GIRM 23-26: Accommodations And Adaptations

The Church reminds us of the purpose of accommodations and adaptations: an enhanced fruitfulness for the people. Not the convenience of the ministers. It’s not surprising that this line of thinking, derived from the 1994 Vatican document Varietates Legitimae, would be incorporated into the first chapter of the new (2000) GIRM:

23. Moreover, in order that such a celebration may correspond more fully to the prescriptions and spirit of the Sacred Liturgy, and also in order that its pastoral effectiveness be enhanced, certain accommodations and adaptations are set out in this General Instruction and in the Order of Mass.

24. These adaptations consist, for the most part, in the choice of certain rites or texts, that is, of the chants, readings, prayers, explanatory interventions, and gestures capable of responding better to the needs, the preparation, and the culture of the participants and which are entrusted to the Priest Celebrant. However, the Priest will remember that he is the servant of the Sacred Liturgy and that he himself is not permitted, on his own initiative, to add, to remove, or to change anything in the celebration of Mass.[SC 22]

25. In addition, at the proper place in the Missal are indicated certain adaptations which in accordance with the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy pertain respectively to the Diocesan Bishop or to the Conference of Bishops[SC 38, 40; Apostolic Constitution, Missale Romanum] (cf. below nos. 387, 388-393).

26. As for variations and the more profound adaptations which give consideration to the traditions and culture of peoples and regions, to be introduced in accordance with article 40 of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, for reasons of usefulness or necessity, those norms set out in the Instruction on the Roman Liturgy and Inculturation[Varietates Legitimae] and below in nos. 395-399 are to be observed.

None of this is new to those who were with us on our examination of Varietates Legitimae earlier this year. The Roman Missal already contains options, including those for assembly singing, which are designed to improve the spiritual fruitfulness of the Mass. Inculturation, as we read in GIRM 26, is a more involved issue, especially for adaptations outside the leeway already given in the rites.

 This wraps up GIRM Chapter 1. Any comments on adaptations? Propers and chant?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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