Thursday, August 5, 2021

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. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

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.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

July 6: Anniversary Of Those Buried In Our Cemeteries

 

Tangipahoa Parish
Louisiana  USA
On this day, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, the anniversary of those buried in the cemeteries of the Order are remembered.

"Dear Brother and Sister Tertiaries, you have come into an Order which is devoted to the dead.  You will eventually profit by it, and in the meantime the Rule requires you to do your part to maintain this devotion".

Thus Fr. F.D. Joret, O.P., begins his Chapter entitled "Prayer For Our Dead", in his wonderful book "Dominican Life" (The Newman Bookshop, 1947).  He then proceeds to describe each of the four Anniversaries during which the Order prays for her dead.  Of today's Anniversary, he writes:

Friday, May 14, 2021

The Ferial Office in Ascension-tide

 We are now in the brief liturgical season of Ascensiontide.  In the Dominican Breviary, the ferial office in Ascension season is similar to that of the Roman Breviary, with slight differences. The invitatory at Matins is different, as is the Benedictus antiphon at Lauds is different, and the hymn at Vespers, to name a few.

Though this season is short, and is overshadowed by the looming arrival of Pentecost, it is a beautiful liturgical season nonetheless.  The ferial days in Ascensiontide are IV Class, so when a III Class feast occurs on the calendar, no commemoration is made of the ferial office.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

May 8: Blessed Virgin Mary - Mediatrix of All Graces, III Class

 Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Mediatrix of All Graces.  The feast is III Class, so the Ordinary Office is prayed.  Like many III Class feasts in the Dominican Breviary, this office contains the a significant amount of beautiful propers, as if the feast were II Class.  At Lauds, the Psalms of Sunday are prayed.

May is the month of Mary, our blessed Lady and Mother of God.  Today we celebrate a wonderful Marian feast, with a beautiful Office. It honors our Blessed Lady's role in the salvation of mankind as mother of our Savior, and recognizes her universal mediation in the dispensing of all graces that come to us from Our Lord Jesus Christ.  In his encyclical Octobri Mense (On the Rosary, September 22, 1891), Pope Leo XIII declared "We may affirm that nothing, by the will of God, is given to us without Mary's mediation, in such way that just as no one can approach the almighty Father but through His Son, like wise no one, so to speak, can approach Christ but through His Mother".

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

May 5: St. Pius V, P., C., O.P., II Class

 Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Pius V, Pope and Confessor, of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is II Class, so the semi-festive office is prayed according to the rubrics

St. Pius V is one of my favorite saints (I often wonder if that is a Dominican Breviary in his hand in the photo above!).  Anyone who has been unwillingly thrust into a position of leadership, can sympathize with this humble man who wanted nothing more than to be a humble Dominican friar, yet found himself enmeshed in world affairs.  He is also another example of a canonized Inquisitor, the presence of whose feast in the liturgical calendar helps to dispel some of the toxic myths that the enemies of the Church have spread to further their war against almighty God and his one true Church.

As surprising as it may seem, given the reputation this holy Pope and friary had, it took nearly a century and a half after his death before he was canonized!  In his "History of the Dominican Liturgy", Fr. William Bonniwell, O.P., relates the story of his canonization:

Friday, April 30, 2021

April 30: St, Catherine of Siena, V., D., O.P., I Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the illustrious St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin, Doctor of the Church, Patroness of the Third Order of St. Dominic. At the time the 1962 Dominican Breviary was published, her feast was II Class, though it could be celebrated as I Class by Tertiaries and Churches which bore her name. By the time of the publication of the English translations of the Breviarium S.O.P., the Order raised her feast to I Class. Accordingly, the festive office is prayed according to the rubrics.