An Amazonian Rite

Interesting comment from Pope Francis related on PrayTell.

There was talk of a ritual reform, to open to rites. This is within the competence of the Congregation for Divine Worship, and it can do so following the criteria, and I know they can do very well …

European cultures developed rites, Mozarabic, Sarum, Ambrosian, etc.. These arose from the mixing of cultures in the final days of the Western Roman Empire and in the centuries afterward. Rome absorbed a lot of good ideas that were once on the fringes–like individual/private confession.

Ideally, cultures from around the world would contribute to the Roman Rite. Starting with an overarching expression of liturgical unity, local churches could then choose, add, or create elements that suit the needs of the people. What might that be? The ways of expressing the prayers of the rite: fitting translations into the vernacular, employing poets to produce new texts, composers for new music in appropriate genres, architecture and art.

As long as the Roman Rite retains a post-conciliar flexibility, I’d like to be convinced we need separate rites as such. Perhaps a few of you readers are surprised at that opinion that comes from me.

Image credit of the Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora da Conceição in Manaus: By JLPizzol – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to An Amazonian Rite

  1. Brendan Kelleher svd says:

    Given the still unresolved translation and adaptation issues that are still part of ongoing discussions between the Japanese Bishops and the CDWDS, whatever the outcome, I can’t see much progress in any discussions on a so-called “Amazonian Rite”. That there is probably room for further adaptations that reflect the culture and customs of the peoples who live in the Amazon is probably an area worth exploring. Given that there are approximately 1,000,000 indigenous Indians, divided among 400 tribes each with its own territory, language, customs and cultures a single rite will not respond adequately to the worship needs of these peoples. Sadly I don’t have regular channels of communications with Divine Word Missionary confreres working in the Amazon, but as I typed this up I reviewed their report presented at our General Chapter 2018, it makes interesting reading. Working with the indigenous peoples is a priority for our confreres working there, but finding a way to help them live and celebrate their faith will be an ongoing challenge for the years ahead. – I would have liked to quote the document, but it is an internal document not for public distribution. Our confreres in Divine Word College, Epworth Iowa, or Divine Word Missionaries, Mission Office, Techny, Illinois may be able to enlighten you further.

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