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Code of Canon Law

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  • BOOK IV : THE SANCTIFYING OFFICE OF THE CHURCH (Cann. 834 – 848)
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BOOK IV : THE SANCTIFYING OFFICE OF THE CHURCH (Cann. 834 – 848)

Can. 834 §1 The Church carries out its office of sanctifying in a special way in the sacred liturgy, which is an exercise of the priestly office of Jesus Christ. In the liturgy, by the use of signs perceptible to the senses, our sanctification is symbolised and, in a manner appropriate to each sign, is brought about. Through the liturgy a complete public worship is offered to God by the head and members of the mystical body of Christ.

§2 This worship takes place when it is offered in the name of the Church, by persons lawfully deputed and through actions approved by ecclesiastical authority.

Can. 835 §1 The sanctifying office is exercised principally by Bishops, who are the high priests, the principal dispensers of the mysteries of God and the moderators, promoters and guardians of the entire liturgical life in the Churches entrusted to their care.

§2 This office is also exercised by priests. They, too, share in the priesthood of Christ and, as his ministers under the authority of the Bishop, are consecrated to celebrate divine worship and to sanctify the people.

§3 Deacons have a share in the celebration of divine worship in accordance with the provisions of law.

§4 The other members of Christ's faithful have their own part in this sanctifying office, each in his or her own way actively sharing in liturgical celebrations, particlarly in the Eucharist. Parents have a special share in this office when they live their married lives in a christian spirit and provide for the christian education of their children.

Can. 836 Since christian worship, in which the common priesthood of Christ's faithful is exercised, must proceed from and rest upon faith, sacred ministers are to strive diligently to arouse and enlighten this faith, especially by the ministry of the word by which faith is born and nourished.

Can. 837 §1 Liturgical actions are not private but are celebrations of the Church itself as the 'sacrament of unity', that is, the holy people united and ordered under the Bishops. Accordingly, they concern the whole body of the Church, making it known and influencing it. They affect individual members of the Church in ways that vary according to orders, role and actual participation.

§2 Since liturgical matters by their very nature call for a community celebration, they are, as far as possible, to be celebrated in the presence of Christ's faithful and with their active participation.

Can. 838 §1 The ordering and guidance of the sacred liturgy depends solely upon the authority of the Church, namely, that of the Apostolic See and, as provided by law, that of the diocesan Bishop.

§2 It is the prerogative of the Apostolic See to regulate the sacred liturgy of the universal Church, to publish liturgical books and review their vernacular translations, and to be watchful that liturgical regulations are everywhere faithfully observed.

§3 It pertains to Episcopal Conferences to prepare vernacular translations of liturgical books, with appropriate adaptations as allowed by the books themselves and, with the prior review of the Holy See, to publish these translations.

§4 Within the limits of his competence, it belongs to the diocesan Bishop to lay down for the Church entrusted to his care, liturgical regulations which are binding on all.

Can. 839 §1 The Church carries out its sanctifying office by other means also, that is by prayer, in which it asks God to make Christ's faithful holy in the truth, and by works of penance and charity, which play a large part in establishing and strengthening in souls the Kingdom of Christ, and so contribute to the salvation of the world.

§2 Local Ordinaries are to ensure that the prayers and the pious and sacred practices of the christian people are in full harmony with the laws of the Church.




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