Monday, May 1, 2017

LOST TRADITIONS: April 30 - May 7: Octave of St. Catherine of Siena

One of the stark differences which are apparent to anyone who has sat down and compared the calendars of the 1909 and 1962 editions of the Dominican breviary is the utter lack of octaves of saints in the latter edition.  The 20th Century took its toll on the wonderful liturgical practice which extended the feasts of so many saints beyond their feast day. Yesterday would have begun the Octave of St. Catherine, which would have been celebrated from April 30 - May 7.

I do understand the concern about the sanctorale crowding out the temporale, but is it that difficult to make a commemoration at Lauds and Vespers for seven days?

Even though the Order no longer celebrates this octave, it is a wonderful private devotion that we can make to St. Catherine, one of the most famous and glorious of the saints who adorn our wonderful Order and an effective mans of deepening our devotion to her.  Every day during the octave, a commemoration was made at Lauds and Vespers using the proper versicle/responsory, Benedictus/Magnificat antiphons from the Dominican Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the collect from the feast. 

Ad Bened. ant.  Det Catharina frui nos vero lúmine Christi, et sóciet súperis Virgo beáta choris, allelúia.

Ad Bened. ant.  May Catherine, the virgin blessed, give us the enjoyment of the true light of Christ and unite us to the heavenly choirs.

V. Adducéntur regi virgins post eam, allelúia. R. Próximæ ejus afferéntur tibi, allelúia.

V. She is led to the king with her maiden companions, alleluia.  R. Her destined companions are escorted in, alleluia.

Deus, qui beátae Catharínæ, virginitátis, et patiéntiæ speciáli privilégio decorátæ, malignántium spirítuum certámina víncere, et in amóre tui nóminis inconcússe permanére tribuísti: concéde, quæsumus, ut ejus imitatióne calcáta mundi nequítia et ómnium hóstium superátis insídiis, ad tuam secúre glóriam transeámus.  Per Dóminum nostrum…

O God, you enabled the blessed Catherine, graced with a special privilege of virginity and patience, to overcome the attacks of evil spirits and to remain unshaken in your love; grant, we beseech you, that following her example by treading underfoot the wickedness of the world, and overcoming the wiles of our enemies, we may pas in safety to your glory.  Through our Lord…

Ad Magnif. ant.  Ad sedes regni fáciat transíre supérni Virgo fovens méritis nos Catharína suis, allelúia.

Ad Magnif. ant.  May the virgin Catherine, cherishing us by her merits, lead us to the throne of the heavenly kingdom, alleluia.

V. Ora pro nobis, beáte Catharína, allelúia. R. Ut digni efficiámur promissiónibus Christi, allelúia.

V. Blessed Catherine pray for us, alleluia.  R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ, alleluia.
Even if you pray the Liturgy of the Hours, you can still make this commemoration part of your daily Office, by reciting it from May 1 - May 7.  Traditions like this fed the spiritual lives of so many saints and holy men and women of our Order.  They mark out places in time for us to remember those that came before us in this venerable religious order that is now 800 years old.  We would do well, in my opinion, to begin to return to some of these liturgical traditions.