"What is the authority of the document Environment and Art in Catholic Worship?
Environment and Art in Catholic Worship is a 1978 statement of the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy. The purpose of the document is to provide principles for those involved in preparing liturgical space. The committee statement received the approval of the Administrative Committee in keeping with Conference policy. Because the document was not proposed as a statement of the whole conference of Bishops, the full body of bishops was never asked to consider it.
Environment and Art in Catholic Worship does not have the force of law in and of itself. It is not particular law for the dioceses of the United States of America, but a commentary on that law by the Committee for the Liturgy. However, it does quote several documents of the Apostolic See and in that sense it has the force of the documents it quotes in the areas where those documents legislate."
The Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy has appointed a task group to revisit Environment and Art in Catholic Worship. The Committee on the Liturgy intends to submit the revised edition of this document as a statement of the Conference of Bishops. It is therefore anticipated that the revised document will be considered by the full body of Bishops.
Website note: We have talked to the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy about the statement in the U.S. Appendix which says EACW is to be followed. According to the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy, the U.S. Appendix to the General Instruction, n. 238, which says that the directives of EACW are to be applied in the U.S., means that where it is repeating principles and directives found in authoritative documents, it is to be followed. Any new statements not from authoritative documents are simply commentary and are not binding.