58. The Liturgy and popular piety, while not conterminous, remain two legitimate expressions of Christian worship. While not opposed to each other, neither are they to be regarded a equiparate to each other. Rather, they are to be seen in harmony with each in accordance with the Council’s liturgical constitution: “The popular devotions of the
Christian people […] should accord with the sacred Liturgy…[and] in some way derive from it, and lead people to it, since in fact the Liturgy by its very nature is far superior to any of them”(SC 13).
An example of the optimism of the conciliar period, that the Mass and sacraments would somehow move center-stage in the spiritual lives of the people of the Church. As an example, the bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, in 1979’s Puebla Conference, add their particular desire for liturgy to be the main “reference point” in the examination of popular piety:
Hence, the Liturgy and popular piety are two forms of worship which are in mutual and fruitful relationship with each other. In this relationship, however, the Liturgy remains the primary reference point so as “clearly and prudently to channel the yearnings of prayer and the charismatic life”(III Conferencia General del Episcopado Latino-Americano, Puebla Document 465 e) which are found in popular piety. For its part, popular piety, because of its symbolic and expressive qualities, can often provide the Liturgy with important insights for inculturation and stimulate an effective dynamic creativity(Puebla Document 465e).
The full document, the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, is online at the Vatican site.