The Sacrasantum Concilium in its Contest

The Sacrasantum Concilium in its Contest

What is the Sacrasantum Concilium? The Sacrasantum concilium is one of the documents that came out of the second Vatican Council that started in 1962 and ended in 1965, it is the most recent council of the Catholic Church today, the council meet in order to look at the affairs of the Church from the eyes of modernism. There four key documents that came out of the council.

They are:

Lumen Gentium (The Light of the People)

This documents concentrated on the beliefs of the Catholics about the church, the universal call of sanctification, the church as the people of God, the role of the bishops, the role of permanent deacons and the vocation of the faithful leities.

Dei Verbum (God’s Word)

This document focused on the revelation and affirms that the scripture teaches the truth about salvation. It also looked at the magistero and its jurisdictions.

Gaudium et Spes (Joy and Hope)

This document brings in the church into the affairs of the world as it concentrates on Human Rights, the dignity of human life, the role of an individual in the church and in the outside world, the role of a family in the church and to the world, nuclear arms, technologies and the progress of science

Sacrosanctum Concilium

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy

The very first line of Sacrosanctum Concilium quantifies the main goals of the Council:

reinvigorate Catholics, modernise the Church in a meaningful way, promote unity of all

Christian denominations, and reach out to the whole world. This document reveals that God’s

love created a perfect way for us to worship God by a divine means, all for our good. If we know

what true liturgy is and participate fully in it, liturgy allows us to be drawn closely to God’s love.

Liturgy is a means of seeking and finding perfect truth and love. Participating in liturgy is a

response to Christ’s presence in his Church. Liturgy is the official worship of the Church. Liturgy

consists of the Seven Sacraments and the Liturgy of the Hours.

Chapter One


The Mass is referred to as The Sacred Liturgy. The Mass allows us to participate in the Paschal

Mystery of Christ’s Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension, for Christ is present in Liturgy.

Christ’s love flows to us in a special way from the Eucharist and The Word of God. Additionally,

Christ is present to us in the priesthood, diaconate, and in the people of God. Through baptism

we are called to actively share in Liturgy. Liturgical services are never private in nature. Liturgy

is a Celebration of the Church, and it signifies our unity in Christ!

There is never to be random modification to Liturgy without the consent of the Holy See. The

bishop of a diocese is the one who leads the diocese liturgically. He is meant to ensure that

liturgy conforms to the approved norms set in place by the Vatican and laid down by him.

Although private prayers and devotions are meaningful, the Sacred Liturgy is The Source and

Summit of life: the beginning and the end of who we are and who we can become.

Chapter Two

The Eucharist

The Eucharist Celebration is to foster more profound love of God as well as love for each other.

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy makes it clear that God’s Word was to become a more

dynamic part of liturgy. The Council ordered a change in the Sunday readings at Mass. They

prescribed set readings over a three year cycle, so Catholics would become more familiar with the Bible. The homily provided at Mass is to reveal the eternal truth of the Gospel. The Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist form a single act of worship, because they both provide the living presence of Christ. They are not separate from one another.

Chapter Three

Other Sacraments and Sacramentals

The Council Fathers proposed the restoration of the Catechumenate for Adults. A time was to

be set aside for formation and instruction. The Rite of Confirmation was to be revised, making

the strong connection with Baptism clearer. The Sacrament of Extreme Unction received a more

modern name: Anointing of the Sick. It was made clear that this Sacrament was to be reserved

for those near death. The purpose of the Sacraments is threefold: give worship to God, build up

the Body of Christ, and sanctify humanity.

Chapter Four

Divine Office

The Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours), is a sacred prayer, meant to help us remember that

every day, every hour, and every minute are holy. To promote this, certain times of the day are

set aside for God to be officially praised throughout the day. The Office is an ancient tradition

and prised possession, which unites the Church to God. To pray the Office is an honour and a

duty of the ordained, given to them to praise God on behalf of the entire Church. However, all

people are encouraged to pray it (most religious communities do). It is a requirement for all

priests and deacons to do so. The premise for the prayer is rooted in Scripture: without prayer

we can do nothing. The Divine Office is an official liturgy in and of itself. Lauds (Morning Prayer)

and Vespers (Evening Prayer) are the chief hours to be celebrated. The Divine Office is the

public prayer of the Church. It is a powerful source to help one remain faithful and be fed.

Chapter Five

Liturgical Year

The Church regards the whole mystery of Christ as important and this is why it is formed as a

Liturgical Year. It is a set calendar commemorating and recalling the mysteries of redemption.

The three year liturgical cycle is meant to celebrate the fuller story of Jesus, from birth and life,

to death and resurrection, to ascension and the promise of his return. The purpose of a

liturgical calendar is about centring people on Christ.

Chapters Six & Seven

Music and Art

The Council Fathers said that all music and art incorporated into the liturgy should be

committed to directing minds to see God prayerfully. They should promote faithfulness and lift

hearts to want to pray and be one with God. Church structures to be constructed are to be

designed specifically with liturgy in mind. The design inside should be laid out is such a way that

it helps promote active participation.


Liturgy is the beauty of the church, the Liturgy brings to life and makes present the person of Christ in so many ways, through the Sacraments(Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Anointing of the Sick, Penance, Holy Order and Matrimony), in the presiding priests, in the Word, through the Church and in everything there is.

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