Monday, November 28, 2016

The Ferial Office During Advent

From “Missale Sacri Ordinis Praedicatorum"; 1933
This year, during the season of Advent, we will pray the ferial office 12 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.  The preces are prayed on all of these ferial days.

Friday, November 25, 2016

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 partial set of propers (the office did not include proper antiphons for the psalms of Matins, and only included three of the original nine responsories).  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.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

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.  Next Saturday evening, 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.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

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.

Monday, November 14, 2016

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

In the annals of the traditional Dominican liturgical calendar, this feast may rank as one of the shortest lived.  In the early 20th century, rather than celebrating the VI Sunday after the Epiphany yesterday, the Order would have celebrated the feast of 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. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

November 13: Anniversary of the Brothers and Sisters

Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P., Flickr
Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we commemorate the Anniversary of the Deceased Brothers and Sisters of our Order. The Sunday Office is prayed for the VI Sunday after the Epiphany according to the rubrics, The commemoration of our deceased brothers and sisters is made at Pretiosa.

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.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

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.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

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):