Caesarius of Arles (470-542 CE), one of the last of the generation of Church leaders in Gaul, wrote about the relationship between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist:
“I ask you, my brothers and sisters, which seems to you of the most value, the Word of God or the body of Christ [in the Eucharist]? If you would reply truly you must say, that the Word of God is no less inferior to the body of Christ. Therefore, the same care that we take in distributing the body of Christ, lest any portion of it should fall from our hands to the ground, we should take when the Word of God is distributed amongst us, lest, whilst we think or speak of other things, any of it should fall from our hearts.”
This comment by Caesarius of Arles highlights the importance of both, that one is not more (or less) important than the other. This ancient insight coheres with these words from the Second Vatican Council’s 1965 Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (“Dei Verbum”):
The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God's word and of Christ's body. (#21)
The Lockleys Catholic Parish considers the celebrations of the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist of equal importance. We seek to honour both Table of God’s Word and the Table of Christ’s Body in the celebrations of the Word and Eucharist.
Those parishioners commissioned as Ministers of the Word or Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are especially important to our parish’s liturgical life as they seek to serve the “Body of Christ” in the world represented in every parishioner. Through their ministries they assist in fulfilling the mandate from the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (1962) concerning “full, conscious and active participation” of the Faithful in the celebration of the Liturgy:
“…the Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy, and to which the Christian people, ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people’ (1 Pet. 2:9, 4—5) have a right and obligation by reason of their baptism. In the restoration and promotion of the sacred liturgy the full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else, for it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit.” (#14)