The Spirit of the Liturgy—
the Christo-centric Nature
of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass


“We must rediscover in the Church, or for many perhaps discover for the first time, the true “spirit of the liturgy.” Once we understand on a much deeper and profound level what the liturgy actually is, then we will know how to celebrate it.
. . .

“It is principally Christ who acts in the sacred liturgy. We are only his instruments. Every Mass, even one celebrated by a priest in the absence of the faithful (not desirable), is an act of Christ and of the whole Church. It is not ours. It belongs to Christ and the universal Church. Jesus Christ determines the meaning and purpose of what we celebrate in the sacred liturgy, not us. So every Mass celebrates and makes present that which has already been accomplished in Christ’s lifegiving death and glorious resurrection. At every Mass, we are in the upper room, we are at the foot of the cross, we are at the empty tomb, as these events come to us sacramentally and mystically across time and space.”

Archbishop Alexander K. Sample

The Paulus Institute is pleased to present here an auspicious address of particular importance to the entire Catholic Church. With permission, the following are the official version of the presentation by His Excellency Alexander K. Sample, Archbishop of Portland in Oregon, “The Celebration of the Spirit of the Liturgy,” to the Church Music Association of America on June 20, 2013, in Salt Lake City, Utah is located here

Along with the address, please listen to the words of His Excellency in his own voice at the official audio located here, with an introduction of Archbishop Sample by the Most Reverend Andrew Wadsworth, Executive Director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).

Our appreciation and credit are extended to:
Jeffrey Tucker, Church Music Association of America, for access to the official transcript of the address.
Audio ©Copyright 2013.

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