Varietates Legitimae 44-45: Images and Devotion

VL considers images used for prayer:

44. The constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium has firmly maintained the constant practice of the church of encouraging the veneration by the faithful of images of Christ, the Virgin Mary and the saints, (SC 125, Lumen Gentium 67, Canon 1188) because the honor “given to the image is given to its subject.” (Council of Nicea II: Denz.-Schonm. 601; cf. St. Basil, “On the Holy Spirit,” XVIII, 45; Sources Chretiennes, 17, 194.) In different cultures believers can be helped in their prayer and in their spiritual life by seeing works of art which attempt, according to the genius of the people, to express the divine mysteries.

And some thoughts on the proper place of devotions. Their evolution from initial introduction, not to be done at Mass, and the oversight role of the bishop:

45. Alongside liturgical celebrations and related to them, in some particular churches there are various manifestations of popular devotion. These were sometimes introduced by missionaries at the time of the initial evangelization, and they often develop according to local custom.

The introduction of devotional practices into liturgical celebrations under the pretext of inculturation cannot be allowed “because by its nature, (the liturgy) is superior to them.” (SC 13)

So much for the rosary during Mass, I guess.

It belongs to the local ordinary (Canon 839.2) to organize such devotions, to encourage them as supports for the life and faith of Christians, and to purify them when necessary, because they need to be constantly permeated by the Gospel. (Vicesimus Quintus Annus, 18) He will take care to ensure that they do not replace liturgical celebrations or become mixed up with them. (Vicesimus Quintus Annus, 18)


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Varietates Legitimae 44-45: Images and Devotion

  1. Liam says:

    Well, a lot of what has passed for “creativity” in adapting the liturgy in my experience has simply been a way to get back the energy of those devotional practices. Of course, we don’t think we’re doing it, but, if you step back, one can see how we often are.

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