Critical Discussion of Lex Orandi Lex Credendi
There’s no way for prayer to be disentangled from belief because when we pray, we raise our hearts and minds to God and during that spiritual and mental immersion, we are able to access the supernatural truth about our belief and only then can we claim that we are true believers (O’Brien 2002, p.169).
prayers are expressed in its liturgy, particularly in sermons and hymns, where the faithful also contribute their own personal prayers, the liturgy is the lex orandi. Theology is obviously lexed credendi because its purpose is to encapsulate dogmas that the faithful may believe.
The first salvo of dissension was thrown when Prosper of Aquitaine argued that the Church’s prayer is the source and thus determines Theology. The implication, therefore, is that what was prayed for by the faithful, must necessarily be taught as Theology (Hohenstein 2008). Contradictory to this is the classicists stand that the law of belief determines the law of prayer (Toon 1992, p.1). This connotes that the whole liturgy and all the sacraments must be prescribed by what was written in theological texts. If this is so, the liturgy is condemned to be rigid, repetitive and boring and thus subject to rejection by a portion of the faithful who would be dazzled by the wide dimension of freedom of worship by some Protestant sects.
The Catholic Church realizing such pitfalls repeatedly convened ecumenical councils to thresh out the problems and hammer out meaningful changes to the liturgy. The Council of Trent, thus reformed the Missal and the Breviary. More earthshaking was Pope Paul VI’s Novus Ordo Missae. For the first time the concept of "lex orandi, lex credendi" was subjected to a complete overhaul as it is now viewed as "the Church prays as the Church believes". .