Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi from Leo McDowell on Vimeo.
I’m not sure how many Catholics today have heard the axiom, “lex orandi, lex credendi”.
Last year, for Catechetical Sunday, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a document, “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi: The Word of God in the Celebration of the Sacraments”. Near the beginning of the document they write:
Literally translated, it means “the law of prayer [is] the law of belief.” This axiom is an adaptation of words of Prosper of Aquitaine, a fifth-century Christian writer and a contemporary of St. Augustine. The original version of the phrase, ut legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi (“that the law of praying establishes the law of believing”), highlighted the understanding that the Church’s teaching (lex credendi) is articulated and made manifest in the celebration of the liturgy and prayer (lex orandi).1 We understand this to mean that prayer and worship is the first articulation of the faith. The liturgy engages belief in a way that simply thinking about God or studying the faith does not naturally do. In other words, in an act of worship, the faithful are in dialogue with God and are engaged in an active and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and every individual member of the liturgical assembly is connected to one another as members of the mystical Body of Christ in the Holy Spirit, as they look together with hope for the salvation promised in the Kingdom of Heaven. Theology, christology, ecclesiology, pneumatology, and eschatology are all expressed in word and deed, in sign and symbol, in liturgical acts.