Wednesday, August 13, 2008

On charismatic prayer services; out of control or following proper guidelines?

In today's time we often witness what is called the charismatic renewal in the Church. Although the term is often misused to refer to a an event where people are speaking in tongues and some acting in a hysterical manner, the originality of the term is much different than this modern definition. As Catholics we of course believe that healings can take place miraculously and the the Holy Spirit gives us many gifts. The modern "charismatic" healing services today seem to be far removed from the tradition of the Church, and often resemble pagan practices from Protestant denominations. I went to the Vatican website and mulled a bit through the documents and found one on healing services and their proper practices within the Church. I found some very interesting information. I wanted to post a few passages from the document. The complete doc can be found here. I bold typed some of the texts that caught my eye. I know there are alot of people in the Church who wonder what is proper and what is not when it comes to "healing" services. This document answers many of the most commonly asked questions.

Taken from the document titled.


September 14, 2000

Art. 2 – Prayers for healing are considered to be liturgical if they are part of the liturgical books approved by the Church's competent authority; otherwise, they are non-liturgical.

Art. 3 – § 1. Liturgical prayers for healing are celebrated according to the rite prescribed in the Ordo benedictionis infirmorum of the Rituale Romanum (28) and with the proper sacred vestments indicated therein.

Art. 4 – § 1. The Diocesan Bishop has the right to issue norms for his particular Church regarding liturgical services of healing, following can. 838 § 4.

§ 2. Those who prepare liturgical services of healing must follow these norms in the celebration of such services.

Art. 5 – § 1. Non-liturgical prayers for healing are distinct from liturgical celebrations, as gatherings for prayer or for reading of the word of God; these also fall under the vigilance of the local Ordinary in accordance with can. 839 § 2.

§ 3. Anything resembling hysteria, artificiality, theatricality or sensationalism, above all on the part of those who are in charge of such gatherings, must not take place.

Art. 8 – § 1. The ministry of exorcism must be exercised in strict dependence on the Diocesan Bishop, and in keeping with the norm of can. 1172, the Letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of September 29, 1985,(31) and the Rituale Romanum (32).

§ 2. The prayers of exorcism contained in the Rituale Romanum must remain separate from healing services, whether liturgical or non-liturgical.

§ 3. It is absolutely forbidden to insert such prayers of exorcism into the celebration of the Holy Mass, the sacraments, or the Liturgy of the Hours.

Art. 9 – Those who direct healing services, whether liturgical or non-liturgical, are to strive to maintain a climate of peaceful devotion in the assembly and to exercise the necessary prudence if healings should take place among those present; when the celebration is over, any testimony can be collected with honesty and accuracy, and submitted to the proper ecclesiastical authority.

Art. 10 – Authoritative intervention by the Diocesan Bishop is proper and necessary when abuses are verified in liturgical or non-liturgical healing services, or when there is obvious scandal among the community of the faithful, or when there is a serious lack of observance of liturgical or disciplinary norms.


liturgy said...

Thanks for this pointer
More on the Liturgy of the Hours
Happy to link

liturgy said...

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