Thursday, April 30, 2020

April 30: St, Catherine of Siena, V., D., O.P., I Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the illustrious St. Catherine of Siena, Virgin, Doctor of the Church, Patroness of the Third Order of  St. Dominic.  At the time the 1962 Dominican Breviary was published, her feast was II Class, though it could be celebrated as I Class by Tertiaries and Churches which bore her name. By the time of the publication of the English translations of the Breviarium S.O.P., the Order raised her feast to I Class.  Accordingly,  the festive office is prayed according to the rubrics.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

April 29: St. Peter Martyr, M., O.P., II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the illustrious St. Peter Martyr, martyr, of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is II Class and the semi-festive office is prayed according to the rubrics.

Friday, April 24, 2020

April 24: Feast of the Most Holy Crown of Thorns, II Class

This is one of the oldest feasts, unique to the Order, that is on the Order's calendar.  In his history of the Dominican Rite, Fr. William Bonniwell, O.P. notes that this feast is actually listed on the oldest surviving Dominican liturgical calendar, which dates back to the time when Humbert de Romans was Master of the Order.

You can download a pdf of the English translation here.

The history of the feast is detailed in the third lesson of Matins:
"When Saint Louis, king of France, accepted from Baldwin II, emperor of Constantinople, the gift of the Lord’s crown of thorns, he sent to Constantinople two brethren, Stephen and James, of the Order of Preachers.  In the year 1239, on the day following Saint Lawrence’s feast, they brought the crown to Sens, to the king.  With great solemnity, it was borne to Paris and was finally placed in the royal palace, in a chapel built by Louis himself.  The precious treasure, profanely stolen during the unhappy days of the French Revolution towards the end of the eighteenth century, was later restored and transferred to the metropolitan basilica.  Louis however, made a gift of some thorns of the sacred crown to the Dominicans and commissioned them to celebrate, in the chapel dedicated to the crown, the anniversary of its reception there.  The feast of the most holy crown of thorns was inserted into the calendar of the Order of Preachers about the middle of the thirteenth century."

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Devotion of the 15 Tuesdays to St. Dominic

The tradition of dedicating Tuesdays to Our Holy Father St. Dominic takes its origins right from the beginnings of the Order.  The first translations of the relics of our holy Patriarch took place on Whit-Tuesday (May 24) in the year 1233 at Bologna.  Successive Chapters from 1239 to 1282 introduced various liturgical practices into the rubrics of the Mass and Office of the Order, as a means of fostering devotion to him.  This process culminated in the act of the Chapter of 1362, which introduced the practice of dedicating the 3rd day of the week (Tuesday) to the holy Patriarch.  From this point forward, on every Tuesday outside of Lent, the Mass of the day was to be his Mass, with a commemoration of him in the Office.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Compline from Low Sunday to the Ascension

Continuing our series on the unique features of the Dominican Breviary at Compline, we now come to the period between Low Sunday and the Ascension. The changes began during the first week of Lent, and we have followed along as the hymns, and responsories, and antiphons have changed during Lent, Passion Tide, and now Paschaltide. These changes continue through the octave of the Trinity, after which Compline returns to its normal form.

Compline begins as usual. After the responsory, which is said with the Alleluia's as noted in the rubrics, the following hymn is said.
Jesu, nostra redémptio,
Amor et desidérium,
Deus Creátor ómnium,
Homo in fine témporum:

Quæ te vicit cleméntia,
Ut ferres nostra crímina,
Crudélem mortem pátiens,
Ut nos a morte tólleres?

Inférni claustra pénetrans,
Tuos captívos rédimens,
Victor triúmpho nóbili
Ad dextram Patris résidens:

Ipsa te cogat píetas
Ut mala nostra súperes
Parcéndo, et voti cómpotes
Nos tuo vultu sáties.
Redemption, Jesus, all divine,
Whom here we love, for whom we pine,
God, working our creation’s plan,
And, in the latter time, made man:

What love of yours was that which led
To take our woes upon your head,
And pangs and cruel death to bear,
To ransom us from death’s despair!

You pierced the halls of Limbo bare,
Gave freedom to your captives there;
And now you sit in victor’s pride
Triumphant at the Father’s side.

Let very mercy force you still
To spare us, conquering each ill;
We pray you grant us our request,
That seeing you we may be blest

From Low Sunday to the Ascension the last two versus are:

Quǽsiumus, Auctor óminum,
In hoc pascháli gáudio,
Ab omni mortis ímpetu
Tuum defénde pópulum.

Glória tibi, Dómine,
Qui surrexísti a mórtuis,
Cum Patre et Sancto Spíritu
In sempitérna sǽcula.  Amen

Ant. At Nunc Dimittis :  Allelúia.     Resurréxit Dóminus, allelúia,  sicut    dixit vobis, allelúia, allelúia.

Creator great, be you our guide
In this the joy of Easter-tide;
Whenever assaults of death impend,
Your people strengthen and defend.

All glory, Lord, to you we pay,
Arisen from the dead, today;
With Father and the Spirit be
All glory yours eternally.  Amen.

Ant. at Nunc Dimittis: Alleluia.  The
Lord has risen, alleluia, as he told you,
alleluia, alleluia.

The last two versus of the hymn change, during Ascension-tide and the octave of Pentecost.

The Ferial Office During Paschaltide

In the Dominican Breviary, the ferial office in Paschaltide is similar to that of the Roman Breviary, with slight differences.   Among the elements that are different include, the invitatory and hymn at Matins the hymn at Lauds, the Short Lesson at Prime, and the hymn at Vespers.

The ferial days in Paschaltide are IV Class, so when a III Class feast occurs on the calendar, no commemoration is made of the ferial office.

April and May are months par excellence in the traditional Dominican sanctorale.  April contains the feasts of St. Vincent Ferrer (April 5), Our Lord's Most Holy Crown of Thorns (April 24), St. Agnes of Montepulciano (April 20), St. Louis de Montfort (April 28), St. Peter Martyr (April 29) and St. Catherine of Siena (April 30).  May starts off with St. Pius V (May 5).  Then we have the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mediatrix of All Graces (May 8), St. Antonius (May 10) , Blessed Imelda (May 13), the Transfer of Our Holy Father St. Dominic (May 24), and finally Bl. William and his Companions (May 29).

St. Agnes of Montepulciano, V, O.P., III cl.

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