cult; cultus

(Latin: colere, to devote care to a person or thing; hence, to venerate, worship)

(1) Liturgy is the actual arrangement and execution of the public Divine worship as authorized by the Church. The Sacred Congregation of Rites, established by Sixtus V, 1587, as the authoritative organ of the Holy See, is the supreme arbiter.

(2) Part III of the New Code of Canon Law is entitled, "On Divine Cultus." After giving the law governing worship in general (canon 1255) and public worship (canon 1256-1264), the Code gives special laws for the custody and cult of the Blessed Sacrament (canon 1265-1275); for the cult of the saints, sacred images, and relics (canon 1276-1289); for sacred processions (canon 1290-1295), and for sacred furniture (canon 1296-1306).

(3) In Hagiology, we must distinguish between public and private cult of the saints. Privately, cult (dulia) can be paid to any deceased of whose holiness we are certain. "Public cult may be shown only to those Servants of God who by the authority of the Church are numbered among the Saints and Beatified" (canon 1277), by the regular processes of canonization and beatification. Canonized saints may receive public cult everywhere and by any act of dulia; the beatified, however, only such acts and in such places as the Holy See permits (canon 1277, § 2). Saints may be chosen with papal confirmation, as patrons of nations, dioceses, provinces, confraternities, and other places and associations.

New Catholic Dictionary

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