The word Liturgy, which comes from the Greek λειτουργός, is used widely in the New Testament (e.g. Lk 1:23; Acts 13:2; Rom 13:6; 15:16, 27; 2 Cor 9:12; Phil 2:14-17,25,30; Heb 1:7; 8:2, 6). Literally, the ancient Greek word means "public work" or "service in the name of, or on behalf of, the people." In Christian tradition, it means the participation of the People of God in ‘the work of God’  (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1069). The New Testament scripture references are to the formal public works of the apostles and disciples in worship, proclamation of the Gospel, and charity. They reflect their lived participation in Christ's threefold priestly ministry as Priest (worship), Prophet (proclamation of the Gospel) and King (charity).


When we are baptised, Christ invites us to participate in his priestly ministry. As a member of the Body of Christ, joining the apostles and saints who have gone before us, we are anointed Priest, Prophet and King to continue the work of Christ in the world today.


The Sacraments and Other Liturgical Rites

The Church's liturgy marks every hour and every day of our lives with corporal and spiritual works of mercy and the Liturgy of the Hours. Each week the Church especially marks the Lord's Day with Sunday Mass. Each year the Church celebrates the birth of our Lord (during the Advent and Christmas seasons), and the death and resurrection of our Lord (during the Lent and Easter seasons). The Church marks other particular events in Jesus' life with special feast celebrations. The Church also celebrates memorials of the numerous saints whose lives have contributed significantly to the life of the Church over the past two thousand years.


There are milestone liturgies for celebrating significant events in our lives (baptisms, first communions, confirmations, weddings, ordinations, consecrations, institutions, commissions, blessings and openings). There are healing liturgies for when we are sick and for when we are dying (pastoral care of the sick). There are reconciliation liturgies for when we have sinned (penance). There are worship liturgies for adoration and benediction. There are liturgies for pastoral gatherings and the blessing of special groups such as pilgrims, catechists and missionaries.


And there are memorial liturgies to mark the death and remembrance of those who have died (funeral liturgies).




Liturgy Office


Liturgy Handbook