RDCA IV, 24-25: Adaptation of the Rite

As is true of all rites, adaptations are possible at the judgment of the conference of bishops, and others at the judgment of the minister. The fourth section of this chapter details proper adaptations:

Adaptations within the Competence of the Conferences of Bishops

24. The conferences of bishops may adapt this rite, as required, to the character of each region, but in such a way that nothing of its dignity and solemnity is lost.
However, the following are to be respected:

  • a) The celebration of Mass with the proper preface and prayer for a dedication must never be omitted.
  • b) Rites that have a special meaning and force from liturgical tradition (see no. 22) must be retained, unless weighty reasons stand in the way, but the wording may be suitably adapted if necessary.

With regard to adaptations, the competent ecclesiastical authority is to consult the Holy See and introduce adaptations with its consent. (SC 40)

Adaptations within the Competence of the Ministers

25. It is for the bishop and for those in charge of the celebration of the rite to decide whether to have the depositing of relics of the saints; in so doing, they are to follow what is laid down in no. 11 and they are to take as the decisive consideration the spiritual good of the community and a proper sense of liturgy.

It is for the rector of the church in which the altar is to be dedicated, helped by those who assist him in the pastoral work, to decide and prepare everything concerning the readings, singing, and other pastoral aids to foster the fruitful participation of the people and to ensure a dignified celebration.

In the Liturgiam Autneticam regime, it’s not likely that 24b would pass muster, but it does indicate a time when the needs of the community were considered as a greater good than the particular wording of the prayers. As we’ve seen in all the rites, adaptations are not made for the sake of the ministers, but by the ministers for the people in judgment of what will bear greater fruit in the celebration of the rites.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Rite of Dedication of a Church and an Altar, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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