Participation in Mystery: Restoration of an Ancient Concept for the Renewal of Christian Life and Liturgy

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Lewis, Jason
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School of Theology Thesis 2024 , University of the South , School of Theology , Easter , Liturgy , Christian Life
This project examines the understanding of the liturgy and sacraments as active participation in the paschal mystery. Following the development of the pastoral theology of Odo Case, its immediate influence on papal encyclicals, Vatican II, the Liturgical Movement, and the formation of the BCP 1979, the liturgy is identified as the fundamental ecclesial practice (in bodily, performative action) for knowing and experiencing the living Christ. The sacraments are the personal, saving work of Christ, manifested in the visible, communal,, and official ritual actions of the church. In the liturgy, the assembly becomes one with Christ, embodying the divine purpose of redemption, and participates in the saving agency of Christ, forming its identity and shaping its mission and praxis. They study, by examining the liturgies of Holy Week and the Great Vigil of Easter, explores the liturgy as the primary action to know the living Christ as it transforms the church into the body of Christ and the sacramental presence of Christ in the world. This thesis calls for a renewed understanding of the liturgy as active participation in the paschal mystery and its transformative impact on the church’s identity, vocation, and mission. It also suggests that this understanding has implications for contemporary Christian life and the potential renewal of the church. Finally, the project offers a practical application of this theology in proving mystagogical lectures for use during the fifty days of Easter.