Thursday, December 1, 2022

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.  Since it is a Saturday, the Saturday office of the Blessed Virgin Mary is prayed, and the commemoration of Blessed John is made at Lauds only, since we celebrate the 1st Sunday of Advent at 1st Vespers this evening.  At Pretiosa, the obit of Thomas Turco of Cremona, 56th Master General of the Order is read.

Although Humbert de Romans is generally regarded as the “father” of the Dominican Rite of Mass and Office, it was Blessed John of Vercelli who, in the year 1267, petitioned Pope Clement IV to formally approve the Dominican Office.  Pope Clement IV did so in the Bull "Consurgit in nobis", issued on July 7, 1267.  He is also the founder of the Holy Name Society.

Monday, November 28, 2022

The Ferial Office During Advent

 

From “Missale Sacri Ordinis Praedicatorum"; 1933
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.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Conference on Medieval Dominican Liturgy, March 6-7, 2023, Toronto

For those of you who may not be aware, Fr. Augustine Thompson, OP, is now the President of The Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies at the University of Toronto (founded by Etienne Gilson). The Institute is holding an International Conference on Medieval Dominican Liturgy, scheduled to coincide with the traditional feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, March 5 to 7, 2023. This conference will include papers by scholars from all around the world who have made major contributions to the study of medieval Dominican liturgy. That program may also be downloaded here.

This conference is open to the general public, and there is no registration fee, although those who wish to attend the sessions must register by sending an email to the PIMS Executive Assistant, Ms. Cynthia Watson. Reduced-rate rooms (limited number) are still available at the conference hotel. Should you want one, please mention this in your registration-request email. Note also that the two public liturgies in the Dominican Rite, the First Vespers and the Solemn Mass of Thomas Aquinas, are both open to the general public without need for registration. They will be held at St. Basil’s Collegiate Church, St. Michael’s College, Toronto ON---for more information, see the program:

Friday, November 25, 2022

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.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

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.  In the 1909 Breviarium S.O.P., his feast had the rank of totum duplex, yet propers for the office were minimal.  There wasn't even a proper collect prayer for his feast; the prayer used was one of the prayers from the Common of a Confessor.  I also noticed this morning that for some reason, the 1967 English translation of the 1962 Breviarium omits the propers for 1st Vespers (for those who may celebrate his feast as a 1st Class feast), which I do not understand at all.

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.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

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 and a commemoration of St. Brice is made at Lauds. 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, 2022

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.