Praedicate Evangelium 88-89: Purpose of the DDWDS

Earlier this year, Pope Francis promulgated an apostolic constitution that outlined reform and reorganization for the Roman Curia. As of this writing,

Praedicate Evangelium begins with a simple statement about purpose of the liturgy dicastery. The DDWDS exists for a reason that can be summarized in two sentences:

88. The Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments promotes the sacred liturgy according to the renewal undertaken by the Second Vatican Council. The spheres of its competence concern all that which by provision of law pertains to the Apostolic See concerning the regulation and promotion of the sacred liturgy and the vigilance that the laws of the Church and the liturgical norms are everywhere faithfully observed.

Note the emphasis here on the renewed liturgy–promoting it. Make no mistake: this is the priority of the Vatican’s liturgy office.

Next …

89. It is the task of the Dicastery to provide for the editing or revision and updating of typical editions of liturgical books.

Remember, these are not the translated versions, but the (mostly) Latin originals of the Roman Rite. When an error is uncovered, when something new should be added. (I’m thinking the greater openness to cremation for a deceased person’s body.)

Continuing …

The Dicastery confirms the translations of liturgical books into current languages and grants recognitio to their appropriate adaptations to local cultures, legitimately approved by the Bishops’ Conferences. It also grants recognitio to the particular Calendars, the Proprieties of Masses and of the Liturgy of the Hours of the particular Churches and of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life approved by the relevant competent authority.

Note a twofold purview: confirming translations and the recognitio for adaptation. This is old ground, both on this website and in the news of the Catholic Church.

This last bit is important, establishing the relationship between the dicastery and the bishops and their conferences:

The Dicastery assists diocesan Bishops and Episcopal Conferences in promoting, by effective and appropriate means, pastoral liturgical action, especially with regard to the celebration of the Eucharist and other liturgical sacraments and acts, so that the faithful may participate more actively in them. Together with the Bishops’ Conferences, it encourages reflection on possible forms of inculturated liturgies and accompanies their contextualization.

That two-pronged consideration: participation and inculturation–these have been the loci where Vatican II has been the most effective and fruitful, at least where liturgy is concerned, and where those remaining in the worship life of the Church have remained.

I have yet to see this document in anything but Italian on the Vatican site. Praedicate Evangelium is Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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