Zaire Use

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The Zaire Use 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, a process referred to as "inculturation". 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.[1]

Changes in the Zaire Use

The Roman Missal for the Dioceses of Zaire goes about its attempts to inculturate by allowing certain unique adaptations. They include the following changes:[2]

  • The Priest is dressed in the robes that would be used by a tribal priest
  • The servers (all male) carry spears
  • There is a new role introduced, that of the announcer (as one finds in African public functions)
  • The celebrants and servers dance around the altar as a means of veneration
  • There is an included invocation of the saints and ancestors
  • The penitential rite is moved to after the Creed
  • There is a sprinkling of Holy Water after the kiss of peace
  • Pots of incense are used, and left burning during the general intercessions
  • There is a dance accompanying a bringing of gifts for those in need
  • There are some new prayers added that highlight key elements of the African cultural worldview (communal, non-dualistic, solidarity oriented)
  • The lifting of hands accompanies prayers and responses to prayers
  • People sit at the reading of the Gospel
  • Places for the people to respond in the Eucharistic prayer have been added

See also


  1. New Catholic Encyclopedia 2003. The Gale Group Inc.
  2. Kangas, Billy. "The Roman Missal for the Dioceses of Zaire". The Orant. William E. Kangas. Retrieved 19 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading