Friday, August 22, 2008

The Importance of Sunday

Nothing is more important to the life of a community than what happens during that one hour on Sunday. At the most pragmatic level, the Sunday liturgy is the only time in the regular life of a community when everyone gathers.

From Sunday to Sunday, individual members of the community and subgroups within the community live out their particular vocations within the baptismal vocation. On Sunday, however, the body of Christ experiences itself in its totality. The Sunday Eucharist is a pivotal moment, both in the church's expression of what it is and in being formed into what it is.


The Sunday assembly of the church is the most important moment in the church's relationship with itself and in its relationship with the world. Done well, ministering at the Sunday Eucharist facilitates the church's seeing and experiencing itself as the body it is growing into and, at the same time, showing the world an image of how human beings live when God's kingdom comes on earth as in heaven.

Ultimately, all of this depends on God. But, as the catechism says, the sacraments are means of grace, of an encounter with the Divine. They change people, and so they change the world, even on those normal days when hearts are not moved to conversion and worlds do not seem to be blowing up. The changes usually run deeper than that, more quiet, more subtle, but no less real.

We cannot afford to spare energy or imagination in our common prayer, and we surely cannot rely on that greatest of all liturgical principles, "We have always done it this way." Lives are at stake, and nothing less.

You can read the entire article here at Episcopal Life online.

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