397. The principle shall moreover be respected, according to which each particular Church must be in accord with the universal Church not only regarding the doctrine of the faith and sacramental signs, but also as to the usages universally received from apostolic and unbroken tradition. These are to be kept not only so that errors may be avoided, but also so that the faith may be handed on in its integrity, since the Church’s rule of prayer (lex orandi) corresponds to her rule of faith (lex credendi).[Cf. Varietates Legitimae 26-27]The Roman Rite constitutes a notable and precious part of the liturgical treasure and patrimony of the Catholic Church; its riches are conducive to the good of the universal Church, so that their loss would gravely harm her.
This Rite has in the course of the centuries not only preserved the liturgical usages that arose in the city of Rome, but has also in a deep, organic, and harmonious way integrated into itself certain other usages derived from the customs and culture of different peoples and of various particular Churches whether of the West or the East, so acquiring a certain supra-regional character. As to our own times, the identity and unitary expression of this Rite is found in the typical editions of the liturgical books promulgated by authority of the Supreme Pontiff, and in the liturgical books corresponding to them approved for their territories by the Conferences of Bishops and endowed with the recognitio of the Apostolic See.[Cf. Vicesimus Quintus Annus 16; Varietates Legitimae 2, 36]
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