Bishops Assembly To Vote On Liturgical Items At November Meeting

October 20, 2014 By Public Affairs Office
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Divine Worship will present five liturgical items for vote, including revisions to the liturgy of the hours and a revision of guidelines for the celebration of the sacraments with persons with disabilities, at the annual Fall General Assembly, November 10-13, in Baltimore.  

The bishops' voting may include amendments to the following items:

•  A revised translation of the ritual book, “Dedication of a Church and Altar.” Promulgated in Latin in 1977 and first translated in 1989, the Latin edition of this book was slightly modified in 1983 with the publication of the Code of Canon Law. This rite is used whenever a new church is built or when a new altar is made. The ritual mirrors the rite of baptism, washing and anointing the building and altar, rendering them fit for worship in the same way that the Christian is washed and anointed in baptism, thereby becoming fit for sacramental worship, too. The revised English translation incorporates the modifications from the Code of Canon Law as well as bringing the translation into conformity with the Roman Missal, Third Edition.

•  A first ever official English translation of the ritual book, “Exorcisms and Related Supplications.” Revised after the Second Vatican Council, this ritual was promulgated in Latin in 1999 with an amended version in 2004. The main part of this book is the rite of major exorcism and includes an introduction outlining criteria for its use, which is always the decision of the bishop alone. While this text affirms the reality of evil in the world, it even more so affirms the sovereignty of Christ to overcome any and all evil.

•  Supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours. An English translation of the prayers used for the feast days of saints who have been added to the General Calendar since 1984.

•  Modifications to the Revised Grail Psalms, originally approved by Rome in 2010. Since it is anticipated that the Psalms will be widely used with a future edition of the liturgy of the hours, the committee recommended improving the translation and its “sprung rhythm” to facilitate easier proclamation and singing.

The last two action items are part of an ongoing revision of the liturgy of the hours that was begun in 2012. If these four items are passed by two thirds of the Latin-rite bishops, then they will be sent to Rome for approval.

•  The fifth item is in relation to a document first published by the U.S. Bishops in 1995, “Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities.” The Committee is seeking permission to revise these Guidelines in light of medical developments and increased awareness of some of the challenges faced by Catholics today. One example of such a challenge is the greater awareness today of those with gluten intolerance (Celiac disease) and the need to continue to provide for their sacramental and spiritual needs. If the bishops approve proceeding with revisions, then the Committee on Divine Worship, working closely with the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance as well as the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, will begin the work of revision immediately for future approval by the bishops at a general meeting.
More information on the agenda is available at:

Coverage of the meeting is open to credentialed media. Sessions open to the media are Monday, November 10, and Tuesday, November 11. Media conferences will follow the close of each open session. Media seeking to cover the meeting can download the credential application at: and submit it by November 1 via email to USCCB Media Relations, fax to (202) 541-3173 or mail to:
November Meeting Credentials
Office of Media Relations
3211 4th St. NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on Divine Worship, Dedication of a Church and Altar, Exorcisms and Related Supplications, Liturgy of the Hours, Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities, autism, Celiac disease, disabilities, Code of Canon Law, baptism, general assembly, Revised Grail Psalms, liturgy Roman Missal
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Norma Montenegro Flynn
O: 202-541-3202
M: 703-717-2941