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After suffering an eclipse during the post-Vatican II liturgical reform, popular piety has regained its vital role in the spiritual life of Catholics. In response to its re-emergence, the Congregation for divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy on December 17, 2001. The Directory was written for bishops and their collaborators as a pastoral guide addressing the relationship between liturgy and popular piety. Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy: Principles and Guidelines, A Commentary by Peter C. Phan provides a chapter-by-chapter commentary on the Directory, summarizing its contents, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses, and offering suggestions on how devotional practices can be implemented in the United States. For liturgists, religious educators and students, pastoral leaders, and other interested Christians, this volume is helpful toward promoting a vigorous and authentic devotional life in the community, while respecting the preeminence of liturgical worship.
The Commentary begins with a preface by Peter C. Phan and an introduction by James Empereur, entitled "Popular Piety and the Liturgy: Principles and Guidelines." Chapters in Part One: Emerging Trends: History, Magisterium, Theology “Liturgy and Popular Piety in a Historical Perspective,” by Mark R. Francis; “Liturgy and Popular Piety in the Church's Magisterium,” by Peter Fink; and “Theological Principles for an Evaluation and Renewal of Popular Piety,” by Nathan Mitchell. Chapters in Part Two: Guidelines for the Harmonization of Popular Piety with the Liturgy are “The Liturgical Year and Popular Piety,” by Keith F. Pecklers; “Veneration of the Holy Mother of God,” by Joyce Ann Zimmerman; “Veneration of the Saints and Beati,” by Raúl Gómez; “Suffrage for the Dead,” by Peter C. Phan; “Shrines and Pilgrimages,” by Ana Maria Pineda. Concludes with a bibliography that presents the most significant recent writings on popular piety and liturgy, by Robert Brancatelli.
Peter C. Phan, PhD, is the Ignacio Ellacuría Professor of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University.