Notable quotations from Pope Benedict XVI and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
Sunday remains the fertile foundation and ... the fundamental nucleus of the liturgical year which originated in Christ's Resurrection, thanks to which the features of eternity were impressed on time. Thus, Sunday is ... a fragment of time imbued with eternity, for its dawn saw the Crucified and Risen Christ enter victorious into eternal life.
For the first Christians, participation in the Sunday celebrations was the natural expression of their belonging to Christ, of communion with His Mystical Body, in the joyful expectation of His glorious return.
This belonging was expressed heroically in what happened to the martyrs of Abitene, who faced death exclaiming,...without gathering together on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist, we cannot live.
How much more necessary it is today to reaffirm the sacredness of the Lord's Day and the need to take part in Sunday Mass!
The cultural context in which we live, often marked by religious indifference and secularism that blot out the horizon of the transcendent, must not let us forget that the People of God, born from "Christ's Passover, Sunday", should return to it as to an inexhaustible source, in order to understand better and better the features of their own identity and the reasons for their existence.
Sunday is the day on which the Risen Lord makes Himself present among His followers, invites them to His Banquet and shares Himself with them so that they too, united and configured to Him, may worship God properly.
...At every Sunday Eucharistic celebration, the sanctification of the Christian people takes place as it will take place until the Sunday that never sets, the day of the definitive encounter of God with His creatures.
May the "Day of the Lord" ... regain all its importance and be perceived and lived to the full in the celebration of the Eucharist, from which the Christian community grows authentically and on which it depends....
(Source: Letter to Cardinal Arinze of the Congregation of Divine Worship, dated 11/27/06)
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