The Liturgy is a Living Catechesis

  • Piotr Goliszek John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland
Keywords: Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Liturgy, catechesis, religious instruction, making present, person, faith, encounter, experience


The Liturgy is a community between God and man. During a liturgical celebration, man experiences an encounter with the Person of Christ. It is a personal encounter, that is, a real encounter. The Liturgy makes present the whole Person of Christ, His life, words and acts. It makes present the history of salvation, in particular the Paschal Mystery of Christ, that is His passion, death, funeral, resurrection, and ascension, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit that revived Christ at resurrection in the Liturgy makes present His salvific work, makes it alive and actual. Jesus Christ present in the Liturgy through the enlivening action of the Holy Spirit saves, arouses faith and sets man free to be a child of God. Thus man receives a gift of new life through personal unity with the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit. In the Liturgy, Jesus Christ in collaboration with the Holy Spirit reveals, meets man, and leads to communion and unity with the whole community of the Holy Trinity. Here emerges the purpose of the Liturgy, which is identical with superior purpose of religious instruction (catechesis). Both the Liturgy and catechesis seek to lead their participant to communion and intimacy with Jesus Christ. He leads to unity with the Father in the Holy Spirit. This personalistic character of the Liturgy makes it the place of living catechesis. The Liturgy expresses faith, communicates faith and shapes it. The whole Liturgy contains Catholic faith and confesses this faith through celebration. The Liturgy is not a learned knowledge of faith, it does not explain concepts, it is not a theological tract or an interpretation, but its catechetic character is expressed in the fact that it makes faith and leads to an existential encounter with God. In this sense the Liturgy is a living and dynamic catechesis, it has a personal and educational character. In religious instruction that is taking place in the Liturgy God Himself speaks, gives instructions saves, and brings up man to full humanity.