19/8/07 – God’s House, or Ours?

Last month, we released our first brochure in the series The Church.  It provided information and reflections on the church building as a whole.

Many people refer to the church building as a house of God.  This is by no means an incorrect or inappropriate way to think of a church.  After all, God is present within the four walls of that building.

Another name for the church that has enjoyed more recent popularity is that of the house of the People of God.  This is also a very apt reflection on our liturgical space.  So is one description or title correct and the other not?  Is the church God’s house, or ours?

While not trying to “sit on the fence”, I truly believe it’s both.  In other religious traditions, people believe that buildings are sacred through their very existence; that the very act of building the temple or shrine makes the divine being truly present within that space.  The presence of the divine is the very reason for the building in the first place.

Our church (building), however, is a building designed for the action of the Church (people of God).  Christ told us that he would be with us when two or three gather in his name.

The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and The General Instruction of the Roman Missal explain the Church’s true belief that Christ is made present in the liturgy through the person of the presider, the proclamation of the Word, the Eucharistic elements, and the Body of Christ that participates in worship.  Thus, our worship in the house of the people of God makes God present.  It is the very act of the people of God being present in their house that makes God present; thus, it becomes the house of God.

The second The Church leaflet is now available in the parish centre and focuses on the space in the church for the liturgical assembly; the people of God.  Please feel free to take a copy home.

Please continue to pray also for our young parishioners and their families who are preparing for the sacrament of first Holy Communion.

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