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Online Edition: October 2011

Vol. XVII, No. 7

Decree Concerning Liturgical Worship in Honor of Blessed John Paul II

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

The memorial of Blessed Pope John Paul II is October 22, the anniversary of his assuming the papacy in 1978.

On April 2, 2011, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued a decree concerning liturgical observances honoring Blessed Pope John Paul II, who was beatified May 1. In the May issue of AB we published the new Collect for Blessed Pope John Paul.

In response to further questions about permission to celebrate a Mass in honor of Blessed John Paul in parishes, the complete text of the Congregation’s decree follows.

(Cf. Vatican web site: vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccdds/documents/rc_con_ccdds_doc_20110402_dec-gpii_en.html)

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On account of his exceptional virtue acknowledged by the entire Catholic Church throughout the world, the beatification of Venerable John Paul II of happy memory is to be celebrated at the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome with the Supreme Pontiff Pope Benedict XVI presiding. Given the extraordinary nature of this event and the numerous requests received concerning liturgical worship in honor of the new Blessed at certain times and in certain places, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments sees fit to communicate in a timely manner what has been decided in that respect.

Mass of thanksgiving

It has been decided that during the year following the beatification of John Paul II, that is, until May 1, 2012, it will be possible to celebrate a Holy Mass of thanksgiving in certain places and on certain days. The responsibility of establishing the day or days as well as the place or places for gathering the People of God for this purpose belongs to the diocesan bishop. Having considered the local needs and pastoral benefits, one Holy Mass in honor of the new Blessed may be celebrated on any Sunday during the year or on another day of the week designated in numbers 10-13 of the Table of Liturgical Days.

Similarly, in religious communities, it is the responsibility of the superior general to establish the days and places of such celebrations for the entire religious community.

As far as regards the celebration of Mass, besides the permission to sing the Gloria, the appropriate collect is to be prayed in honor of the Blessed; the other prayers, as well as the preface, the antiphons, and the readings, are to be taken from the “Common of Pastors: For a Pope”. If the celebration falls on a Sunday in ordinary time, appropriate texts for the first reading, responsorial psalm, and Gospel may be taken from the “Common of Pastors”.

Inserting the new Blessed into local liturgical calendars

The annual celebration of Blessed John Paul II is to be inserted into the liturgical calendars of the diocese of Rome and all the dioceses of Poland as a “memorial” to be observed on 22 October.

As for the liturgical texts, the collect and the second reading of the Office of Readings, together with its response, are to be inserted into the “Proper of Saints”. The other texts are to be taken from the “Common of Pastors: For a Pope”.

With regard to other local calendars, any request that the celebration of Blessed John Paul II be observed as an optional memorial is to be submitted to this congregation by a local conference of bishops when it involves an entire territory, a diocesan bishop when it involves an individual diocese, and a superior general when the request pertains to a religious community.

Dedicating a church to God in honor of the new Blessed

An indult of the Apostolic See is needed to dedicate a church in honor of Blessed John Paul II (cf. Ordo dedicationis ecclesiae, Praenotanda, n. 4) unless a celebration in his memory has already been inserted into the local calendar; in this case the indult is not necessary and the memorial is elevated to a liturgical feast in the church named for the Blessed (cf. Congregatio de Cultu Divino Sacramentorum, Notificatio de cultu Beatorum, 21 May 1999, n. 9).

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.

From the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, April 2, 2011.

Antonius Card. Cañizares Llovera
Praefectus

Iosephus Augustinus Di Noia, O.P.
Archiepiscopus a Secretis

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