Friday, December 25, 2015

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

. Puer natus est nobis.  
. To us a child is born.  
. Et filius datus est nobis.
. 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.  The Festive Office is prayed. with everything being taken from the Proper of the Season for this day.



Thursday, December 24, 2015

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 the Vigil of the Nativity).

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

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 will celebrate its 800th anniversary next year, 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.  The ferial Office for Advent is prayed, and a commemoration of the feast is made at Lauds only.

Monday, December 21, 2015

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.

What a wonderful Christmas gift for the soul of a loved one in Purgatory, or perhaps for a deceased Dominican!

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

Friday, December 11, 2015

BREVIARIUM S.O.P. 2016 DOMINICAN RITE CALENDAR

Just in time for Christmas!  I am pleased to announce the completion of my 2016 Dominican Rite Calendar, for praying the 1962 Dominican Breviary.  The Calendar is now available from Fr. Augustine Thompson's "Dominican Liturgy Publications" at Lulu.

New additions this year are the traditional prayers for a General Chapter, since the Order will be conducting a Chapter in Bologna in 2016.  The calendar includes the dates that the prayers are to be said, as well as notations that indicate the 15 Tuesdays devotion to Our Holy Father St. Dominic.

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.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

December 6: St. Nicholas and St. Thomas Aquinas

This year, the feast of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, falls on a Sunday, so we do not celebrate it.  However, I wanted to do another post on it because it is one of my favorite feasts in the Dominican Rite calendar.  It holds the liturgical rank of III Class, as in the Roman Rite, but unlike the latter rite the Dominican Breviary contains a complete set of propers, as if the feast were II Class (you can download the text of the propers here, taken from the 1967 English Translation of the Breviarium S.OP.).

For the second year in a row, I have stumbled across a connection between St. Nicholas and our holy Order.  Many of you may be aware of the mysterious silence that overtook St. Thomas, near the end of his life.  In his small book entitled "The Silence of St. Thomas", the great German philosopher and Thomist, Josef Pieper, drawing on accounts of his canonization, gives the following brief account of this event:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

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.  The Advent ferial office is prayed, according to the rubrics, and the commemoration of Blessed John is made at Lauds and Vespers, since his 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.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Ferial Office During Advent

From “Missale Sacri Ordinis Praedicatorum"; 1933
This year, during the season of Advent, we will pray the ferial office 13 time.  In the Dominican Breviary, the ferial office in Advent draws heavily from the Book of Jeremiah for the Little Chapter (Lauds, Terce, Sext, and Vespers).  The versicle before Lauds is from Isaiah 6.  Each one builds upon the Old Testament Prophets' anticipation of the coming of the Messiah, just as the Church now does during Advent.

The ferial days in Advent have the rank of III Class, until December 17.  During these days, when a III Class feast occurs in the Proper of the Saints, a commemoration is made of the ferial day at Lauds and Vespers.  From December 17 through December 23, the ferial days have the rank of II Class.  During this period, when a III Class feast occurs, the ferial office is prayed and a commemoration of the III Class feast is made at Lauds and Vespers.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Advent: Are You "Excited"?

Excita!  Are you "excited"?  Advent is upon us, and the word "excita" is very prominent in the liturgy at this time of year.  This afternoon, we switch to Volume I of the Dominican Breviary, for 1st Vespers of the 1st Sunday of Advent.

This holy season is intended to prepare us by rousing (stirring) up sentiments of contrition and hope in us, as we count down the weeks till we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Contrition for our sins, and hope in the Child Jesus, who is our salvation.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

November 25: St. Catherine of Alexandria, V., M., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr.  The feast is III Class, so the ordinary office is prayed according to the rubrics.

Prior to the mid-20th Century revisions of the calendar, her feast was celebrated as a Totum Duplex with an octave (December 2), and her office contained a full set of propers.  The antiphon at 1st Vespers for her feast in the 1909 Breviarium S.O.P. was "Hail! O Catherine, thou gem of virgins.  Hail!  O glorious spouse of the King of kings."

Due to the circumstances of her martyrdom, as one defending the Faith against pagans, and the fact that she is reputed to have been a philosopher, she has traditionally been referred to as one of the two "protectresses" of the Order, the other being St. Mary Magdalene.  In a future post, I will give the account of their intervention in the miracle of St. Dominic at Soriano.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Dominican Gear


I have been meaning to do a post on this for over a year now.  Sorry for the delay.  A friend of mine sent me a link to this site some time ago.  A young Catholic woman in Ann Arbor, Michigan makes fine leather products, including breviary and missal covers, and rosary pouches.  She sells them via her online store on Etsy.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 15: St. Albert the Great, B., C., D., O.P., II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Albert the Great, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church.  Since today is a II Class Sunday (VI Sunday after Pentecost) we can make a commemoration of the feast of St. Albert at Lauds and Vespers.

It is truly remarkable to me to think that it was not until the early 20th Century that the Universal Church raised this saintly teacher to the altars of the Church.  Nevertheless, his sanctity and spirit are a model for all Christians, but in particular for Dominicans, given the broad scope of his erudition.

Friday, November 13, 2015

November 13: Anniversary of the Brothers and Sisters

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we commemorate the Anniversary of the Deceased Brothers and Sisters of our Order.  The ferial office is prayed according to the rubrics, and at Lauds a commemoration is made of St. Brice, Bishop and Confessor.

Being a true family, albeit a supernatural one,  the members of our Order pray for one another, just as we pray for members of our earthly families.  And just as we depend on the intercessory prayers of the Dominican Saints in heaven, so our brothers and sisters in Purgatory depend on our sufferages here on earth.  Let us remember our duty in charity to them on this special day set aside in the liturgical calendar of the Order, to offer up prayers for them.  What a wonderful consolation, to those of us who, by the grace of almighty God, are members of this holy and venerable Order, to know that once we have departed this life, the entire Order will pause and offer prayers for our poor souls.

LOST FEASTS: November 13 - St. Thomas Aquinas - Patron of Catholic Schools

One year after his landmark engyclical Aeternis Patris on the philosophical and theological methods of St. Thomas Aquinas, Pope Leo XIII declared:
“We, for the glory of Almighty God and in honor of the Angelic Doctor, for the increase of the sciences, and for the common benefit of human society, declare by Our Supreme Authority , that St. Thomas Aquinas is Patron of Studies in Universities, Colleges, Lyceums, and Catholic Schools; and We desire that he be so held by all…” "Cum hoc sit", Brief of Leo XIII, August 4, 1880.
Beginning with the 1924 Breviarium iuxta ritum sacri ordinis praedicatorum, November 13 was the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas - Patron of Catholic Schools in the Dominican liturgical calendar. Fr. Bonniwell's "History of the Dominican Liturgy" gives no date for when exactly the Order adopted this feast. 




Thursday, November 12, 2015

November 12: Feast of All Saints of the Dominican Order, II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of All Saints of the Dominican Order.  The feast is II Class and so the semi-festive office is prayed according to the rubrics. 




How truly humbling it is to be part of a religious Order which includes over 30 saints, 3 Doctor's of the Church, innumerable martyrs and 4 Popes.  Not only are these holy men and women, drawn from every station in life, models of sanctity for us, they are powerful intercessors for us before the heavenly throne of our loving God and Father.  The litany of the Dominican Saints can be downloaded here.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

November 5: St. Martin de Pores, C., O.P., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Martin de Pores.  The feast is III Class so the Ordinary Office is prayed according to the rubrics.  Like many III Class feasts, the Office contains a full set of propers as if it was a II Class feast.  At Lauds, the Psalms of Sunday are prayed. 

From the Martyrology:
At Lima in South America, [Saint] Martin de Porres, a tertiary of the Order of Preachers. Having pronounced his solemn vows to God, he united integrity of life so perfectly with the most severe penances, that both before and after death he merited to become famous for his miracles.
From “Short Lives of the Dominican Saints” (London, Kegan Paul, Trench, and Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1901):


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Opening of the 800th Jubilee Year - UPDATE

The website of the Order has now been updated to include an English translation of the letter from the Apostolic Peniteniary, granting the plenary indulgence for the Jubilee celebration of the 8th Centenary of the founding of the Order of Preachers.

You can find the link here.

It appears as though the indulgence can be gained for the poor souls in Purgatory in two (2) ways.  By uniting themselves in their hearts with the spiritual purpose of the Holy Year of Mercy:
  • While devoutly participating in the Jubilee Year celebrations.
  • In the churches and places of worship of the Dominican family which they will visit on pilgrimage, and where they meditate before the Blessed Sacrament for a period of time, concluding with the Lord's Prayer, he Creed, the Jubilee prayer, and the invocation of the Blessed Virgin Mary of he Most Holy Rosary.
The usual conditions apply (sacramental Confession, Communion, and prayer for the intentions of the Pope).  Also, as noted in the letter, the indulgence can be gained every day!  This translation seems a bit rushed, and some further clarification is in order in my opinion.  More to come as it is made available.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Opening of the 800th Jubilee Year

As many of you know, 2016 will mark the 800th Anniversary of the establishment of the Order of Preachers.  The jubilee celebration officially kicks off on Saturday, November 7.  Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has approved a plenary indulgence for those who participate in the jubilee.  A copy of the approval, from the Apostolic Penitentiary is included in this post.  As soon as a translation of the letter is available, I will publish a link to it.  Hopefully, it will be translated into multiple languages.

The Order's website has a whole page dedicated to the jubilee, which will take place over the next year or more.  You can find it here.

The 2016 Breviarium S.O.P. calendar, which I will be publishing shortly through Fr. Augustine Thompson's "Dominican Publications" again this year, will contain the traditional prayers for a General Chapter, which will take place in 2016 in Bologna.

May all of the readers of this blog partake of the wonderful benefits of being members of the timeless Order that Our Holy Father St. Dominic founded, 800 years ago.  And may we all participate, as best we can, in the jubilee celebration of its founding, and our Blessed Mother's patronage over these past 800 years.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

LOST FEASTS: October 31 - Commemoration of the Holy Relics

Collect prayer from the 1909 Breviarium
iuxta ritum 
sacri ordinis, when the feast
was celebrated on October 30.
One of the great tragedies of the 20th century liturgical changes was the "Romanization" of the Dominican calendar that occurred in the revision of 1960, and which is codified in the calendar of the 1962 Breviarium iuxta ritum sacri ordinis praedicatorum.  Many wonderful Dominican feasts were removed from the liturgical calendar of the Order, including those of many Dominican blessed's and many other feasts that were particular to the Dominican Order.One such feast was the Feast of the Holy Relics.

As noted in the Martyrology of the Sacred Order of Friars Preachers (Bonniwell, 1955), this feast was a commemoration of "holy martyrs and of the other saints, whose bodies or relics are preserved in our churches."  In the 1909 Breviarium iuxta ritum sacri ordinis
praedicatorum  the feast is celebrated on October 30, however in the 1924 Breviarium S.O.P. it appears on  October 31, the Vigil of All Saints Day, and remained there until it was removed in 1960.  The feast  had the rank of a totum duplex feast, which in 1962 would have been considered a 1st Class Feast.   For the Office, everything was taken from the Common of Many Martyrs, except the Collect (see below), and lessons 4, 5, and 6 at Matins, which were taken from a tract by St. John Damascene's "De Fide Orthodoxa" .  A commemoration of St. Quintinus was also made.  Interestingly, this feast superseded the Vigil of All Saints at Matins, as noted in the 1924 Breviarium S.O.P., which states "De Vigilia Sanctorum in Officio nihil fit" at the end of the Office.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

NYC Events

A friend sent word of two upcoming Dominican events taking place in New York City, for anyone who may be in the area.

The first will take place at Holy Innocents Church (128 W. 37th Street, New York, NY) on Saturday, October 31.  To close out the month of October, the Regina Angelorum Court of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and the Regina Mundi Praesidium of the Legion of Mary are sponsoring a series of Marian events to be given by Rev. Fr. Innocent Smith, O.P.. 
  • 1:00 PM Votive Mass (OF) of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • 2: 15 PM Lecture on the Rosary
  • 5:15 PM First Vespers of All Saints Day (Latin)

You can download the flyer here.

The second is a Dominican Rite Requiem Mass for the holy souls in Purgatory on Monday, November 16, at the Dominican Church of St. Catherine of Siena (411 East 68th Street, New York, NY).  The Mass will be accompanied by Maurice Duruflé's magnificent setting for the Catholic Mass for the Dead (Requiem Op. 9), which will be sung by the Schola Dominicana of St. Catherine of Siena.  The Mass will be celebrated by Rev. Fr. Innocent Smith, O.P..  A reception will follow the Mass at the Church of St. Catherine of Siena. The Mass and reception will be sponsored by the Catholic Artists Society, the New York Purgatorial Society, and the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny.


You can download the flyer here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

LOST FEAST: The Octave of the Holy Rosary of the B.V.M.


Prior to the revision of the liturgical calendar instituted by Pope St. John XXIII, the Octave of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary would be celebrated today.  This is one of the many octaves that were casualties of the 1961 revision of the calendar.  Owing to the immemorial connection between the Order and the Rosary, this feast was given the highest honor in our calendar.  It had the rank of a totum duplex of the first class, with a solemn octave.  That meant that during each of the days of the Octave, a commemoration of the feast was made at Lauds and Vespers.  On the octave (8th) day, the office of the feast was essentially celebrated again, with minor changes (the II & III Lessons at Matins were different).  I think this is something that could have been retained, particularly the daily commemoration at Lauds and Vespers.

In the previous calendars of the Order, the feast was celebrated on the 1st Sunday of October.  That meant that the Octave was celebrated on the following Sunday.  I could see how this disruption in the Sunday liturgical cycle two weeks in a row would be a problem for some, but with the move of the feast to October 7, the octave would have moved to October 14, which is the feast of St. Calistus, P., M., a III Class feast.  So, to honor the octave, the Office of the feast could be prayed again, but this time with a commemoration of St. Calistus at Lauds and Vespers.

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.  And most especially for Christians be persecuted throughout the world.

Friday, October 9, 2015

October 9: St. Louis Bertrand, C., O.P., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of Saint Louis Bertrand, confessor of the Order of Preachers.  His feast is III Class, so the ordinary office is prayed according to the rubrics.  A commemoration of Ss. Denis, Bishop, and companions is made at Lauds only.  


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October 7: The Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary, I Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary.  The feast is I Class in the calendar of the Order, so the festive office is prayed according to the rubrics.  Traditionally, Dominican Tertiaries would fast on the vigil of this great feast.  The hyms at 1st Vespers, Matins, and Lauds celebrate the three traditional groupings of mysteries...the Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious.  You can download the entire English translation of the office here.

The great feast was announced at Pretiosa yesterday:
The Commemoration of Our Lady of Victory, which Pope Plus V instituted to be made annually, on account of the famous victory gained on this very day by the Christians in a naval battle against the Turks, by the assistance of the same Mother of God. However, Gregory XIII decreed that for the same victory there should be celebrated on the first Sunday of this month the annual solemnity of the Rosary of the Most Blessed Virgin. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October 6: Bl. Bartolo Longo, C., O.P. (Votive)

Today is the feast day of Blessed Bargolo Longo, confessor of the Order of Preachers and a Dominican tertiary.  I will be making a commemoration of his office at Lauds this morning.  He was beatified in 1980 by Pope St. John Paul II, and he joins the magnificent array of blesseds that illuminate our Order.

There is a beautiful post on Bl. Bartolo over at the Vultus Christi blog, by Benedictine Prior Fr. Mark Kirby, which includes the text of the prayer that he composed to Our Lady.  The prayer is called the Supplica, and it is a true gem, inspired by much prayer and penance.

When my wife began practicing Eastern style "meditation", I turned to Bl. Bartolo Longo, the "Apostle of the Rosary" for help.  Of all the saints and blesseds in Heaven, he certainly knows the power of false religions, having been converted by a Dominican Friar away from satanism and back into the safety of Holy Mother Church.

Blessed Bartolo Longo...Apostle of the Rosary...please pray for my wife, and all those who have fallen into the darkness of false spirituality. "O Blessed Rosary of Mary..." be our "Tower of salvation in the assaults of Hell..."

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5: Bl. Raymond of Capua, C., O.P., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of Blessed Raymond of Capua, confessor of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is III Class, so the ordinary office is prayed according to the rubrics.

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


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Dominican Tertiary Indulgence Reminder

Dominican Tertiaries 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 Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Rosary on Wednesday, October 7, 2015.

According to the 1923 "Rule of the Brothers and Sisters of the Secular Third Order of St. Dominic", the Vigil of this feast (October 6) was traditionally a day during which Tertiaries fasted and abstained.

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

Saturday, October 3, 2015

"O Lumen Ecclesiae" at the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D.C.

The New Liturgical Movement has a post on a video produced by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P., showing the closing prayers and antiphons after Compline at the Dominican House of Studies.  The friars came from around the US, and represented all four Provinces.  The occasion for their being together in Washington was the arrival of Pope Francis on his recent visit to the United States.  In the video, they chant the "Sub tuum" in English and then "O lumen ecclesiae" in Latin.  


It is wonderful to see these young friars continuing the tradition of chanting this beautiful antiphon!

Friday, September 18, 2015

September 18: St. John Massias, C., O.P., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of Saint John Massias, a lay brother of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is III Class, and the ordinary office is prayed according to the rubrics.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

September 15: The Seven Sorrows of the B.V.M.

Stemus iuxta crucem cum María Matre Iesu, * Cuius ánima dolóris gládius pertransívit.
Let us stand by the cross with Mary the mother of Jesus, * The sword of sorrow has pierced her soul.


Thus begins Matins for today's feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The feast is II Class, so the Semi-Festive office is prayed according to the rubrics.  I've heard it said that May is the month of Mary, but for me it is September.  This month contains four (4) Marian feasts:

- September 8: Nativity of the B.V.M. (II Class)
- September 12: The Most Holy Name of Mary (III Class)
- September 15:  The Seven Sorrows of the B.V.M. (II Class)
- September 24:  B.V.M. of Ransom (Comm.)

In the Dominican breviary, the feast is II Class as in the Roman, but it contains propers for praying the office as a I Class feast as well.  Thus we have the magnificent responsory at Vespers, which is a solemn acknowledgement of our culpability in causing the suffering of both our Lord and our Lady by our sins:

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Personal Plea For Prayers

When I started this blog in April 2013, I never intended to make it a vehicle for anything other than spreading the word about, and celebrating, the beauty of the traditional Office of the Order of Preachers.  The furthest thing from my mind was to make it a blog about me.  I am still holding to this principle, but I am making an exception to the latter, in that this post has to do with me.

In July, my wife of 12 years filed for divorce.  This was not entirely a surprise, as she has been estranged from me (and to a large extent our two children) for over a year now, but it was still a shock to hear those ugly words and have a process server serve me with an Action for Divorce in front of our home.  The grief and stress, brought on by the struggles of raising an Autistic child took their toll on her, and she fell away from the Faith a few years ago.  In this spiritually defenseless state, she fell prey to a “spiritual advisor” (read spiritual predator) who introduced her to the New Age.  The rest is history.  She rapidly lost her closest friends, as the poisonous doctrines that she consumed turned the once loving and devoted family woman into a sophomoric narcissist, who has no need of anyone since “everything I need for happiness is within me.”

Saturday, September 12, 2015

September 12: The Most Holy Name of Mary, III Class


Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Office, we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary.  I truly love this feast, and I look forward to its return each year.  Like the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, it is a feast that is rich in devotion to our Blessed Lady.  It is also steeped in the glorious history of Christendom.  

The feast was announced in the Martyrology during Pretiosa yesterday:
The feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Sovereign Pontiff, Innocent XI, commanded this feast to be celebrated because of the brilliant victory obtained over the Turks at Vienna in Austria by the help of the Blessed Virgin.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

September 10: Blessed Alphonsus Navarrete, O.P., and Companions, Mm., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of Blessed Alfonso Navarrete and Companions.  The feast is III Class, so the ordinary office is prayed according to the rubrics.  A commemoration is made of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, Confessor.  The lesson at Matins describes the heroic virtue of these martyrs of Japan.  The Dominicans made up a large contingent of those who were killed.  Also represented were the Franciscans, Jesuits, and Augustinians.


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

Sunday, September 6, 2015

2016 Calendar Update

I am just about finished with the 2016 Breviarium S.O.P. calendar.  In addition to the ongoing process of fixing spelling errors and minor rubrical errors, the 2016 edition will contain some new features.

The days for attending Mass, for those who wish to observe the traditional 15 Tuesday's devotion to St. Dominic will be marked on the calendar.  In addition, since a General Chapter will be held in Bologna, Italy to mark the 8th Centenary of the Order, I have included the traditional "Prayers for a General Chapter", which are prayed for one (1) month before the opening of the Chapter.  In addition to the prayers (in Latin and English), I have placed reminders in the calendar itself, so that the reader will know when to pray these prayers.

Making the calendar is a rather fun project, and I do it over the period of a year...working on it here and there when I have time.  Each year, I learn something new about the rubrics for the Breviary.  In some ways though, it is a bit sad to see which feasts will not be celebrated in the coming year.  In 2016, we won't be praying the beautiful office of St. Pius V, one of the four (4) Dominican popes, who looms large in the liturgical history of the Church.  His feast occurs on the same day as the Ascension of Our Lord.  Also, the feast of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces occurs on a Sunday, and so will not be celebrated.  On the other hand, skipping these feasts for one year makes their celebration in 2017 that much more enjoyable.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

September 5: Anniversary of the Associates and Benefactors of our Order

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we commemorate the Anniversary of the Deceased Associates and Benefactors of our Order.  The commemoration is made at Pretiosa as follows:
The Anniversary of the deceased friends and benefactors of our Order. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

August 28: St. Augustine, B., C., D., II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Augustine, Bishop, Confessor, Doctor, and Father of the Church.  A III feast in the Roman Rite, the feast is II Class in the Dominican calendar with its own propers, so the semi-festive office is prayed, according to the rubrics.  This is due to the Order’s association with the Doctor of Grace via the Rule of St. Augustine, which our Holy Father adopted as the Rule for his Order in 1216.  Also, at Pretiosa, the obit is read of Albert de Chiavari of Genoa, 10th Master General of the Order.  


Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17: St. Hyacinth, C., O.P., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Hyacinth.  The feast is III Class so the Ordinary office is prayed according to the rubrics.  Like many III Class feasts of Dominican saints on the calendar, the office for St. Hyacinth contains a full set of propers, as if the office were II Class.  So there are antiphons and responsories at all of the hours, and the Sunday Psalms are prayed at Lauds, rather than the Psalms of the ferial office.

The feast was announced yesterday, at the reading of the Martyrology:
At Cracow in Poland, St. Hyacinth, confessor, of the Order of Preachers. Having received the religious habit from the hands of our Father St. Dominic, he excelled in learning and in a life of admirable innocence. He was celebrated for the glory of his miracles, especially for walking dryshod across wide rivers. Thought deserving of sweet converse with the holy Mother of God, distinguished for his spotless life, and filled with the gifts of the Holy Ghost, he died at an advanced age. He was called to his eternal reward on the very feastday of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was canonized by Pope Clement VIII.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

August 15: Tota pulchra es, amica mea

I just wanted do a quick post about the beauty of 1st Vespers for the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Dominican Rite.

I was home early enough from work yesterday afternoon, so I grabbed my breviary and went out into the backyard to pray 1st Vespers.  More often than not, I get home from work too late to pray Vespers, so it was a rare treat for me.

In particular, I wanted to point out the very long and beautiful super Psalm antiphon that is chanted before chanting the five (5) Laudate Psalms:

Tota pulchra es, amíca mea, et mácula non est in te: favus distíllans lábia tua, mel et lac sub lingua tua: odor unguentórum tuórum super ómnia arómata: iam enim hiems tránsit, imber ábiit et recéssit: flores apparuérunt, víneæ floréntes odórem dedérunt, et vox túrturis audíta est in terra nostra.  Surge, própera, amíca mea: veni de Líbano, veni coronáberis.
You are all fair, my love; there is no flaw in you.  Your lips distil nectar; honey and milk are under your tongue; the fragrance of your oils are better than any spice.  See, the winter has past, the rain is over and gone.  The flowers appear, the vines are in blossom and give forth fragrance, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.  Arise, come, my love, come from Lebanon, come and be crowned.

As is typical of an office of Our Lady, this antiphon consists of a compilation of some sublime allusions to the Blessed Mother in the Song of Songs.  Then, after the Little Chapter, the responsory is equally long:

.  Beáta es, Virgo María, Die Génetrix, quae credidísti Dómino; perfécta sunt in te quæ dicta sunt tibi: ecce exaltáta es super choros Angelórum. * Intercéde pro nobis ad Dóminum Iesum Christum.  . Benedícta et venerábiles es, Virgo María, quæ sine tactu pudóris invénta es Mater Salvatóris. – Intercéde. – Glória. _ Intercéde. 
.  Blessed are you, Mary, who believed in the Lord.  Those things that were spoken to you are fulfilled in you.  Behold, you have been exalted above the choirs of angels. * Intercede for us with the Lord Jesus Christ.  .  You are blessed and worthy of veneration, O Virgin Mary, who, without any violation of purity, were found to be mother of the Savior. – Intercede. – Glory. – Intercede.

This antiphon joins heartfelt praise of Our Lady’s fiat with praise of her miraculous dual state of virgin and mother…Mother of our Savior.

As Dominicans, we have the glorious and blessed Mary, ever Virgin, as our patroness.  Let us always remember to have loving and confident recourse to her, under the protection of her mantle.  And lest we forget, today is one of the days when Holy Mother Church allows us, as Dominican Tertiaries, to obtain a plenary indulgance.


Friday, August 14, 2015

August 15: Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I Class


Recently, while reading "Christ the Savior" by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. on the Assumption of the B.V.M., I came across the following passage:
Therefore the Blessed Virgin Mary, as Mother of the Savior and the new Eve, is also most closely associated with Christ's perfect victory over death, so that "she could not be held down or detained by the bonds of death, " as the liturgy says[19]; otherwise she would have been vanquished by death and would not have been the vanquisher, and her parallelism with Christ's resurrection and ascension, before the general resurrection of the dead, would be destroyed.  Moreover, the exceptional benediction, "blessed art thou among women," excludes the malediction "into dust thou shalt return." (emphasis mine)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Dominican Breviaries for Sale!!!

Father Augustine Thompson, O.P., who runs the Dominican Liturgy blog, is offering a number of copies of the 1967 English Translation of the Dominican Breviary, as well as the 1962 Breviarium iuxta Ritum Ordinis Praedicatorum!  This is an incredible opportunity, and the prices are incredible, considering what you would have to pay for these volumes on the open market.

If you have always wanted a copy of these rare books, now is your chance to pick one up.  At the prices that he is asking, these will not be around very long.

You can purchase them here.

Thank you Fr. Thompson!


Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 8: Blessed Jane of Aza, Mother of Our Holy Father St. Dominic, Commemoration

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we make a commemoration of Blessed Jane of Aza, mother of Our Holy Father St. Dominic. Since today is Saturday, the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday 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 obit of Hugh de Vaucemain of France, sixteenth Master General of the Order of Preachers is read.






From the Martyrology:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August 4: Our Holy Father St. Dominic, C., O.P., I Class

O happy parent, Spain, rejoice in giving to the world the joy of new offspring!  But, rejoice still more, Bologna, because you are favored with the glory of so great a father.  O universal Mother Church, sing in praise as you celebrate the festival of this new source of fame!  (Super psalmos antiphon to the Laudate psalms at First Vespers.)

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3: Vigil of Our Holy Father St. Dominic

Technically, there is no day on the Dominican liturgical calendar for the vigil of our Holy Founder's feast day, but I thought it a good day to make some observations concerning the office for his feast.

It is my hope that this blog will continue to inspire Dominicans, of all three orders, to rediscover their magnificent and unique liturgical patrimony, that was so abruptly and imprudently abandoned in the turbulent 1960's.



Actually, the office begins today.  In the morning, after Lauds or Prime, we announce the great feast at the beginning of Pretiosa, during the reading of the Martyrology:
At Bologna, our most holy Father St. Dominic, confessor and founder of the Order of Friars Preachers. He was most illustrious, being distinguished by nobility of birth, sanctity and learning.  Until death he preserved without stain his virginity and by the singular grace of his merits he raised three persons from the dead. By his preaching he curbed heresies and established many persons in a religious and godly manner of life. On August 6, his soul soared to heaven, there to receive a reward commensurate with his extraordinary works. His feast, however, is celebrated on this day, by an ordinance of Pope Paul IV.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Dominican Tertiary Indulgence Alerts!

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 Our Holy Father St. Dominic on August 4th (if you are attending a Dominican Rite Mass or Roman Rite Mass in the Extraordinary Form) or August 8 (if you are attending a Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite).

Dominican Tertiaries (Lay Dominicans) are reminded that a plenary indulgence may also 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 Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 15.

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

Thursday, July 30, 2015

July 30: Bl. Mannes, C., O.P., Commemoration

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we make a commemoration of Blessed Mannes, Confessor, of the Order of Preachers.  Since today is a ferial day, the ferial office is prayed according to the rubrics, and a commemoration is made of Bl. Manes at Lauds only.  In addition, a commemoration is made at Lauds of Ss. Abdon and Sennen, Martyrs.

Yesterday, we read from the "Martyrology of the Sacred Order of Friars Preachers":
At Calaruega in Spain, Blessed Mannes, brother of our Father St. Dominic. He possessed sincerity and simplicity to a high degree, and was devoted to contemplation. Rich in merit and renowned for his miracles, he died a holy death in the Cistercian monastery of St. Peter at Gamiel.
From “Short Lives of the Dominican Saints” (London, Kegan Paul, Trench, and Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1901):

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Compline of Saturday & the Litany of the B.V.M.

A few years ago, while sitting down to pray Compline on a Saturday night after the children went to bed, I was arranging the ribbons and came across something that I had never noticed before in the Dominican Breviary.  The Psalter ends at Compline on Saturday, and the three psalms and their antiphon are contained on pages 214 - 215.  Since there is no reason, then, to flip that page, I never did.  But that night I flipped over the page, to see if there was anything there, and I came across this rubric:

On every Saturday throughout the year, after the recitation of the Hail O Queen, with its . Permit, and the prayer Grant we besech you, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin and the invocation Mary, maid with its . and prayer, p. 28* are said in choir.

Lo and behold!  Purely by accident, I stumbled across a wonderful devotion that has been a part of the Dominican Breviary for 400 years!  So on Saturdays throughout the year, after the Salve Regina and the versicle and prayer that follow, the commemoration of St. Dominic is not made.  In its place, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin is prayed.  This makes complete sense when you consider that, since time immemorial, the Church has always considered Saturdays to be especially devoted to the Our Lady.  And what better way to end the week, then to sing the praises of the Mother of God, who spreads forth her mantle of protection over the entire Order.