Saturday, February 27, 2016

Compline During Lent - III Sunday of Lent to Passion Sunday

As we work out way gradually through the holy season of Lent, the Dominican Breviary refreshes us with a new Nunc dimittis antiphon beginning tonight at Compline.  We will use this antiphon up till the Saturday before Passion Sunday exclusive.

This time, the antiphon is the famous "Media vita", which is a humble acknowledgement of our utter helplessness against the power of sin and a somber plea for help from our "Holy God, holy Mighty One, holy and merciful Savior ."  This antiphon is actually an old responsory, and it is said that when chanting it, St. Thomas Aquinas was brought to tears.

This antiphon could easily be our mantra throughout the year and we can draw much spiritual fruit from meditating on it. May St. Thomas pray for us, that we be granted the grace to feel true sorrow for our sins, to repent for them, and for the grace to turn to God in our weakness and frailty.

St. Thomas Aquinas...pray for us.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

February 17: Blessed Reginald, C., O.P., Commemoration

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we commemorate the feast of Blessed Reginald, confessor of the Order of Preachers.  The ferial office of Lent is prayed (Psalm scheme II, preces, proper antiphon at Bened. and Magnif., and proper collect of the day), and the commemoration is made at Lauds and Vespers with the propers given in the Proper of the Saints.

From the Martyrology:
At Paris, Blessed Reginald, confessor. He was dean of the Church of St. Aignan in Orleans. While at Rome, he received from the hands of our holy Father Dominic, the Dominican habit which the glorious Virgin Mary had shown him a short time before when he was dangerously ill.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

1959 St. Dominic Hand Missal Online!

 Fr. Augustine Thompson posted about this on his Dominican Liturgy blog and New Liturgical Movement as well.

Thanks for the generous effort of Fr Sebastian White, O.P, a pdf of the 1959 St. Dominic Hand Missal is now available on line.  This is the Missal that I have, and it is a treasure trove of liturgical Dominicana!  What is really cool about this edition is that its calendar, and hence the sanctorale and temporale, include all of the Dominican saints and blesseds, as they were celebrated on the eve of the calendar update in 1960 which saw so many of their feasts removed.

It also contains the proper Mass prefaces for the feasts of St. Dominic, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Francis of Assisi.  There are also votive Masses, including a privileged one for Our Lady of the Rosary.

Unlike your typical Roman Missal, this one has the English on top of the page and the Latin on the bottom.  I use mine whenever I attend a Dominican Rite Mass.

I am going to add it to the "Dominican Downloads" tab of my blog.  You can download it here.

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15: Blessed Henry Suso, C., O.P., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of Blessed Henry Suso, confessor of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is III Class and the ordinary office is prayed according to the rubrics.  What is proper to the feast is given in the Proper of the Saints.

The Ferial Office During Lent

It seems as though we were just celebrating Christmas.  Already, the wheel of the liturgical year has moved through the seasons of the Epiphany and Septuagesima, and now we stand at the threshold of the holy season of Lent.

This year, during the season of Lent, we will pray the ferial office 23 times.  In the Dominican Breviary, the ferial office in Lent season is similar to that of the Roman Breviary, with slight differences.

The ferial days in Lent (Quadragesima) are III Class, and take precedence over III Class feasts of saints and blesseds.  So when the III Class feast of a saint or blessed occurs on the calendar, a commemoration is made of that feast.

February and March are wonderful months in the Dominican sanctorale, even in the 1962 calendar.  The month starts off with the Anniversary of our Mothers and Fathers on February 6.  Then, we have a wonderful grouping of St. Catherine de Ricci and Bl. Henry Suso.  February finishes out with Bl. Reginald, one of St. Dominic's close companions.

And though March is a sparse month in the sanctorale, it does contain the feast of the Angelic Doctor on March 7.  This feast, which temporarily lightens the heaviness of the penitential season of Lent is 1st Class in the Dominican Rite.  It takes precedence over the ferial days of Lent, so we only make a commemoration of the ferial office (error alert on my calendar!!) at Lauds and Vespers.  

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Compline During Lent - 1st Sunday of Lent to the III Sunday of Lent

The most unique and distinguishing element of the Dominican Breviary, that sets it apart from the Roman, is the variability in the Office of Compline.  And no where is this rich variability more evident than during the seasons of Lent, Passiontide, Paschaltide, Ascensiontide, and throughout the octave of Pentecost, when the hymn, Little Chapter, and responses change substantially.

February 13: St. Catherine de Ricci, V., O.P., III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Catherine de Rici, virgin of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is III Class, so the Ordinary Office is prayed.  Like many II Class feast in the Breviary, her office contains the full propers as if the feast were II Class.  At Lauds, the Psalms of Sunday are prayed.

From the Martyrology yesterday:

At Prato in Etruria, St. Catherine de'Ricci of Florence, virgin, of the Order of Preachers. She was remarkable for the abundance of her divine gifts, and was canonized by the Sovereign Pontiff, Benedict XIV. She died rich in virtues and merit on February 2, but her feast is celebrated today.
Also, at Pretiosa today, we remember the obit of Fr. Aniceto Fernandez, 82nd Master General of the Order, who died on this day in 1981.  He gave his approval to the 1967 English translation of the Dominican Breviary, and his name appears on the title sheet.

From “Short Lives of the Dominican Saints” (London, Kegan Paul, Trench, and Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1901):

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Cambridge Library Online Exhibit - Dominican Books

The Library at the University of Cambridge has an online exhibit of Dominican books from their collection, entitled "A Pipeline From Heaven - 800 Years Of Dominican Books".  As the introduction page explains, the term "pipeline from heaven" is a quote from Humbert de Romans Commentary on the Rule of St. Augustine, wherein he is describing the attitude of the friars toward their books.

There are numerous pictures of some old Dominican breviaries and missals, which may interest readers of this blog.  Of particular note is the beautiful illustrations and illuminations that graced the pages of these magnificent volumes.

The exhibit is available here.

February 6: Anniversary Of Our Deceased Parents

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we commemorate the Anniversary of the Deceased Parents of the members of our Order.  The ferial office is prayed, with a commemoration of Ss. Vedast and Amand.  At Pretiosa, the Anniversary is announced as follows:
The anniversary of our Fathers and Mothers;
At Pretiosa, Psalm 129 is prayed, as it always is on the day of an Anniversary.  Afterwards, the Prayer for the Anniversary is prayed:
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 Christ our Lord.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

February 2: The Purification of the B. V. M., II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite calendar, we celebrate the Purification of the B.V.M., and the official end of Christmastide. The feast is II Class, and so the semi-festive office is prayed according to the rubrics.

For this feast, the Dominican Rite Office contains a unique arrangement for the office of 1st Vespers. I do not see it anywhere in the monastic or Roman Breviaries. After the Little Chapter is prayed, the responsory is prayed as follows:

R/.  Gaude, María Virgo, cunctas hǽreses sola interemísti, quæ Gabriélis Archángeli dictis credidísti: * Dum Virgo Deum et hóminem genuísti, Et post partum Virgo invioláta permansísti. . Gabriélem Archángelum scimus divínitus te esse affátum: úterum tuum de Spíritu Sancto crédimus imprægnátum:  erubéscat Iudǽus infélix, qui dicit Christum ex Ioseph sémine esse natum. – Dum Virgo. – Glória. – Et post partum Virgo invioláta permansísti.
R/.  Rejoice Virgin Mary, alone you have destroyed all heresies.  You trusted in the words of the archangel Gabriel. * While a virgin, you brought forth God and man; and after childbirth you remained a virgin inviolate. . We know that the angel Gabriel spoke to you by God’s decree; we believe that your womb was made fruitful by the Holy Spirit.  Let the unhappy Jew blush who says that Christ was born of Joseph’s seed. – While a virgin. – Glory. – And after childbirth.

At this point, the resumption of the respond is omitted, and instead the Inviolata prayer is immediately taken up:
Mary, Maid inviolate, chaste and undefiled, Mother well beloved of Christ, your own true child. You were made the shining gate of Heaven above,Accept from us these words of praise we offer you with love. We now implore devoutly, from the heart within,That our souls be stainless, our bodies free from sin.  May you bring us ever is our earnest prayer, the pardon that is granted through your moving pleading rare.  O gracious one who alone has remained immaculate.
A genuflection is made immediately, as the Ave maris stella is begun, until the second stanza. As far as I know, this is the only incidence in the Dominican Breviary where the sequence of the respond is interrupted, so to speak, with another prayer.

The Gaude, María Virgo responsory is repeated after Lesson ix at Matins as well, in place of the Te Deum, as is prayed in the Roman Breviary.