Spiritual, living cathedral

Liturgy in the cathedral church

The cathedral church, centre of the diocese’s liturgical life

The cathedral church houses the cathedra , the bishop’s throne chair, a sign of the status and power of the pastor of the individual church as well as a sign of the believers’ unified faith as preached by the bishop, the pastor of the flock. This church is where the bishop presides over liturgy on the most solemn days.

The cathedral church’s majestic construction evokes the spiritual temple built within believers’ souls. It shines with the magnificence divine grace, as Saint Paul said, “You are the temple of God.” Finally, the cathedral should be seen as a figure of the Church that is visible to Christ who, here below, sends God his supplication, praise and adoration; an image of the mystical body whose members are brought together by charity, charity that nourishes grace.

The cathedral church must be seen as the centre of the diocese’s liturgical life. Love and veneration towards the cathedral church will be instilled in believers.

Importance of Episcopal liturgy in the cathedral church

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Monseigneur André VINGT-TROIS
Cardinal-Archevêque de Paris. © Godong

The bishop, like the doctor, sanctifier and pastor of his Church, truly comes into his own when he celebrates liturgy with his people.

For this reason, everyone must give the highest esteem to the diocese’s liturgical life that focuses on the bishop, especially in the cathedral church; they must be convinced that the Church comes to life through the full, conscious and active participation of all God’s holy people in the same liturgical celebrations, especially the common Eucharist, in common prayer, around a single altar presided over by the bishop, who is surrounded by his presbyterium and his ministers.

The holy celebrations conducted by the bishop also convey the mystery of the Church to whom Christ presents himself: it is not merely pomp and ceremony.

In addition, these celebrations must serve as an example for the entire diocese and highlight the people’s active participation. The community as a whole must take part through singing, dialogue, sacred silence, inner attention and participation in the sacraments.

(according to the Ceremonial of Bishops)

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