Public Litany versus Private Litany


What does a litany approved for public worship mean versus a private litany? Can a group of lay people say any of the litanies with one lay person reading the litany and the others saying the responses?

Does approved for public worship mean that these are the only litanies that priests can use during a mass?


I do the Litany of the Holy Spirit and the Litany of Loreto alone at home, reading all the portions and doing both the Readers/Leaders portion and the Responses. These are both approved for public worship. I think that we are allowed to do any of the Litanies in a prayer group or alone, and ALSO in public worship.

If I am wrong, please, someone correct me. I also do the Angelus daily, which is also “approved for public worship”, as is the Rosary!


This site: Aquinas And More, seems to touch base on the subject and seems to imply that only approved ones may be used for public use. Not sure how accurate the site is, though. ~ they do give lists of references, though, such as the Catholic Encyclopedia ~ too bad they don’t mention which page, lol.

I do think this part that was mentioned in the site is important, though “By the 1600s, as many as eighty litanies were being used in public Masses and processions. In order to prevent abuse, Pope Clement VIII decreed that only approved litanies (from official liturgical books and the Litany of Loreto) were to be used publicly.”


True – those used for Public Worship must be approved by the Office for Divine Worship and the Liturgy. However, any approved Litany found in a Catholic Prayer Book or Little Office, which has an Imprimatur of approval, should be able to be used by the laity, as well as Religious (monks, nuns, Religious Sisters, or private prayers by Priests). However, I’ve never found anything forbidding the use of these for private devotions, so long as they are in a Catholic Prayer Book or Little Office, or for that matter, in the larger and more complex Liturgy of the Hours. I use the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin for private devotions, although it is also used in Marian monasteries and convents.


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