Volume VIII: Worship & Sacraments


The merit of Volume VIII, Worship and Sacraments, of this précis of the Magisterium  is to give us a judicious and substantial selection of texts sufficient to know the decisions and the mind of the Pastors “Christ has established over us to look after our souls.”

This very important volume continues the valued service which CUSP is rendering to the church, and to all of us who cherish the teaching of the Church, by publishing these superb volumes on its “Official Teaching.”

Edouard Cardinal Gagnon,  President Pontifical Commission for International Eucharistic Congresses



In the twentieth century many official Church documents were published on the liturgy and sacraments. Therefore, the editors of this volume in our series decided to provide only a selection of the most significant texts. Even a summary of many more documents would run into several volumes.

It is also impossible to prepare a summary of certain documents containing technical liturgical or rubrical instructions, without doing damage to their content and meaning. Therefore, this volume must omit such important documents as the General Instruction on the Roman Missal, the Instruction on the Correct Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (1970), Inaestimabile Donum (1980), and Ceremonial of Bishops (1984).

Moreover, under the broad title Worship and Sacraments care has been taken to go beyond liturgy as such to include a précis of the most important decrees concerning the discipline of the seven Sacraments.


Table of Contents 

  • Mediator Dei, Encyclical Letter on the Sacred Liturgy, Pope Pius XII, November 20, 1947 
  • Vatican Council II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Constitution on the Liturgy, December 4, 1963 
  • Motu Proprio, Sacram Liturgiam, on Putting Into Effect Some Prescriptions of the Constitution on the Liturgy, January 25, 1964 
  • Instruction Inter Oecumenici, on Carrying Out the Constitution on the Liturgy, Sacred Congregation of Rites, October 16, 1964 
  • Mysterium Fidei, Encyclical Letter on the Doctrine and Worship of the Eucharist, Pope Paul VI, September 3, 1965 
  • Instructio Musicam Sacram, On Music in the Liturgy, Sacred Congregation on Music in the Liturgy, March 5, 1967 
  • Pontificalis Romani, Apostolic Constitution on the Sacrament of Holy Orders, Pope Paul VI, June 18, 1968
  • Missale Romanum, Apostolic Constitution on Approving the New Roman Missal, Pope Paul VI, April 3, 1969 
  • Divinae Consortium Naturae, Apostolic Constitution on the Sacrament of Confirmation, August 5, 1971 
  • Sacram Unctionem Infirmorum, Apostolic Constitution on the Sacrament of Anointing of hte Sick, November 30, 1973 
  • General Introduction to Christian Initiation Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, August 29, 1973 
  • Misericordiam Suam, Introduction to the New Order of Penance, Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship, December 2,1973 
  • Dominicae Cenae, Letter to All Bishops of the Church on the Mystery and Worship of the Eucharist, Pope John Paul II February 24, 1980 
  • Pastoralis Actio, Instruction on Infant Baptism Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, October 20, 1980 
  • Sacrosanctum Concilium, on the Sacred Liturgy, Apostolic Letter on the 25th Anniversary of the Promulgation of the conciliar Constitution, Pope John Paul II, December 4, 1988 
  • Sacerdotalis Ordinatio, Apostolic Letter on Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone, John Paul II, May 22, 1994 
  • Liturgiam Authentican, On the use of Vernaculars Languages in the Publication of the Books of the Roman Liturgy Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, March 28, 2001



Lectio Divina Cordis

Divine Reading of the Heart


HEAR the words as you inwardly read  or speak

– Read –


ENTER  the silence to reflect on a core precept

– Meditate –


ANSWER to the knock at the heart’s door

– Speak –


REST silently without words or thoughts

– Contemplate –


TRUST: “Do not let your HEART  be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”   (John 13:1)

 – Trust in the process –

Lectio Divina (Latin for “Divine Reading”) is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God’s Word. It does not treat scripture as texts to be studied, but as the living word.

The focus of Lectio Divina is not a theological analysis of biblical passages but viewing them with Christ  as the key to their meaning.

Approaching the Magisterium Summaries from this perspective may lead to a deeper appreciation of its meaning and  an appreciation of how it may be applied to one’s life.

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