Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20: Bl. Ambrose Sansedonius, C., O.P., Commemoration

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we commemorate the feast of Bl. Ambrose Sansedonius, confessor of the Order of Preachers.  The ferial office of Lent is prayed, and the commemoration is made at Lauds only with the propers given in the Proper of the Saints.

From the Martyrology:
At Siena, in Tuscany, Blessed Ambrose (Sansedoni) of the Order of Friars Preachers. He was remarkable for his sanctity, preaching, and miracles. Clement VIII ordered his name to be inscribed in the Roman Martyrology.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

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.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March 7: St. Thomas Aquinas, C., D., O.P., I Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, Confessor, Doctor of the Church, of the Order of Preachers.  Piercing a hole straight through the somber, penitential season of Lent, the feast of the Angel of the Schools is I Class, so the festive office is prayed according to the rubrics.  No commemoration of the Lenten office is made.  All is given in the Proper of the Saints.

Monday, March 6, 2017

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 have entered the holy season of Lent.

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.

Though March is a sparse month in the in the 1962 Dominican 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.  

Sunday, March 5, 2017

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.