Let’s examine the “Nature and Structure” of the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (DPPL).
4. This Directory contains two parts. The first, entitled Emerging Trends, provides the elements necessary for the harmonization of Liturgy and popular piety. It draws on the experience which has matured during the long history and emergence of the contemporary problematic (Chapter 1). The teachings of the Magisterium are systematically restated since they are indispensable for ecclesial communion and fruitful action (Chapter 2). Finally, the theological principles, according to which difficulties concerning the relationship between Liturgy and popular piety are approached and resolved, are stated (Chapter 3). The possibility of realizing a true and fruitful harmonization of Liturgy and popular piety can only be achieved by a wise and committed respect for these presuppositions. Conversely, overlooking them leads to nothing but reciprocal and futile ignorance, damaging confusion and contradictory polemics.
This first part will cover sections 22-92. History will be summarized in DPPL 22-59, the Magisterium in 60-75, and finish up with the theology of popular piety in 76-92. If we maintain daily posts, that should take us well into the Fall.
The second part, entitled Guidelines, offers a series of practical proposals. It does not claim to be able to include every usage or practice of popular piety to be found in particular locations throughout the world. Mention of particular practices or expressions of popular piety is not to be regarded as an invitation to adopt them where they are not already practised. This section is elaborated in reference to the Liturgical Year (Chapter 4); to the special veneration given by the Church to the Mother of our Saviour (Chapter 5); to devotion to the Holy Angels, the Saints and the Beatified (Chapter 6); to suffrage for the dead (Chapter 7) and to pilgrimage and examples of popular piety connected with shrines (Chapter 8).
In numbered sections, these topics will cover DPPL 94-182 (the Liturgical Year), 183-207 (the Blessed Mother), 208-247 (angels and saints), 248-260 (the dead) , and 261-287 (shrines and pilgrimages), leaving DPPL 288 for a conclusion.
The purpose of the directory is outlined, to offer guidance and keep believers largely to the straight and narrow:
The object of this Directory is to offer guidelines and, where necessary, to prevent abuses or deviations. Its tone is positive and constructive. In the same context, it provides short historical notes on several popular devotions in its Guidelines. It records the various pious exercises attached to these devotions while signalling their theological underpinning, and making practical suggesting in relation to time, place, language and other factors, so as to harmonize them with the Liturgy.
What do you think so far?