OCM 39-40: Liturgical Adaptations

The fourth section of the introduction to the Marriage Rite is titled Adaptations to Be Prepared by the Conferences of Bishops. As with other rites, national conferences of bishops determine if and how the wedding liturgy can be adapted. The proposals are forwarded to Rome and after the CDWDS approves, such adaptations are published for possible use in the nation or region.

39. It is for the Conferences of Bishops, by virtue of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy,(38 Cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium 37‑40 and 63b) to adapt this Roman Ritual to the customs and needs of the particular regions, so that, once their decisions have been accorded the recognitio of the Apostolic See, the edition may be used in the regions to which it pertains.

Specific responsibilities are given here:

40. In this regard, it is for the Conferences of Bishops:

  • 1. To formulate the adaptations indicated below (nos. 41‑44).
  • 2. If necessary, to adapt and supplement this Introduction of the Roman Ritual from no. 36 and what follows (in ‘The Rite to Be Used’), so as to achieve the conscious and active participation of the faithful.
  • 3. To prepare versions of the texts, so that they are truly accommodated to the nature of different languages and the character of diverse cultures, and to add, whenever appropriate, suitable melodies for singing.
  • 4. In preparing editions, to arrange the material in a form more suitable for pastoral use. 

In the next few days, we will look at some of the adaptations anticipated by the Vatican. Notice the post-conciliar emphasis on participation in #2. Notice the possibility of adding music to the rite in #3. That last responsibility is something of a loosening of the CDWDS’s grip under the previous two popes. Bishops, with input from people who work in liturgy, are the best judges of how to arrange liturgical material.

Your comments?

The text cited in blue is from the English translation of The Order of Celebrating Matrimony © 2013, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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