Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Ferial Office During Passiontide

We are now in the final two (2) weeks of Lent, which the Church has traditionally referred to as Passiontide.

The rubrics of the Office change once again, and take on an even more solemn tone.  We will be praying the ferial office of Passiontide every day.  During this week, the ferial days are III Class, but they outrank the III Class feasts of the saints, like Bl. Ambrose, St. Benedict, and St. Michael.  So we pray the ferial office and make commemorations of them  at Lauds and Vespers.

Compline During Lent - Passion Sunday to Holy Thursday

One of the unique features of the Dominican Rite of Office is the variability of much of the Office of Compline during during the seasons of Lent, Passiontide, Paschaltide, Ascensiontide, and through out the octave of Pentecost, when the hymn, Little Chapter, and responses change.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

March 7: St. Thomas Aquinas, C., D., O.P., I Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, Confessor, Doctor of the Church, of the Order of Preachers.  Piercing a hole straight through the somber, penitential season of Lent, the feast of the Angel of the Schools is I Class, so the festive office is prayed according to the rubrics.  A commemoration of the ferial office of Lent is made.  All is given in the Proper of the Saints.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Compline During Lent - III Sunday of Lent to Passion Sunday

As we work out way gradually through the holy season of Lent, the Dominican Breviary refreshes us with a new Nunc dimittis antiphon beginning tonight at Compline.  We will use this antiphon up till the Saturday before Passion Sunday exclusive.

This time, the antiphon is the famous "Media vita", which is a humble acknowledgement of our utter helplessness against the power of sin and a somber plea for help from our "Holy God, holy Mighty One, holy and merciful Savior ."  This antiphon is actually an old responsory, and it is said that when chanting it, St. Thomas Aquinas was brought to tears.

This antiphon could easily be our mantra throughout the year and we can draw much spiritual fruit from meditating on it. May St. Thomas pray for us, that we be granted the grace to feel true sorrow for our sins, to repent for them, and for the grace to turn to God in our weakness and frailty.

St. Thomas Aquinas...pray for us.

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Ferial Office During Lent

It seems as though we were just celebrating Christmas.  Already, the wheel of the liturgical year has moved through the seasons of the Epiphany and Septuagesima, and now we have entered the holy season of Lent.

In the Dominican Breviary, the ferial office in Lent season is similar to that of the Roman Breviary, with slight differences.

The ferial days in Lent (Quadragesima) are III Class, and take precedence over III Class feasts of saints and blesseds.  So when the III Class feast of a saint or blessed occurs on the calendar, a commemoration is made of that feast.

Though March is a sparse month in the in the 1962 Dominican sanctorale, it does contain the feast of the Angelic Doctor on March 7.  This feast, which temporarily lightens the heaviness of the penitential season of Lent is 1st Class in the Dominican Rite.  It takes precedence over the ferial days of Lent, so we only make a commemoration of the ferial office (error alert on my calendar!!) at Lauds and Vespers.  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

February 15: Blessed Henry Suso, C., O.P., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of Blessed Henry Suso, confessor of the Order of Preachers.  Since his feast is III Class, and we are now in the Season of Lent, the Ferial Office of Lent is prayed and a commemoration of Bl. Susso is made at Lauds and Vespers only.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

February 13: St. Catherine de Ricci, V., O.P., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Catherine de Rici, virgin of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is III Class, so the Ordinary Office is prayed.  Like many II Class feast in the Breviary, her office contains propers as if the feast were II Class.  At Lauds, the Psalms of Sunday are prayed.

From the Martyrology yesterday:

At Prato in Etruria, St. Catherine de'Ricci of Florence, virgin, of the Order of Preachers. She was remarkable for the abundance of her divine gifts, and was canonized by the Sovereign Pontiff, Benedict XIV. She died rich in virtues and merit on February 2, but her feast is celebrated today.

Also, at Pretiosa today, we remember the obit of Fr. Aniceto Fernandez, 82nd Master General of the Order, who died on this day in 1981.  He gave his approval to the 1967 English translation of the Dominican Breviary, and his name appears on the title sheet.

From “Short Lives of the Dominican Saints” (London, Kegan Paul, Trench, and Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1901):