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Old Roman Ritual
Question from Pieter on 1/5/2004:

Can priests still use the rites in the old Roman Ritual book (the one published before the current Book of Blessings)?

Or because the book has been updated to the current book of blessings, are they now prohibited from using the old blessings?

Thanks, God Bless

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 1/7/2004:

Except for those who have the Indult for the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals according to the previous liturgical books I would think that the answer is no. In his decree of 31 May 1984 promulgating De Benedictionibus, which becomes thereby part of the Roman Ritual, that part dealing with blessings, Augustin Cardinal Mayer, O.S.B., Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, states,

In ordering the reform of sacramentals, Vatican Council II decreed that in their celebration special attention should be given to the full, conscious, and active participation of the faithful and that any elements should be eliminated that in the course of time had obscured the true nature and purpose of sacramentals.

He then goes on to explain how this new ritual book complies with the decree of the Council, that the Latin edition is promulgated and effective by authority of Pope John Paul II as part of the Roman Ritual, and how once the vernacular editions are created and approved, they will become effective upon decree of the bishops conference.

So, there would seem to be no basis for exempting De Benedictionibus, or the Book of Blessings (the approved English version), from the general case that clergy of the Latin Rite must use the reformed liturgical books in preference to the former books, unless they have an Indult.



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