sacred character of the celebration. 1192 Sacred images in our churches and homes are in- tended to awaken and nourish our faith in the mystery of Christ. Through the icon of Christ and his works of salvation, it is he whom we adore. Through sacred images of the holy Mother of God, of the angels and of the saints, we venerate the persons represented. 1193 Sunday, the “Lord’s Day,” is the principal day for the celebration of the Eucharist because it is the day of the Resurrection. It is the pre-eminent day of the liturgical