Thursday, December 26, 2013

Compline During Christmastide

One of the unique features of the Dominican Rite of Office is the variability of antiphons at Compline during various seasons and on certain feasts.  This is particularly true during the seasons of Lent, Passiontide, Paschaltide, Ascensiontide, and through out the octave of Pentecost, when the hymn, Little Chapter, and responses change.

Throughout the season of Christmas (from Christmas Day until the Epiphany, the following two (2) antiphons are used at Compline each day.

The antiphon to the Psalms is:
To us is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord.
Even though the the feasts and ferial days of this time are II Class, the Psalms of Sunday are always prayed at Compline.

The antiphon at the Nunc dimittis is:
Alleluia.  The Word became flesh, alleluia; and dwelt among us, alleluia, alleluia.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December 25: The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, I Class

. Puer natus est nobis.  . Et filius datus est nobis.
. To us a child is born.  ℣. To us a son is given. (Versicle before Lauds)

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  The feast is 1st Class, with a 2nd Class octave.  All is taken from the Proper of the Season for this day.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 24: Vigil of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, I Class

Tomorrow the transgression of the earth will be blotted out.  And the Savior of the world will reign over us.  (Versicle before Lauds for December 24).

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the Vigil of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.  The feast is 1st Class.  At Pretiosa, we read the Martyrology for December 25:

Monday, December 23, 2013

Dominican Tertiary Indulgence Alert

Dominican Tertiaries (Lay Dominicans) are reminded that a plenary indulgence may be acquired, provided the usual conditions (confession, Communion and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) are properly fulfilled, who make or renew, at least privately, the promise to faithfully observe the statutes of the Third Order (Lay Fraternity of St. Dominic) on the upcoming Feasts of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ on December 25.

The complete list of days when the plenary indulgence may be obtained, can be found here, at the Australian Province Website.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fourth Sunday of Advent

18th December 1954

IV: Prepare ye the way

A voice that cries in the desert, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, Make straight in the dry land A highway for our God : Every valley exalted, Every mountain and hill made low, And the steep shall be turned to a level, The scree to a plain.

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh together shall see it."

December 22: The Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Comm.

Happy Anniversary to the Order of Preachers!

I truly enjoy this feast.  As a member of the Order, it brings me great joy to know that I am part of a family that is nearly 800 years old, and which has been endowed by almighty God with so many holy men and women.  It is also a great joy to me that there is a specific date which serves as the birthday, so to speak, for the Order.

Traditionally, this feast was celebrated in November.  Today, it is celebrated in May.  But for a brief period of time in the early 20th Century, it was celebrated on December 22, to coincide with the anniversary of the approval of the Order by Pope Honorius III in 1216.  Personally, I like the December 22 date, and I think this is the perfect place for this feast. Our Lady was, no doubt, instrumental in the founding of this most favored of her religious orders.  The collect prayer even speaks to her role in the institution of the Order.  For me, to celebrate Our Lady's patronage over our Order and the anniversary of the founding of the Order, all during the holy season of Advent, seems like a wonderful combination.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

3rd Sunday of Advent

11th December 1954


III: Rejoice in the Lord


Rejoice in the Lord always, Again I say, rejoice.

MID-ADVENT Sunday: Gaudete : rose-colored vestments —a color which expresses optimism, which suggests a lightening of the sombre violet of the penitential season. But why is Advent a penitential season? Why no Gloria, not even today? Because it is a time of waiting, and waiting means not having: we cannot wait for what we have, we cannot hope for what we already possess, we cannot look forward to what is present before us. But in Advent we are looking forward to the Gloria in excelsis of Christmas, the song of the angels at Bethlehem. At Christmas we shall stand in spirit amid the heavenly host, and shout for joy at the birth of the Prince of Peace. But meanwhile, liturgically, we impose upon ourselves a period of waiting for that moment, the four weeks of waiting that make the moment more joyful for the waiting.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

2nd Sunday of Advent

This meditation on the 1st Sunday of Advent was written by Fr. Sebastian Bullough, O.P. (1919-1967), noted biblical scholar and professor at Cambridge in England.  It was published in The Tablet on the 1st Sunday of Advent in 1954.  It was reissued, along with the his other Advent meditations for that year, by Blackfriars Publications as a small booklet in 1955.

December 4, 1954


II. People of Sion, Behold


O people of Sion,

Behold thy Lord cometh

To save all the world.
O joy of thy heart
At the sound of his voice,
The voice of his glory.

THIS is the Introit of the second Sunday of Advent. It is not entirely from Isaias 30, as the Missal at first sight suggests: the first stanza is not in fact a quotation at all, but the thought and diction are in the manner of Isaias, and are the authentic thought and diction of Advent.
The call is to Sion, the faithful people, announcing that Sion's own Lord, the God of the faithful, is indeed coming to save not only Sion, but all the world. And this call is to faithful Sion a joy. Ad salvandas gentes I have deliberately translated "to save all the world." For the gentes or gentiles, the nations, the goyim of the Hebrews represented to the faithful people of Judah all those myriads of humanity who "knew not God," who knew not how to worship the Lord of all, as they did by his merciful revelation: "to you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." Gradually, as the people of God became trained in the idea of worship, they became accustomed to the notion that their own God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, was not merely the true God, far superior to the false gods of the nations, but was the true God of those nations also, whom the nations should equally worship. Gradually they began to realize that the ultimate fulfilment of their hopes must be in the worship of their own true God, the Lord, by all those nations, by the whole world. It was in the eighth century B.C. that the prophets Micheas (Micah) and Isaias simultaneously proclaimed this vision (Mic. 4 and Is. 2):

Saturday, December 7, 2013


I am pleased to announce the completion of my 2014 Dominican Rite Calendar, for praying the 1962 Dominican Breviary.  The Calendar is available from Fr. Augustine Thompson's "Dominican Liturgy Publications" at Lulu.

The calendar is based on the Dominican Rite Liturgical Calendar that Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P. prepares every year.  The format is similar to that of the Ordo published by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  The calendar contains the entire liturgical year, according to the 1962 Breviarii Iuxta Ritum Ordinis Preædicatorum, updated with the most recent canonizations of Dominican saints.  
In addition, the obits of the Masters General and the anniversaries of the Order are given, as well as the list of Dominican blesseds and the day of their votive office.  Reminders are given for days when Dominican Tertiaries (Lay Dominicans) can obtain indulgences during the year.  Finally, an English translation of the Ordinary of the Office of Pretiosa is given at the end.

Each day is annotated with the feast, the rank, commemorations (if any), and reminder notes if the day includes an anniversary or the obit of a Master General of the Order.  The list of obits of the Masters General has been updated to include the Masters who have died since the last Dominican Breviary was published in 1962.  All one needs in addition to this booklet is the "Martyrology of the Sacred Order of Friars Preachers" and a Missal (for the Gospel of the day) and one can pray the Office of Pretiosa every day of the year.

You can purchase a copy of the calendar here, at Fr. Thompson's "Dominican Liturgy Publications" at Lulu.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December 1: Blessed John of Vercelli, C., O.P., Commemoration

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we make a commemoration of Blessed John of Vercelli, 6th Master General of the Order. Since today is the 1st Sunday of Advent, the feast is not celebrated.  Normally, the ferial office is prayed, and the commemoration is made at Lauds and Vespers since it is a privileged commemoration.  In addition, a second commemoration is made of SS. Cyriacus, Largus, and Smaragdus, Martyrs.  At Pretiosa, the obits of Thomas Turco of Cremona, 56th Master General of the Order and Alexander Vincent Jandel of Nancy in France, 73rd Master General of the Order are read.

1st Sunday of Advent

This meditation on the 1st Sunday of Advent was written by Fr. Sebastian Bullough, O.P. (1919-1967), noted biblical scholar and professor at Cambridge in England.  It was published in The Tablet on the 1st Sunday of Advent in 1954.  It was reissued, along with the his other Advent meditations for that year, by Blackfriars Publications as a small booklet in 1955.

I: "I Raise up My Soul" By SEBASTIAN BULLOUGH, O.P.

I raise up my soul unto thee, My Lord and my God, I trust in thee: thou wilt not fail me, My foes cannot mock me ; All who look to thee: thou wilt not fail them; Abandoned the wicked.

Show me, o Master, thy pathways, Teach me thy road, Guide me and constantly teach me, My God and my saviour.

THE Church's new year begins with this psalm at the Introit. It is the proper beginning of any human undertaking: an expression of complete trust in God. For one more year of life is indeed a big undertaking. One more year of life: each year's beginning finds us again expecting to live the year through, though we know quite well that our call may come before the year's end, yet for practical purposes we must assume that our responsibilities will cover the next twelve months. And for these responsibilities we know that we.must rely on God: "Without me you can do nothing." Merely living as a Christian in the world today is a big responsibility, and we know that without God's help we cannot fulfill it. Yet so often we forget, and in our folly rely on ourselves. How important therefore to consider once more our utter dependence on God. This is one of the functions of Advent.