DPPL 82-83: Personal Prayer and Official Approval

STA altar at night smallLiturgy and the sacraments are not the only way believers worship God. There’s a lot going on in small rooms, homes, and even in nature that nobody witnesses:

82. The celebration of the Liturgy, however, does not exhaust the Church’s divine worship. Following the example and the teaching of the Lord, the disciples of Christ pray in the seclusion of their rooms (cf. Mt 6, 6), they gather to pray according to forms created by men and women of great religious experience, who have encouraged the faithful and oriented their piety towards specific aspects of the mystery of Christ. They also pray according to structures which have emerged practically spontaneously from the collective Christian consciousness, in which the demands of popular culture harmoniously convey the essential data of the Gospel message.

And there are public expressions, for individuals, small groups, and whole faith communities:

83. Authentic forms of popular piety are also fruits of the Holy Spirit and must always be regarded as expressions of the Church’s piety. They are used by the faithful who are in communion with the Church, accept her faith and who are docile to her discipline of worship. Indeed, many forms popular piety have been approved and recommended by the Church herself(Cf. SC 13; LG 67).

Authenticity is the key principle, of course. Who decides? The institutional church, the bishop, the pastor, or someone else? Let’s also remember that many people who are not in communion with Rome, and who may not even be Christian, practice aspects of Christian piety. To what degree is popular piety a tool of evangelization? Good question for any of us.

The full document, the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, is onlineĀ at the Vatican site.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

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