|"The liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the church is directed; at the same time it is the fount from which all the Church's power flows."|
|~Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, #10|
This quote from the seminal document of the Second Vatican Council stresses the importance of liturgy in the life of Catholics, the life of the Church. When we gather together in liturgical prayer, Christ is present among us, his mystical body on earth, for he promised: "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt 18:20).
The prayer of the Church includes both private, devotional prayer and public, liturgical prayer. Certainly all of us are called to a vibrant personal prayer life through prayer at various points of the day and night, prayers before and after meals, prayers in time of joy and crisis, and prayers of devotion (e.g. rosary, chaplets, litanies) and adoration (adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament).
But the Church clearly teaches that all these private and devotional prayers are ultimately "warm-ups" for THE great prayer of the Church: THE Sacred Liturgy - the Eucharist - the Mass. The word "liturgy" itself is derived from a Greek word meaning "the work of the people," a work undertaken together for the glory of God. It is in the Eucharist that we all bring our individual offerings, sufferings, and prayers and join them with those of our brothers and sisters. Like grains of wheat that are broken and transformed into bread, we as individuals are transformed into the mystical Body of Christ. Christ himself presides at Mass in the person of the priest, and together we join voices in prayer and song and share the Eucharistic meal of the Body and Blood of our Lord. In short, through the grace of God, we become what we eat!
Our liturgies at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel aim to give glory to God and to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass with beauty, dignity, and the enthusiastic participation of the people of God, the sacred assembly. We hope you will join with us each and every Sunday - and at weekday Masses, too, with full mind and heart and voice for the glory of God!
"Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy. Such participation by the Christian people as "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people (1 Pet. 2:9; cf. 2:4-5), is their right and duty by reason of their baptism." (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, #14)