Liturgical Tips

BASIC QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, PART 5

4. What is the relationship between popular devotions and culture?

Popular devotions arise in the encounter between the Catholic faith and culture. As the Church brings the faith into a culture, there are two kinds of transformation that take place. First of all, by introducing the Catholic faith, the Church transforms the culture, leaving the imprint of the faith on the culture. At the same time, however, the Church assimilates certain aspects of the culture, as some elements of the culture become absorbed and integrated into the life of the Church. This twofold process can be seen in the development of popular devotional practices. "In genuine forms of popular piety, the Gospel message assimilates expressive forms particular to a given culture while also permeating the consciousness of that culture with the content of the Gospel." 

http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/prayers/popular-devotional-practices-basic-questions-and-answers.cfm