|Venerable Pope Pius XII celebrating Holy Mass|
The solemn liturgical ceremonies are, besides, a profession of faith in action. They express the great truths of faith concerning the inscrutable designs of God’s generosity and His inexhaustible goodness to men, concerning the love and mercy of the heavenly Father for the world, to save which He sent His Son and delivered Him to death. Thus, the Church in the liturgy abundantly dispenses the treasures of the “deposit of faith,” the truth of Christ.The care of the hierarchy extends still further to everything which contributes to the greater beauty and dignity of the liturgical ceremonies, whether in the matter of places of worship, of furnishings, of liturgical vestments, of sacred music or sacred art.
In this divine sacrifice which takes place at Mass, the same Christ is present and is immolated in an unbloody manner who on the cross once and for all offered Himself in a bloody manner . . . . For the victim is one and the same, now offering Himself through the ministry of priests, who then offered Himself on the Cross; only the manner of offering is different.
Therefore it is the priest-celebrant, and he alone, who, putting on the person of Christ, sacrifices: not the people, nor clerics, nor even priests who reverently assist. All these, however, can and should take an active part in the sacrifice.
This Supreme Sacred Congregation strictly commands that the prescriptions of Canons 1268, par. 2, and 1269, par. 1, be faithfully observed: “The Most Blessed Sacrament should be kept in the most distinguished and honorable place in the church, and hence as a rule at the main altar unless some other be considered more convenient and suitable for the veneration and worship due to so great a Sacrament. . . . The Most Blessed Sacrament must be kept in an immovable tabernacle set in the middle of the altar.”