Pius XI 1922-1939

The Connection of the Sacred Liturgy with the Church*


[From the Apostolic Constitution, “Divini cultus,” December 20, 1928]


2200 Since the Church has received from her founder, Christ, the duty of guarding the holiness of divine worship, surely it is part of the same, of course after preserving the substance of the sacrifice and the sacraments, to prescribe the following: ceremonies, rites, formulas, prayers, chant— by which that august and public ministry is best controlled, whose special name is Liturgy, as if an exceedingly sacred action. And the liturgy is an undoubtedly sacred thing; for, through it we are brought to God and are joined with Him; we bear witness to our faith, and we are obligated to it by a most serious duty because of the benefits and helps received, of which we are always in need. Hence a kind of intimate relationship between dogma and sacred liturgy, and likewise between Christian worship and the sanctification of the people. Therefore, Celestine I proposed and expressed a canon of faith in the venerated formulas of the Liturgy: “Let the law of supplication establish the law of believing. For when the leaders of holy peoples administer legislation enjoined upon themselves they plead the cause of the human race before divine Clemency, and they beg and pray while the entire Church sighs with them” [see n.139 ].

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