Saturday, January 28, 2017

LOST FEASTS: January 28: Translation of the Relics of St. Thomas Aquinas

One of the casualties of the revision of the Breviary undertaken by St. Pius X, was the feast of the Translation of the Relics of St. Thomas Aquinas.  To commemorate the transferal of the Angelic Doctor's relics to Toulouse on January 28, 1369, the general chapter of that year, with the permission of Pope Urban V, instituted a liturgical feast on January 28.  The feast was given the rank of totum duplex.  A commemoration was also made of the "second feast" of St. Agnes on this day.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The "Modus Terminandi Horas" - UPDATE

Last year, when I had received my Volume II of the 1909 Breviarium S.O.P., among the many treasures that I discovered between its covers, were the "Modus Terminandi Horas"...a set of versicles, responses, antiphons and prayers that, according to the rubrics, were prayed at the end of each hour, Compline being the only exception.

Recently, while flipping through Fr. William Bonniwell's "History of the Dominican Liturgy" (1944) again, I stumbled across a passage which indicates the origin of these least most of them.

While writing about the infamous dispute between Pope John XXII and orthodox theologians regarding the particular judgement, he notes how a Dominican master of theology at Avignon denounced the Popes opinion, and was cast into a dungeon at the Popes command.

Fr. Bonniwell continues:  "This ungenerous conduct on the part of the Pope estranged the Dominicans who, as we shall presently see, had lately suffered greatly in his defense.  As relations grew more and more bitter between the Pope and the Order, the chapter of 1334 directed the friars to recommence the litany and to add a new prayer to the Divine Office:
Because our Order places its trust in a most special way in the protection of the glorious Virgin, in this regard following the example of our holy fathers, we desire and ordain for the peace and safety of our Order that, whenever the Fidelium is said in choir at the end of the hours, immediately after it the friars are to recite, while kneeling, the Salve Regina, with the versicle Ora pro nobis, and the versicle Esto nobis Domine, with the prayer, Protege Domine and Ecclesiae tuae...This does not apply to compline, when the Salve is sung" (Acta Cap. Gen., II, 223.)
Now if you look at the prayers at the end of the Psalter in the 1909 Breviarium, you see the Salve Regina, the versicle Ora pro nobis (though it is addressed to St. Dominic, not the Blessed Mother), and the prayers, Protege Domine and Ecclesiae tuae..  Missing from the list from the Chapter of 1334 is the versicle Esto nobis Domine.  Numerous other versicles were added, I suppose, over time.

So it appears that the inclusion of these prayers after the hours dates from the early 14 Century, and the Order's conflict with an Avignon Pope and his heterodox opinion.  And, as it has done for 800 years now, when the Order finds itself under siege, whether it be by a Pope or the Devil, it always turns with love and confidence to our Blessed Lady, Patroness of the Order of Preachers.

Monday, January 23, 2017

January 23: St. Raymond of Pennafort, C., O.P., II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Raymond of Pennafort, Confessor, of the Order of Preachers. At the time the 1962 Breviary was published, his feast was III Class and contained a near complete set of propers for the entire office. So the semi-festive office is prayed, according to the rubrics. Between then, and the printing of the 1967 English translation of the Breviary, the Order made his feast II Class. At Lauds, the Psalms of Sunday are prayed and a commemoration of St. Emerentiana, virgin and martyr is made.

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January 18: St. Margaret of Hungary, V., O.P., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Margaret of Hungary, virgin, of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is III Class, and the office is prayed according to the rubrics.  Most of the office is proper, and is taken from the Proper of the Saints, and at Lauds the Psalms of Sunday are prayed.  At Lauds and Vespers a commemoration is made of St.  Prisca, virgin and martyr.  At Pretiosa, the obit of Barnabas of Vercelli, 15th Master General of the Order is read.

This is one of my favorite feasts on the Dominican calendar.  This saintly heir to the Hungarian throne is one of the numerous saints who adorn the liturgical calendar who sprang from royal blood.  We live in a time of political confusion and darkness.  We also live in an era in which there is great misunderstanding, akin to myth or even superstition, regarding the historical monarchical form of  government which is part of the glorious heritage of Christendom.  Saints like St. Margaret of Hungary, along with countless other examples of royalty being raised to the altars of the Church, attest to the fact that not all kings and queens were tyrants or scoundrels.   Indeed, the propers for today's feast are replete with examples of her sanctity from the accounts of her life, and attest to the level of sanctity that she achieved through her glorious union with Almighty God.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Ferial Office During Epiphanytide

This year, during the season of the Epiphany (January 6 through January 12), we will pray the ferial office 4 times.  In the Dominican Breviary, the ferial office in Epiphany season is similar to that of the Roman Breviary, with slight differences.  The hymn at Lauds is different, as are some of the versicles.

The ferial days in Epiphany-tide are IV Class, so when a III Class feast occurs on the calendar, no commemoration is made of the ferial office.

January is a nice month in the Dominican sanctorale, even in the 1962 calendar.  The month starts off with St. Zedislavae Berkianae, Mat., O.P. on January 3.  Next up is St. Francis de Capillis and St. Peter Sanz and Companions on January 15 (impeded this year by a Sunday).  Traditionally, January 15 was the feast of Bl. Francis de Capillis.  However, when St. Peter Sanz and his companions were canonized in 2000, being martyrs of China they were grouped together with St. Francis, who is considered the protomartyr of China.  Next comes St. Margaret of Hungary on January 18, one of the numerous saints of the Hungarian nobility, and a personal favorite of mine.  Finally, on January 23, we have the feast of St. Raymond of Pennafort, patron saint of canon lawyers.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

January 3: St. Zedislavae Berkianae, Mat., O.P., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Zedislavae Berkianae, Matron of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is III Class, so the ordinary office is prayed.  All is taken from the Office of a a Non-Virgin outside Paschaltide, except for the Collect prayer below.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Ferial Office During Christmastide

In the 1962 Breviarium S.O.P., the ferial days of Christmastide (January 2-5) contained no feast days of saints or blesseds, so the ferial day was prayed on each of those days, unless one of them fell on Sunday.  The liturgical rank of these ferial days was IV Class.  Of course, in previous editions of the Breiary, January 2 was the feast of Blessed Stephana Quinzani and January 3 was the feast of St. (then blessed) Zedislavae Berkianae.  On my calendar, I follow Fr. Augustine Thompson rule of including the Dominican saints who were merely blessed in the older calendar.  

So I add St. Zedislavae back into the calendar, even though she was removed in the 1962 revision.

The Christmastide ferial office is is prayed as follows: