Some reflections on the life of the Priest and the Sacred Liturgy, given to a group of men discerning a call to the Sacred Priesthood in the diocese of Arundel & Brighton. To find out more about vocations work in the diocese, please visit their website here.
One of the central aspects of the life of the Priest is, quite obviously, the Sacred Liturgy. Whether he has an interest in the particular intricacies of rubric and ritual, or a strained relationship with liturgical prayer, seeming to prefer private devotion or less-structured worship, the Priest is always a servant of the Church, and the Sacred Liturgy is the Prayer of the Church. The Priest must always have a deep and profound devotion to the Sacred Liturgy, and must always strive to serve the Church, which is the mystical Body of Christ, through the faithful celebration of her rites and ceremonies, as a outward sign of his love for Christ. In doing this, in being faithful to the texts and ritual, the Priest sets aside his own desires or ideas in favour of something given to him by the Church. This is why we refer to ‘Sacred Liturgy’, because it is not merely some man-made construct, but a gift to us for our sanctification, a gift given by the Church, and so by Christ himself (cf. SC § 22.3).