Liturgy

‘Liturgy’ is the word ‘worship’. But while worship can be done privately, ‘liturgy’ is always a public, group activity.

A working definition of ‘liturgy’ that is helpful is ‘The official, public worship of the Church’.

Some of the best-known forms of liturgy in the Roman Catholic Church are:

  • Mass (or Eucharist)
  • Baptism
  • Confirmation
  • Marriage
  • Funerals
  • Penance (or Confession)

In the Catholic Church, we worship using forms and patterns of worship that have developed during the Church’s 2000-year history. Every day of the year falls into a particular place into the church’s liturgical calendar, and certain scripture readings and prayers are assigned for use at Mass each day. The celebration of the rites of Baptism, Marriage, Funerals and so on are set out in the Church’s ritual of books.

Liturgy is always an action, something we do. It is a public action, a ritual action, and a symbolic action. It is the proclamation of the word that God speaks to us; it is in the breaking of the bread that we recognise Christ. We participate in the action of the liturgy by responding, singing, listening and joining the gestures.

Today's Liturgy


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Thursday of the Fourteenth week in Ordinary Time

Book of Hosea 11,1-4.8c-9.

Thus says the LORD: When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son.
The more I called them, the farther they went from me, sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to idols.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms;
I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks; Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer.
My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred.
I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again; For I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 10,7-15.

Jesus said to his Apostles: “As you go, make this proclamation: 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give."
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick. The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it, and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; if not, let your peace return to you."
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words–go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town."


Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
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