Tuesday, May 22, 2018

LOST FEAST: May 22: St. Servatius, B.,C., Protector of the Order

 One of the feasts removed from the Dominican calendar during the early 20th Century was that of St. Servatius, a 4th Century bishop who lived in Gaul.  He was an unofficial protector of the Order of Preachers.  In the 1909 Dominican Breviary, his feast is a totum duplex.  In his book, "The History of the Dominican Liturgy", Fr. William Bonniwell, O.P., disputes the circumstances surrounding the legendary intervention by St. Servatius at the Chapter at Cologne.  You can find his argument here (beginning on p. 242).

Monday, May 21, 2018

Compline from Pentecost to Trinity Sunday

We have finally arrived at the end of the period, in the liturgical year, where the office of Compline takes on a specific character that is proper to the seasons we have just passed through.  Beginning with the 1st Sunday of Lent, all the way through Passion-tide, Eastertide, Ascension-tide, it finally comes to an end after the week of Pentecost.

Compline begins as usual.  After the responsory, which is said with the Alleluia's as noted in the rubrics, the following hymn is said.  This is the same hymn that was prayed during Paschaltide, with the exception of the last two (2) stanza's, which change during Ascensiontide.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

LOST FEAST: May 12: Octave of St. Pius V

Prior to the revision of the Breviary instituted by Pope St. Pius X, the Octave of St. Pius V would be celebrated today.  This is one of the many octaves of the Dominican saints that were casualties of the revision of St. Pius X.  Not all of the Dominican saints had octaves after their feast day, but the major ones like St. Peter Martyr did.

In the 1909 Breviarium S.O.P., the feast had the rank of "simplex", which would be considered a commemoration according to the rubrics of the 1962 Office.  At Vespers and Lauds, an antiphon, versicle/response and collect pray are given in the Proper of the Saints.  They are the same as those from the saints feast day on May 5.

The collect prayer, which is taken from his feast day, recalls the role he played in the historic defense of Christendom from Muslim invaders in the 16th Century.  Given the plight of so many Christians today, this time in the Middle East, but elsewhere as well, who are suffering such gruesome persecution, I will be making these commemorations and asking St. Pius' intercession on their behalf.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Ferial Office in Ascension-tide

We are now in the brief liturgical season of Ascensiontide.  In the Dominican Breviary, the ferial office in Ascension season is similar to that of the Roman Breviary, with slight differences. The invitatory at Matins is different, as is the Benedictus antiphon at Lauds is different, and the hymn at Vespers, to name a few.

Though this season is short, and is overshadowed by the looming arrival of Pentecost, it is a beautiful liturgical season nonetheless.  The ferial days in Ascensiontide are IV Class, so when a III Class feast occurs on the calendar, no commemoration is made of the ferial office.

Compline from the Ascension to Pentecost

Continuing our series on the unique features of the Dominican Breviary at Compline, we now come to the period between the Ascension and Pentecost.


May 10: St. Antonius, B., C., O.P., II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the beloved archbishop of Florence, St. Antonius, bishop, confessor, of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is II Class and the semi-festive office is prayed according to the rubrics.  At Lauds and Vespers, a commemoration is made of SS. Gordian and Epimachus, martyrs.

From the Martyrology:
At Florence, St. Antoninus, archbishop of the same city and a member of the Order of Preachers. On account of the excellence of his doctrine and his holiness, he was compelled to become bishop, although he was unwilling. He was illustrious for his mercy and his piety. He likewise excelled to a remarkable degree in sacerdotal zeal. He was so celebrated for his prudence and good counsel, that he was justly called "Antoninus the Counsellor." Famous for his virtues and his miracles, he departed for Heaven in the seventieth year of his life, on May 2. He lies buried in the Church of San Marco where he is held in high veneration by the people.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

May 8: Blessed Virgin Mary - Mediatrix of All Graces, III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Mediatrix of All Graces.  The feast is III Class, so the Ordinary Office is prayed.  Like many III Class feasts in the Dominican Breviary, this office contains the a significant amount of beautiful propers, as if the feast were II Class.  At Lauds, the Psalms of Sunday are prayed.

May is the month of Mary, our blessed Lady and Mother of God.  Today we celebrate a wonderful Marian feast, with a beautiful Office. It honors our Blessed Lady's role in the salvation of mankind as mother of our Savior, and recognizes her universal mediation in the dispensing of all graces that come to us from Our Lord Jesus Christ.  In his encyclical Octobri Mense (On the Rosary, September 22, 1891), Pope Leo XIII declared "We may affirm that nothing, by the will of God, is given to us without Mary's mediation, in such way that just as no one can approach the almighty Father but through His Son, like wise no one, so to speak, can approach Christ but through His Mother".