The diocese of San Cristóbal de Las Casas in southern Mexico will send Pope Francis a proposal to include indigenous Mayan rites in Masses. This would include dances, music, even the participation of women in the liturgy.
Cardinal Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, former bishop of San Cristóbal, who is coordinating the work, explained on March 1, 2023 to the Spanish-speaking news agency EFE that this proposal will be presented in April to the assembly of the Mexican Episcopal Conference (CEM). .
It will then be expounded on in May in Rome by the Archbishop of Puebla, Víctor Sánchez Espinosa, president of the Mexican Pastoral Commission for the Liturgy.
Msgr. Martínez clarified that the innovations in question were already practiced in celebrations of the Mass in Tzeltal and Tzotzil. “They are approved by the bishop and the community, now we want it to receive an approval from Rome, from the apostolic see for the universal Church,” he added.
This is the second such proposal from a local Catholic community, according to EFE, the first having been the Zairian Rite, approved by the Holy See in 1988.
Zairian rite, Mexican rite, Amazonian rite, but no Tridentine rite.
(Tzeltal is a Mayan language spoken in Mexico mainly in the state of Chiapas by about half a million people. Tzotzil is also a Mayan language, spoken in the same state by just over half a million speakers.)