Thursday, January 2, 2020

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:

Sunday, December 22, 2019


Just in time for the New Year (barely)!  Once again, I barely made it this year!  Nevertheless, I am pleased to announce the completion of the 2020 Dominican Rite Calendar, for praying the 1962 Dominican Breviary.  The Calendar is now available from Fr. Augustine Thompson's "Dominican Liturgy Publications" at Lulu.

As usual, the calendar also includes notations for the 15 Tuesdays devotion to Our Holy Father St. Dominic and other items of interest for members of the Order of Preachers.

The calendar is based on the Dominican Rite Liturgical Calendar that Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P. prepares every year.  The format is similar to that of the Ordo published by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.  The calendar contains the entire liturgical year, according to the 1962 Breviarii Iuxta Ritum Ordinis Preædicatorum, updated with the most recent canonizations of Dominican saints.

December 22: The Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Comm.

Happy Anniversary to the Order of Preachers!

I say it every year, and I will say it again, I so thoroughly and truly enjoy this feast (even though, sadly, we do not actually celebrate it this year since it falls on a Sunday of Advent).  As a member of the Order, it brings me great joy to know that I am part of a family that is now overs 800 year old, and which has been endowed by almighty God with so many holy men and women.  It is also a great joy to me that there is a specific date which serves as the birthday, so to speak, for the Order, and that it is marked by acknowledging Our Lady's patronage over this magnificent religious order founded by Out Holy Father, St. Dominic.  The office for Ember Saturday in Advent is prayed, and a commemoration of the feast is made at Lauds only.

Friday, December 6, 2019

December 6: St. Nicholas, B., C., III Class

Though not exclusively a Dominican saint, I have, for the past few years, posted on some of the interesting connections between the Order and St. Nicholas.

Per tradition, I always post on what I see as "links" between St. Nicholas, who's feast we celebrate today, and the Dominican Order.  The feast of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, is one of my favorite non-Dominican feasts in the liturgical calendar.  It holds the liturgical rank of III Class, as in the Roman Rite, but unlike the latter rite the Dominican Breviary contains a near-complete set of propers, as if the feast were II Class (you can download the text of the propers here, taken from the 1967 English Translation of the Breviarium S.OP.).

I have stumbled across a number of connections between St. Nicholas and our holy Order.  I wrote did a post about how the feast of St. Nicholas was elevated to a totum duplex (1st Class) feast.  The next year, I did a post on how the famous mystical experience which ended St. Thomas Aquinas' prolific theological writing occurred on the feast of St. Nicholas, right after the Angelic Doctor finished offering the Mass of this saint.  I also did a  posted on the fact that, when St. Dominic was approaching death, and was too ill to walk, he was carried by the brethren by stretcher to the Church of St. Nicholas in Bologna.  And there, surrounded by his fellow friars, he passed to his eternal reward.  Finally, in 2018, I posted on a scholarly article which suggested that the famous O lumen ecclesiae antiphon for the office of St. Dominic may have borrowed heavily from an existing antiphon guessed it, the office of St. Nicholas (O Christi Pietas).  You can find it here.

As always, I remind anyone who reads this blog to check out the website of a wonderful organization called The St. Nicholas Center, who contacted me two years ago to ask if they could include my post from last year on St. Nicholas and the Dominicans on their website.  I was happy to oblige.  This organization seeks to promote and educate the world on this wonderful saint, who is the inspiration for Santa Claus.


O God, you adorned the blessed bishop Nicholas with countless miracles; grant, we beseech you, that through his merits and prayers, we may be delivered from the flames of hell.  Through our Lord...

Monday, December 2, 2019

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.

Monday, November 25, 2019

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.

Friday, November 15, 2019

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.