The idea of creating this book arose from the desire to faithfully hand down the fundamental elements of the liturgical tradition of our religious family, as traced out by the Mother Foundress and which, for this reason, constitute the expression of the spiritual physiognomy of the Institute. Liturgy is the exercise of Christ’s priestly ministry through rites that manifest and establish the Church. The relationship between ritual and liturgy is not one of identity; rather, liturgy is expressed through ritual.
“For the liturgy, through which, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, “the work of our redemption is carried out,” contributes in the highest degree to the faithful expressing in their lives and manifesting to others the mystery of Christ and the genuine nature of the true Church. In fact, the Church has the characteristic of being at one and the same time human and divine, visible but endowed with invisible realities, fervent in action and dedicated to contemplation, present in the world and yet on pilgrimage; all this, however, in such a way that what is human in her is ordered and subordinated to the divine, the visible to the invisible, action to contemplation, present reality to the future city towards which we are journeying. In this way, while the liturgy daily edifies those in the Church to make her a holy temple in the Lord, a dwelling place of God in the Spirit, until they reach the measure of the fullness of Christ, at the same time and in a wonderful way it strengthens their energies so that they may preach Christ. Thus to those outside she shows the Church as a banner raised up before the nations, under which the scattered children of God may gather, until there is one fold and one shepherd” (SC 2). The Second Vatican Council, defining the role of the liturgy primarily as “the worship of the Divine Majesty” and “the summit towards which the action of the Church tends and, at the same time, the source from which all its energy flows” (SC 10,33), places it within the spirituality of the Church, source and summit of faith itself and of theology. The liturgy is therefore the central point of Christian life. For the Servants of the Visitation, prayer is an absolute necessity for spiritual growth and apostolic effectiveness. The liturgical community prayer is considered as a vital experience of the Spirit who urges the children of God to gather as a family around the Father, so each one is required to participate actively.