Thursday, August 15, 2019

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


Last year, 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)

Sunday, August 11, 2019

LOST FEAST: August 11: The Octave of our Holy Father St. Dominic

Prior to the revision of the Breviary and liturgical calendar instituted by Pope St. Pius XII, the Octave of Our Holy Father St. Dominic would be celebrated today, August 11.  This would be the final act in our long celebration of the feast of St. Dominic.  A fitting tribute to the saintly founder of the Order of Preachers, if I do say so myself.  When you add up all of the preparation (the 15 Tuesdays, the Novena, the feast itself, the commemoration in the octave, and finally, the octave day itself) it is a sure and salutary means of developing a loving devotion to our holy father through our liturgical celebrations.

In the pre-1962 Breviarium S.O.P.'s, the feast had the rank of "solemne", which would be considered at least a 2nd Class Feast in the ranking system that was adopted with the 1962 breviary.  For Lauds, Vespers, and the little hours, the office of the feast was prayed.  At Lauds, a commemoration was made of St. Tiburtius.  At Matins the office was that of three (3) lessons.  For the first nocturn, the responsories are proper, and the lessons from the previous Sunday are used.  At the second nocturn, the lessons and the responsories are proper; the lessons being taken from the life of St. Dominic by Theodoric.  The third nocturn is like the first, with the responsories being proper, but the Gospel and homily on the Gospel are taken from the previous Sunday.

At Pretiosa, on August 10, the octave was announced thus "The Octave day of our holy Father Dominic. A solemn octave."

Monday, August 5, 2019

LOST TRADITIONS: August 5 - 11: Octave of Our Holy Father St. Dominic

Prior to the revision of the Breviary instituted by Pope Pius XII, the Octave of Our Holy Father St. Dominic would be celebrated from August 5 till August 11.   This is one of the many octaves of the Dominican saints that were casualties of the liturgical revisions of the mid-20th centuries.  Not all of the Dominican saints had "solemn" octaves after their feast day, but the major ones like St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Sienna, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Peter Martyr did.

Once again, I will restate my bewilderment at the Order giving up some of these wonderful feast days on their calendar, when the calendar was updated in 1961.  Even if they wanted to reduce the sanctorale a bit, to make room for new saints and the ferial office, they could still mark the octave of our Holy Father's feast day with a commemoration at Lauds and Vespers.

On August 5, at Pretiosa, we read in the Martyrology for August 6 the commemoration of his death on the actual day that he passed to his eternal reward:
At Bologna, the birthday of St. Dominic, confessor and founder of the Order of Friars Preachers. He was a man of great renown for holiness and learning. Until death he preserved without stain his virginity, and by the singular grace of his merits raised three dead men to life. By his preaching he curbed heresies, and established many persons in a religious and godly manner of life. He died on this day, but his festival, by an ordinance of Pope Paul IV, is celebrated on August 4.
At the very least, the extension of Our Holy Father's solemn feast day is a wonderful way in which to deepen our devotion to him.  Every day during the octave, a commemoration was made at Lauds and Vespers using the proper versicle/responsory, Benedictus/Magnificat antiphons from the Dominican Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the collect from the feast. 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

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.)

Saturday, August 3, 2019

August 3: The Vigil of the Feast of St. Dominic

After weeks of preparation, including the 15 Tuesday's devotion to St. Dominic, and the Novena to our Holy Father, we have arrived at the eve before his feast day! (Yes...I know this is not an actual "vigil").  Traditionally, this was also a day of fasting and abstinence for Tertiaries of our Order.  At Pretiosa today, we announce the feast to be celebrated tomorrow:
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. A totum duplex feast of the first class with a solemn octave.

That last sentence is a holdover from the pre-1961 calendar, when a solemn octave was celebrated for 8 days after his feast day. On August 5, I will be posting on the manner of celebrating the octave of his feast according to the 1909 Breviarium juxta ritum sacri ordinis praedicatorum.

The office begins at 1st Vespers with the super psalm antiphon....Gaude (O happy parent, Spain,...), followed by the special arrangement of Psalms that are used in the Dominican Office for 1st Class feasts (Psalms 112, 116, 145, 146, & 147, a.k.a, the "laudate Psalms).

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

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):

Friday, July 26, 2019

Novena To Our Holy Father St. Dominic: July 26 - August 3

Next Tuesday, August, is the last Tuesday of our 15 Tuesdays' devotion in honor of Our Holy Father St. Dominic that we began way back in April.  And today happens to be the first day of the traditional Novena to St. Dominic, if you follow the liturgical calendar of the Order from the 1962 Breviarium juxta ritum sacri ordinis praedicatorum as we do here.   We will say this prayer every day from July 26 through August 3...the Vigil of our Holy Father's feast.  On August 3, we will announce his feast at Pretiosa (after Lauds or Prime) and then at 1st Vespers, the liturgical office of his feast begins.  (If you follow the new liturgical calendar, the novena begins on July 30, to coincide with the new date for St. Dominic's feast on August 8).

Though this novena prayer does not appear in the Breviarium S.O.P. it is, nevertheless, a wonderful exercise of piety to our Holy Father St. Dominic, who we know advocates for all of us in heaven before the throne of our Lord Jesus Christ.

O renowned champion of the faith of Christ, most holy Saint Dominic, who didst renounce the honour and dignity of an earthly principality to embrace the poor, laborious, and mortified life which should distinguish a disciple of Him Who has said: "If any man will come after Me, let him take up his cross and follow Me."
O burning torch, who being thyself consumed with the fire of divine love, didst incessantly labor to enkindle that sacred flame in the hearts of others, look down upon me from that throne of glory where thou enjoyest the reward of all thy labors, and obtain that some sparks of that blessed fire may be lighted in my soul, to animate and encourage me under any crosses or trials with which it shall please the divine goodness to visit me.
Thou, O great Saint, regardest as nothing all the afflictions thou didst endure, and all the toils thou didst undergo for the promotion of God's holy cause; obtain, I beseech Thee, that the same ardent love which strengthened thee, may make sweet to me labors, humiliations, disgraces, or whatever other mortification's I may have to suffer for the Name of Jesus. May I ever bear in mind that nothing can happen to me but by the particular dispensation of a God Who is infinitely wise, and therefore knows what is best for my welfare; infinitely powerful, and consequently able to effect it; and above all, infinitely merciful and loving, Who has laid down His life for my redemption, and continues daily to give new proofs of His love and bounty.
O tender Father of the poor who, when all other resources were exhausted, didst offer thyself for their relief, obtain for me that true spirit of compassion for the suffering members of Jesus Christ, which shone forth so conspicuously in thy holy life. May I, by charity to those whom Jesus so dearly loves, lay up for myself treasures in heaven, where thou now enjoyest that which the eye hath not seen, nor the ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, but which God has prepared for those who love Him, and who prove themselves His Disciples by the observance of His Divine precept "love one another."
I praise and thank God for the high degree of sanctity to which He had raised thee, and the special privileges by which He has distinguished thee. I conjure thee, by that gratitude with which thou shalt for all eternity be penetrated for thy Divine Benefactor, implore for me the grace to root out of my heart whatever is not agreeable in His sight, especially that evil habit by which I most frequently offend Him. Obtain likewise the favors I request in this Novena, through thy powerful intercession.
(Mention your intentions here)
O glorious Mother of God, Queen of the most sacred Rosary, thou who didst love Dominic with the affection of a mother, and were most tenderly loved and honored by him, look upon me, for his sake, with an eye of pity, deign to join with him in presenting these petitions to thy most Blessed Jesus. I sincerely desire from this moment to love Him with all my heart, and serve Him with all my strength, and now place myself under thy powerful protection, as a sure means of obtaining all the graces necessary to serve Him faithfully here, that I may eternally rejoice with Him hereafter. Amen.