Rorate Caeli

Rite of Canonization 2015: partial restoration of Litany of Saints

The Rite of Canonization introduced last year will be used again on Sunday, the 17th of May for the canonization of the Beatae Émilie de Villeneuve (1811-1854), Maria Cristina (Brando) of the Immaculate Conception (1856-1906), Mariam Baouardy of Jesus Crucified (1846-1878) and Marie-Alphonsine Danil Ghattas (1843-1927).

There has been a slight improvement, though: the partial restoration of the Litany of Saints. The Rite to be used on Sunday (and which was posted today on the Vatican website) has a Litany with a much longer list of saints than in the Canonization Rites of 2014, or 2012, or the one devised in the time of Paul VI and in use until 2011. The revised Litany also has three Marian invocations (Sancta Maria... Sancta Dei Genetrix... Sancta Virgo virginum...) instead of just the "Sancta Maria, Mater Dei" to be found in the 2014, 2012 and pre-2012 Rites. Furthermore the revised Litany restores the seven invocations to which the response is "libera nos, Domine"; these invocations had been present in the 2012 and pre-2012 Rites but taken out in the 2014 Rite. The seven beautiful invocations at the very end of the Litany in the 2012 and pre-2012 Rites, petitions to which the faithful respond "te rogamus, audi nos", were completely removed in the 2014 Rite; now the two shortest ones (the first and the seventh) have been restored. Last but not the least the concluding Christe audi nos (2x), Christe, exaudi nos (2x) that were taken out in 2014 are back in this year's Litany. 

The rest of the "2015 Rite" is the same as last year's.

Agreed that the improvement is minor, albeit still an improvement: what it truly highlights is the instability of the Rite of Canonization in recent years. In 2011, 2012 and 2014 the Popes made use of significantly differing Rites of Canonization, not taking into account the minor changes carried out in 2013 to the Rite that had been introduced in 2012, and now the major changes to the Litany of the Saints that effectively revise the 2014 version. Why can't the Holy See just stick to ONE version?