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One key statement of Sacrosanctum Concilium (The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy) is that the liturgy is "the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the fount from which all her power flows" (n. 10).
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The Second Vatican Council was followed quickly by an explosion of lay liturgical ministries. Prior to the council, the sanctuary of every church had been clearly demarcated from the main body of the church by the presence of a Communion rail.
As the years go by, it gets increasingly difficult to detect without research some of the shifts in thinking that occur in the documents of the Second Vatican Council. They have been part of us for so long and, indeed, a majority of today's Catholics have no recollection of the Church prior to the council.
Religion is based on sacrifice. The problem that religion faces is that even the greatest sacrifice offered by a finite person cannot hope to bring one into the presence of the infinite God.
The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy was the first document approved at the Second Vatican Council. Unlike the council's other major documents, it sailed through the approval process fairly readily, although a tiny but vocal minority at first raised strenuous objections.