This article concludes the list of “general norms” the Council Fathers articulated for the reform/restoration/renewal of the Liturgy. I will take a short break from my Monday/Thursday posting of these texts and reflections and will take up the next set of norms after the New Year.

Vatican website translation:

25. The liturgical books are to be revised as soon as possible; experts are to be employed on the task, and bishops are to be consulted, from various parts of the world.

Latin text:

25. Libri liturgici quam primum recognoscantur, peritis adhibitis et Episcopis consultis ex diversis orbis regionibus.

Slavishly literal translation:

25. The liturgical books are to be reviewed as soon as possible, with experts employed and bishops consulted from diverse regions of the world.

The final “general norm” for the reform/restoration/renewal of the liturgy articulated by the Council Fathers calls for a review/revision of the official liturgical library guiding Roman Rite worship (and the other rites insofar as the principles of the Constitution on the Liturgy should apply to them [art. 3]). The process of reviewing/revising the liturgical books is entrusted to two groups: experts and bishops (although what their qualifications might be, how they might be chosen, and how they are to work with one another remained to be worked out). I take the phrase “ex diversis orbis regionibus” to apply to both the “experts employed” and the “bishops consulted.”

We are blessed to have various accounts of the process by which the liturgical books were revised for the Roman Rite, foremost of which is probably Annibale Bugnini’s La riforma liturgica (1948-1975) and its various translations. Pray Tell readers may want to evaluate the effectiveness of the process by which the reform of the liturgical books of the Roman Rite took place in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, how these revised books were accepted, adapted, and translated by local territorial authorities, and what processes (e.g., for determining categories and credentials of “experts,” for surfacing bishops [and other categories of church leaders?] to consult) for future liturgical reform/restoration/renewal might be helpful.

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