Friday, May 22, 2020

The Ferial Office in Ascension-tide

We are now in the brief liturgical season of Ascensiontide.  In the Dominican Breviary, the ferial office in Ascension season is similar to that of the Roman Breviary, with slight differences. The invitatory at Matins is different, as is the Benedictus antiphon at Lauds is different, and the hymn at Vespers, to name a few.

Though this season is short, and is overshadowed by the looming arrival of Pentecost, it is a beautiful liturgical season nonetheless.  The ferial days in Ascensiontide are IV Class, so when a III Class feast occurs on the calendar, no commemoration is made of the ferial office.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

May 13: Blessed Imelda, V., O.P., Comm.

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of Blessed Imelda Lambertini, virgin, of the Order of Preachers.  The ferial office of Eastertide is prayed, and a commemoration is made of Blessed Imelda at Lauds only.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

May 10: St. Antoninus, B., C., O.P., II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the beloved archbishop of Florence, St. Antonius, bishop, confessor, of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is II Class and normally,  the semi-festive office would be prayed according to the rubrics, and at Lauds and Vespers, a commemoration is made of SS. Gordian and Epimachus, martyrs.  However, since today is the IV Sunday after Easter, a commemoration of the feast is made at Lauds.

From the Martyrology:
At Florence, St. Antoninus, archbishop of the same city and a member of the Order of Preachers. On account of the excellence of his doctrine and his holiness, he was compelled to become bishop, although he was unwilling. He was illustrious for his mercy and his piety. He likewise excelled to a remarkable degree in sacerdotal zeal. He was so celebrated for his prudence and good counsel, that he was justly called "Antoninus the Counsellor." Famous for his virtues and his miracles, he departed for Heaven in the seventieth year of his life, on May 2. He lies buried in the Church of San Marco where he is held in high veneration by the people.

Friday, May 8, 2020

May 8: Blessed Virgin Mary - Mediatrix of All Graces, III Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Mediatrix of All Graces.  The feast is III Class, so the Ordinary Office is prayed.  Like many III Class feasts in the Dominican Breviary, this office contains the a significant amount of beautiful propers, as if the feast were II Class.  At Lauds, the Psalms of Sunday are prayed.

May is the month of Mary, our blessed Lady and Mother of God.  Today we celebrate a wonderful Marian feast, with a beautiful Office. It honors our Blessed Lady's role in the salvation of mankind as mother of our Savior, and recognizes her universal mediation in the dispensing of all graces that come to us from Our Lord Jesus Christ.  In his encyclical Octobri Mense (On the Rosary, September 22, 1891), Pope Leo XIII declared "We may affirm that nothing, by the will of God, is given to us without Mary's mediation, in such way that just as no one can approach the almighty Father but through His Son, like wise no one, so to speak, can approach Christ but through His Mother".

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

May 5: St. Pius V, P., C., O.P., II Class

Today, in the 1962 Dominican Rite Calendar, we celebrate the feast of St. Pius V, Pope and Confessor, of the Order of Preachers.  The feast is II Class, so the semi-festive office is prayed according to the rubrics

St. Pius V is one of my favorite saints (I often wonder if that is a Dominican Breviary in his hand in the photo above!).  Anyone who has been unwillingly thrust into a position of leadership, can sympathize with this humble man who wanted nothing more than to be a humble Dominican friar, yet found himself enmeshed in world affairs.  He is also another example of a canonized Inquisitor, the presence of whose feast in the liturgical calendar helps to dispel some of the toxic myths that the enemies of the Church have spread to further their war against almighty God and his one true Church.

As surprising as it may seem, given the reputation this holy Pope and friary had, it took nearly a century and a half after his death before he was canonized!  In his "History of the Dominican Liturgy", Fr. William Bonniwell, O.P., relates the story of his canonization:

Friday, May 1, 2020

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.