Friday, December 22, 2017

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

Happy Anniversary to the Order of Preachers!

I truly enjoy this feast.  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.  The ferial Office for Advent is prayed, and a commemoration of the feast is made at Lauds only.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Dominican Tertiary Indulgence Alert

Dominican Tertiaries (Lay Dominicans) are reminded that a plenary indulgence may be acquired, provided the usual conditions (confession, Communion and prayer for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff) are properly fulfilled, who make or renew, at least privately, the promise to faithfully observe the statutes of the Third Order (Lay Fraternity of St. Dominic) on the upcoming Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ on December 25.

What a wonderful Christmas gift for the soul of a loved one in Purgatory, or perhaps for a deceased Dominican!

The complete list of days when the plenary indulgence may be obtained, can be found here, at the Australian Province Website.

Sunday, December 10, 2017


Just in time for Christmas!  I barely made it this year, but once again I am pleased to announce the completion of my 2018 Dominican Rite Calendar, for praying the 1962 Dominican Breviary.  The Calendar is now available from Fr. Augustine Thompson's "Dominican Liturgy Publications" at Lulu.

Once again, the calendar includes notations for the 15 Tuesdays devotion to Our Holy Father St. Dominic.

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.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

December 6: St. Nicholas and the O Lumen Ecclesiae Antiphon.

This is the fourth year in a row that I have posted a link 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.).

So now, for the fourth year in a row, I have stumbled across a connection between St. Nicholas and our holy Order.  Three years ago I did a post about how the feast of St. Nicholas was elevated to a totum duplex (1st Class) feast.  Two years ago, 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.  Last year, I 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.

This past Spring, I came across an interesting article that was published in CLIOP...which is the newsletter of the International Liturgical Commission of the Order of Preachers.  Inside was a short articled entitled "Beyond the O Lumen Ecclesiae –Notes on St. Dominic’s antiphon 4".  The author, Fr. Robert Mehlahrt OP of Munich, posits 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).  He gives four (4) interesting reasons why he believes O Christi Pietas could have been the inspiration for the famous Dominican antiphon.  Though he readily concedes that there is no where near enough information to make the case water tight, the article nevertheless makes for interesting reading.   It is a short article, and I highly recommend it.  You can find it here.

So there you go, yet one more (possible!) connection between the Order of Preachers and this wonderful saint.

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 4, 2017

The Ferial Office During Advent

From “Missale Sacri Ordinis Praedicatorum"; 1933
This year, during the season of Advent, we will pray the ferial office 12 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 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.

Friday, December 1, 2017

December 1: Blessed John of Vercelli, C., O.P., Commemoration

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we make a commemoration of Blessed John of Vercelli, 6th Master General of the Order.  The ferial office is prayed, according to the rubrics, and the commemoration of Blessed John is made at Lauds and Vespers, since his is a privileged commemoration.  In addition, a second commemoration is made of SS. Cyriacus, Largus, and Smaragdus, Martyrs.  At Pretiosa, the obit of Thomas Turco of Cremona, 56th Master General of the Order is read.