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A Short History of the Liturgy “It unites heaven and earth. It permeates all creation.” -Pope John Paul II.

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Presentation on theme: "A Short History of the Liturgy “It unites heaven and earth. It permeates all creation.” -Pope John Paul II."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Short History of the Liturgy “It unites heaven and earth. It permeates all creation.” -Pope John Paul II

2 I. From Passover to Eucharist The Church has always preserved the core ritual. Early Christians viewed the Last Supper as the Passover Meal. Foods recalling the sacrificial meal Prayers of praise and remembrance Eucharist as Sacrament Beginning of ordained priesthood

3 II. From Meal to Worship A. First called the “Breaking of the Bread” B. Ist Century Need to separate the rite from the meal Need for a more prayerful setting Replaced meal with Liturgy of the Word Moved to Sunday to recall day of Resurrection

4 C. By 2 nd Century 1. Basic structure was in place a) 2 readings by lector b) homily by priest c) Eucharistic Prayer and distribution of Communion 2. Prayers of thanksgiving, praise and intercession 3. Met in people’s homes until about 313 C.E.

5 IV. The Growing Body of Christ A.313 C.E.: the rule of Constantine 1. Persecutions suddenly ended 2. Greats sums of money available to build basilicas 3. Emergence of ceremonies suitable for large houses of worship a) processions b) chant and sung music c) celebrants’ clothing (vestments) d) elaborate chalices and patens

6 4. Rise of extraordinary bishops called Church Fathers a) gave extraordinary homilies b) “The Body of Christ (the Eucharist) builds the Body of Christ (the Church)

7 V. The Eucharist becomes distant A.Religious observances increased while active participation decreased! 1. More churches and cathedrals 2. More religious orders of priests, brothers and sisters 3. More pilgrimages (journeys) to holy shrines BUT at the same time… 4. Assembly separated from the center of worship 5. Mass still in Latin 6. Catholic received Communion less and less regularly

8 VI. Reformation and the Tridentine Mass A.Council of Trent (1545) 1. Catholic response to Protestant Reformation 2. A call for a standard liturgy 3. The distance between altar and assembly was shortened 4. Huge pulpits indicated the importance of the sermon (not yet called homily) 5. Most Masses were silent and without music

9 VII. Mass in the Era of Vatican II A.Reforms of Vatican II ( ) 1. Groundwork was laid by many religious beforehand 2. Constitution on the Liturgy a) promoted active participation in Liturgy b) Communion in the hand; both bread and wine c) non-ordained ministers of Communion d) deaconate revived

10 VIII. Eucharist: Alive and Dynamic Changes have been occurring since the Last Supper but Basic part of the Mass have never changed, only the details.


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