Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Ferial Office During Advent

This year, during the season of Advent, we will pray the ferial office 13 time.  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 Isiah 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 is III Class, until December 17.  During these days, when a III Class feast is celebrated, a commemoration is made of the ferial day at Lauds and Vespers.  From December 17 through December 23, the ferial days are 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.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Advent Is Upon Us! Are You "Excited"?

Excita!  Are you "excited"?  Advent is upon us, and the word "excita" is very prominent in the liturgy at this time of year.  This afternoon, we switch to Volume I of the Dominican Breviary, for 1st Vespers of the 1st Sunday of Advent.

This holy season is intended to prepare us by rousing (stirring) up sentiments of contrition and hope in us, as we count down the weeks till we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Contrition for our sins, and hope in the Child Jesus, who is our salvation.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

St. Catherine of Alexandria, 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 and therefore the ordinary office is prayed according to the rubrics.

There are a number of non Dominican saints whose feast days are, nevertheless, "emphasized" on the liturgical calendar of the Order of Preachers.  Examples of these are St. Augustine, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Mary Magdalene.  One such saint is the illustrious philosopher and virgin, who shed her blood for the Truth, St. Catherine of Alexandria.

In times past, her feast was celebrated as a totum duplex feast, making approximately it equivalent to a 1st Class Feast in the 1961 rubrics.  A commemoration was made of the octave of her feast day on December 2. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Coming Soon! The 2015 Breviarium S.O.P. Liturgical Calendar

A heartfelt "thank you" to everyone who purchased our 2014 calendar, for praying the 1962 Dominican Rite Breviary!  For 2015, we are publishing it again, but with a small modification.  In addition to an English translation of the Office of Pretiosa, we are also including an English translation of the Office of Prime, according to the Dominican Rite.  These two offices were left out of the 2-volume 1967 Dominican Breviary published by St. Saviour's Press.  We have also edited out some of the grammatical and spelling errors that found their way into the 2014 edition.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

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.  The feast is II Class and therefore the semi-festive office is prayed according to the rubrics.

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.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

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 according to the rubrics, and at Lauds a commemoration is made of St. Brice, Bishop and Confessor.  At Pretiosa, the Anniversary is announced as follows:

The Anniversary of the Brothers and Sisters of our Order. 
At Pretiosa, Psalm 129 is prayed, per the rubrics for the day of an Anniversary.  Afterwards, the Prayer for an Anniversary is prayed.

O God, Lord of mercies, give to the souls of your servants, whose anniversary we keep, the home of refreshment, the blessedness of peace and the  brightness of light.  Through our Lord...

The Office of the Dead is also prayed, if not during the day, at least within the same week.

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.

From "Liturgical Meditations for the Entire Year" by the Sisters of St. Dominic, Adrian, MI (B. Herder, 1960):

The magnanimous spirit of our Order inspires devotion to the holy souls in purgatory. Love for the Church suffering, deeply rooted in the soul of St. Dominic, has been preserved for centuries in the traditions, Constitutions, and liturgy of the Order of Preachers. Today throughout our Order the Mass and Office of the Dead will be offered for the souls of Dominican priests, brothers, and sisters, who are now awaiting their release from the pains of purgatory. 
Our Dominican brothers and sisters are asking today for our prayers. The Office of the Dead is one contribution we can make to their needs, but it is very little compared with what we have within our means to give. Because it is the special suffrage assigned by our Constitutions, we owe it as a matter of justice. If we look forward to the careful performance of this duty today, we shall find it a joy to offer this and and many other acts of prayer and charity for the souls of our beloved departed. "O God, the giver of pardon and the author of human salvation, we beseech Thy clemency to admit the brothers and sisters of our the fellowship of eternal bliss" (Office of the Dead).
The souls in purgatory are making reparation for the temporal punishment due to their sins.  As some sins are more serious than others, the punishment for some is of longer duration.  Likewise some sins are of greater adherence in the soul than others, according as man is attached to them and more inclined to commit them.  Therefore the sins that adhere more strongly to the soul are purged more slowly (Summa Theologica, Supplement, Appendix II, a.8.).
From this teaching of St. Thomas we learn that we must never cease to pray for our departed brothers and sisters, because they may be detained for a long time in purgatory. Although they lived holy lives and served God faithfully, attachment to venial sins may be separating them from the beatific vision. Let us be generous in our prayers for them and honest in our examination of conscience lest attachment to sloth, criticism, and disobedience may become habitual in our lives and require a lengthy and painful purgatory."We offer to Thee, O Lord, sacrifice of praise and prayers; do Thou receive them in behalf of those souls whom we commemorate this day." (Offeratory of the Mass for the Dead).

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November 5: St. Martin de Pores, C., O.P., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Martin de Pores.  The feast is III Class so the Ordinary Office is prayed according to the rubrics.  Like many III Class feasts, the Office contains a full set of propers as if it was a II Class feast.  At Lauds, the Psalms of Sunday are prayed. 

From the Martyrology:
At Lima in South America, [Saint] Martin de Porres, a tertiary of the Order of Preachers. Having pronounced his solemn vows to God, he united integrity of life so perfectly with the most severe penances, that both before and after death he merited to become famous for his miracles.
From “Short Lives of the Dominican Saints” (London, Kegan Paul, Trench, and Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1901):