Friday, November 03, 2006

Sacrosanctum Concilium 23
More on general norms to be used in liturgical reform

That sound tradition may be retained, and yet the way remain open to legitimate progress careful investigation is always to be made into each part of the liturgy which is to be revised. This investigation should be theological, historical, and pastoral.

Hindsight might tell us that liturgical investigation was somewhat rushed after the council. Others would argue this liturgical examination was going on for decades prior to Vatican II.

Also the general laws governing the structure and meaning of the liturgy must be studied in conjunction with the experience derived from recent liturgical reforms and from the indults conceded to various places. Finally, there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them; and care must be taken that any new forms adopted should in some way grow organically from forms already existing.

Sacrosanctum Concilium's sole reference to organic development of liturgical innovation. It references organic growth as a desirable ("should") but not an absolute ("must").

As far as possible, notable differences between the rites used in adjacent regions must be carefully avoided. I don't know what the council bishops would make of the present-day liturgical splintering, especially the use of the 1962 Rite, but not exclusively. Comments?

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