Friday, June 28, 2013

June 28: Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul, II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, is the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul.  It is a II Class Vigil.  According the the rubrics of the 1962 Breviarium Iuxta Ritum Sacri Ordinis Praedicatorum, all is prayed as if this were a ferial day, with the following exceptions.  At Matins, the Lessons are proper and are given in the Proprium Sanctorum.  Also, since it is a II Class vigil, at Lauds the Psalms of Scheme II are prayed.  At Pretiosa, the Gospel for the Vigil is read.


  1. Thanks for the blog. Although as a Benedictine Oblate I pray the Breviarium Monasticum, I also have an affection for the traditional Dominican Office. As such, I have a question.

    Until the late 1960's, the Dominican Rite was one of the oldest and most pristine particular rites of the Church. Despite several attempts over the centuries, the Order always resisted change to its rite. Reform efforts in fact always had an officially conservative outcome as any attempt to insert Gallican or Jansentist developments provoked a deliberate return and official reaffirmation of Humbert de Romans codification of 1256.

    The Rite was untouchable, that is, until 1968. That year the Order in General Chapter decided to adopt the Bugnini-reformed Roman Rite. This move was dramatically counter to the Order's jealously guarded tradition and equivalent to an historical earthquake. I'm curious, do you have any idea who the characters were moving this forward and what the general reception was throughout the Order at the time? I'm sure it's a fascinating story and one that deserves to be told.

    1. Thanks for your comment Jon. You are correct in stating that the Dominicans jealously guarded their liturgical traditions over the centuries. In his seminal work on the history of the Dominican Liturgy, Fr. William Bonniwell ends with a vigorous defense of the uniqueness of the Dominican Rite of Mass, and doesn’t mince words in his assessment of the critics of that Rite, who wanted the Order to surrender it and adopt the Roman Rite.

      Though his book was published in 1944, it did little to stem the tide of liturgical “renewal” that was sweeping through the Church at the time. The Dominican Order was not immune to this fervor for change. Starting with the General Chapter that was held in Washington, D.C. in 1947, small changes were introduced into the Dominican Rite of Mass that had the effect of “Romanizing” it. These changes kept coming, over the decades, culminating in the 1965 Missale iuxta ritum Ordinis Praedicatorum. In addition, the 1962 Dominican Breviary adopted more of the Roman Calendar, and removed (not suppressed) the feasts and commemorations of most of the Dominican Blessed’s, who had always been a part of the Dominican Calendar.
      By the time 1968 rolled around, the passion for change and the vernacular in the liturgy overwhelmed the meager resistance that was put up by some Dominicans in the Order. A 700 year tradition came to an end.

      The best available resource on this subject is Fr. Augustine Thompson’s Dominican Liturgy website. He wrote a long article on the history of the Dominican Rite, which picks up where Bonniwell’s book leaves off…in 1945. I highly recommend it: