If anybody is dozing (I can see your glassy stares!) for our series on the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy (check the hyperlinked highlight for the document online) we’re getting close to wake-up time.
93. The following guidelines on the relationship between popular piety and the Sacred Liturgy are offered to facilitate the translation into concrete pastoral action of those principles outlined above, so as ensure consistency and fruitfulness in pastoral activity. While mentioning the most common pious exercises and devotional practices, the following exposition does not contain an exhaustive account of every possible local form of popular piety or devotional practice. Given the affinity of the material, and the fact that it sometimes falls into categories that are not clearly defined, some mention will be made of the pastoral care of the Liturgy.
“Concrete pastoral action” means telling us or giving examples of what we should do, what we could do. This Part Two, commencing today with section 93, will take us all the way to the conclusion of the document, section 288. Here’s the roadmap for the weeks ahead:
The following exposition contains five chapters:
- chapter four, on the question of the Liturgical Year, seen from the prospect of the desirability of harmonizing its celebrations with popular piety;
- chapter five, on the veneration of the Holy Mother of God, which occupies a singular position both in the Liturgy and popular devotion;
- chapter six, on the cult of the Saints and Beati, which also occupies a significant place in the Liturgy and in the devotion of the faithful;
- chapter seven, on suffrage for the dead, which occurs in various forms in the Church’s worship;
- chapter eight, on shrines and pilgrimages; places and expressions characteristic of popular piety, and their liturgical implications.
While referring to very diverse situations, and to the multiplicity of types and forms found in pious exercises, the following text has been developed in constant reference to a number of fundamental presuppositions:
- the superiority of the Liturgy in respect to other forms of cult(Cf. SC 7, 13);
- the dignity and legitimacy of popular piety(Cf. DPPL 61-64));
- the pastoral need to avoid any opposition between the Liturgy and popular piety, insurance that their various forms are not confused, so as to eschew the development of hybrid celebrations(Cf. DPPL 74).
These suppositions will be folded into our coming examination of the liturgical year, of devotion to Mary and the saints, of our connection with the dead, and special places and journeys that inspire our faith. I think more of our readers will find this part of the Directory more interesting, as we get specific and concrete about liturgy and devotional practices.
Any big thoughts, or small ones, as we move forward?