CONSTITUTION
ON THE SACRED LITURGY

SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM 41-46
SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY
HIS HOLINESS
POPE PAUL VI
ON DECEMBER 4, 1963

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Promotion of Liturgical Life in Diocese and Parish

  41. The bishop is to be considered as the high priest of his flock, from
   whom the life in Christ of his faithful is in some way derived and
   dependent. Therefore all should hold in great esteem the liturgical
   life of the diocese centered around the bishop, especially in his
   cathedral church; they must be convinced that the pre-eminent
   manifestation of the Church consists in the full active participation
   of all God's holy people in these liturgical celebrations, especially in
   the same eucharist, in a single prayer, at one altar, at which there
   presides the bishop surrounded by his college of priests and by his
   ministers.

  42. But because it is impossible for the bishop always and everywhere
     to preside over the whole flock in his Church, he cannot do other than
     establish lesser groupings of the faithful. Among these the parishes,
     set up locally under a pastor who takes the place of the bishop,
     are the most important: for in some manner they represent the visible
     Church constituted throughout the world.

     And therefore the liturgical life of the parish and its relationship to the
     bishop must be fostered theoretically and practically among the faithful
     and clergy; efforts also must be made to encourage a sense of
     community within the parish, above all in the common celebration of the
     Sunday Mass.

The Promotion of Pastoral-Liturgical Action

  43. Zeal for the promotion and restoration of the liturgy is rightly held to be
    a sign of the providential dispositions of God in our time, as a movement
    of the Holy Spirit in His Church. It is today a distinguishing mark of the
    Church's life, indeed of the whole tenor of contemporary religious thought
    and action.

    So that this pastoral-liturgical action may become even more vigorous in
    the Church, the sacred Council decrees:

  44. It is desirable that the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority
    mentioned in Art. 22, 2, set up a liturgical commission, to be assisted by
    experts in liturgical science, sacred music, art and pastoral practice.
    So far as possible the commission should be aided by some kind of
    Institute for Pastoral Liturgy, consisting of persons who are eminent in
    these matters, and including laymen as circumstances suggest. Under the
    direction of the above-mentioned territorial ecclesiastical authority the
    commission is to regulate pastoral-liturgical action throughout the
    territory, and to promote studies and necessary experiments whenever
    there is question of adaptations to be proposed to the Apostolic See.

   45. For the same reason every diocese is to have a commission on the
    sacred liturgy under the direction of the bishop, for promoting the
    liturgical apostolate.

    Sometimes it may be expedient that several dioceses should form
    between them one single commission which will be able to promote the
    liturgy by common consultation.

  46. Besides the commission on the sacred liturgy, every diocese, as far as
    possible, should have commissions for sacred music and sacred art.

    These three commissions must work in closest collaboration; indeed it will
    often be best to fuse the three of them into one single commission.
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