Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sacrosanctum Concilium 13
What did Vatican II say about devotions? Read it:

Popular devotions of the Christian people are to be highly commended, provided they accord with the laws and norms of the Church, above all when they are ordered by the Apostolic See.

Devotions proper to individual Churches also have a special dignity if they are undertaken by mandate of the bishops according to customs or books lawfully approved.

But these devotions should be so drawn up that they harmonize with the liturgical seasons, accord with the sacred liturgy, are in some fashion derived from it, and lead the people to it, since, in fact, the liturgy by its very nature far surpasses any of them. It seems clear. Popular devotions are good if in harmony with the Church. If a bishop backs it, so much the better. But Mass and the liturgical year provide the framework. I think about the Divine Mercy observance at Eastertime. It's a prayer I've found fruitful for my collaboration with good friends at my parish. My friends are far from possessing an unbalanced focus on this devotion, on the contrary, they are deeply devoted to the Mass and the liturgical prayer of the Church. Does SC 13 get used too much as a club? Or are devotions a problem in some places?

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