Zaire Use

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The Zaire Use (French: Rite zaïrois) or Roman Missal for the Dioceses of Zaire is a variation of the common Mass of the Roman Catholic Church. While containing many of the elements of the Ordinary Form of the Mass of the Roman Rite, it incorporates elements from sub-Saharan African culture,[which?] a process referred to as inculturation.

It is largely a product of the Second Vatican Council's constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, particularly the move "for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples, especially in mission lands, provided that the substantial unity of the Roman rite is preserved."[1] Promulgated by the decree Zairensium on April 30, 1988, by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Missel romain pour les diocèses du Zaïre (Roman Missal for the Dioceses of Zaire) is an attempt to inculturate the Roman Missal in an African context, inspired by the liturgical reform initiated at the Second Vatican Council.[2] The missal is now officially entitled Congolese Missal for the dioceses of Zaire. [3]

It follows the 1956 Masses of the Savanes in Upper Volta and of the Piroguieres and the 1958 Missa Luba in Zaire.[1] Following the 1970 authorization from the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the 1973 draft presentation of a new Order of the Mass from the Commission on Evangelization, the Episcopal Conference in Zaire approved it use experimentally. As the "Zairean Rite," it was adopted formally in 1985 [4]

On 1 December 2019, Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the first Sunday of Advent in Saint Peter's Basilica using this rite to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the first chaplaincy for the Congolese Catholic community in Rome.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b Chase, Nathan. "A History and Analysis of the Missel Romain pour les Dioceses du Zaire". Obsculta. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  2. ^ New Catholic Encyclopedia 2003. The Gale Group Inc.
  3. ^ a b D'Emilio, Frances (1 December 2019). "Joyous Congolese Dances, Songs Enliven St. Peter's Basilica". U.S. News & World Report. Associated Press. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Missal for the Dioceses of Zaire". Retrieved 7 November 2019.

Further reading

  • Presseamt des Heiligen Stuhls: Verlautbarungen der XI. Ordentlichen Generalversammlung der Bischofssynode. Vatikan Stadt, 2005.
  • (in French) Kabongo, Edouard: Le rite zaïrois de la messe. Théologie de l'Eucharistie en contexte africano-congolais. Freiburg i. Ü.: Theologische Fakultät, 2005. (=Thesis).
  • Der neue Meßritus im Zaire -Ein Beispiel kontextueller Liturgie. Freiburg i. Br.: Herder, 1993
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