Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dominican Rite Solemn Mass for Saints Peter and Paul, Portland OR

Solemn Dominican Mass at Holy Rosary
On Thursday, June 29, the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Fr. Gabriel Mosher, O.P., will celebrate a Solemn High Mass in the Dominican Rite, assisted by Frs. Augustine Thompson, O.P. and Vincent Kelber, O.P., as deacon and subdeacon, at the Priory Parish of the Holy Rosary in Portland Oregon, starting at 7 p.m.

The music will be provided by Cantores in Ecclesia under the direction of Blake Applegate. The music for that Mass will be Palestrina’s Missa “Tu Es Petrus,” with proper chants from the Dominican Gradual. Cantores will also be singing at the usual 11 a.m. Dominican Rite Missa Cantata the following Sunday.  Holy Rosary is located at 375 NE Clackamas St, Portland, OR 97232, and there is ample parking.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Latin Compline with Dominican Elements Booklet Now Available


I am pleased to announce that Dominican Liturgy Publications has now published a convenient booklet with the complete text of Compline from the Liturgia Horarum (Liturgy of the Hours) furnished with all the elements from the traditional Dominican Rite that were approved for use with the Proprium Officiorum Ordinis Prædicatorum: Liturgia Horarum (Romæ: Ad S. Sabinæ, 1982).

The Compline section of this Proprium was published as a pamphlet but only contained the Psalm and short reading for Compline after Sunday Second Vespers.  And that pamphlet has long been out of print.  This new edition contains the Psalms and readings for the entire week. It is a pocket-sized paperback and inexpensive. See or order it at Dominican Liturgy Publications.

If you want the same texts with all the Dominican chant music, do not order this item. Order this one or this one instead.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

1909 Dominican Rite Breviary Available for Download


I am happy to announce that, through the kindness of the author of Breviarium S.O.P. and Mr. Richard Chonak, I am now able to make available for download pdf versions of the edition of the Breviarium juxta Ritum S. Ordinis Praedicatorum published at the direction of Bl. Hyacinth Cornier, Master of the Order, in 1909.  The download links for the two volumes are found on the left sidebar here at Dominican Liturgy.

This edition was the last printing of the Dominican Breviary in its medieval format with the original Psalter.  Later editions of the Breviary reflect the new Psalm arrangement mandated by Pope St. Pius X and have other modifications.  This edition is especially useful because the layout of the text parallels that in modern Pre-Vatican-II Breviaries, something that makes it much easier to consult than the earlier versions.  In his History of the Dominican Liturgy Fr. William Bonniwell, O.P. described this edition as "the finest edition of the Dominican breviary ever published."

When you go to download this file, do also check out our new offerings at Dominican Liturgy Publications.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Dominican Rite Hand Missal Reprinted

The Title Page of the Missal
I have often been asked whether it would be possible to reprint the Saint Dominic Missal, originally printed in 1959 by the Eastern Dominican Province.  Some time ago, I mentioned that though the labors of Fr Sebastian White, O.P., a member of that province, had provided me with a very clean PDF of that hand missal.  But since it was over 800 pages, and my books on demand publisher, Lulu.com, could not publish a book of that length, I did not, at that time, reprint it at Dominican Liturgy Publications.

As the requests have become so common in these days when Dominican Rite Masses are celebrated weekly in the Western Dominican Province and on a regular basis in the Eastern Province, I have decided to reprint this book in two volumes.  This may not be as convenient as a single volume, but each volume is completely self-contained and I do not think the inconvenience of the format will be very great. The two volumes are pocketbook-sized and paperback, the least expensive format possible.

The first volume includes the entire Proper of the Seasons (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany time, Septugaesima, Lent, Easter, and the Time after Pentecost).  It also includes the entire Ordinary of the Mass and devotional prayers.  You may order it here.

The second volume, which contains all the saints of the entire year, as well as all ritual and votive Masses, may be ordered here.  Like the first volume, it also contains the entire Ordinary and devotional prayers for Mass.

May God grant you all a joyful Easter Season!

Friday, April 14, 2017

The Dominican Rite Easter Vigil befrore 1957

As most readers know, the old Easter Vigil of the Roman Rite underwent a series of reforms beginning in 1951 and continuing until the introduction of the revised Holy Week Rite of Pope Pius XII in the spring of 1956. The Dominicans imitated as much as possible these changes until we produced a new Vigil of our own, one that went into effect at Easter 1957, a year after the Roman Rite. Readers who know the Vigil of the 1962 Roman Missal would find that in use by Dominicans from 1957 onward virtually identical to it, so I am not going to describe it. But as our older liturgy is quite different and of historical interest; thus this post.

Following the medieval practice of Saturday afternoon celebration of the Easter Vigil, the Dominican Vigil began after the singing of None. In the modern period, when the Vigil had migrated to Saturday morning, this meant that Matins and the four Little Hours of Holy Saturday were sung back-to-back in the morning so that the Vigil itself could begin before 9:00 a.m. One of the first effects of Pope Pius XII's period of experimentation after 1951 was that in some houses the Little Hours of Holy Saturday were restored to their normal times and the Vigil was celebrated in the later afternoon, but this was by no means the universal practice. Morning celebration continued in many places until 1957.

The old Dominican Vigil began with the Blessing of the New Fire. The prior or other priest celebrant, in purple cope, standing before the high altar, blessed lighted coals in a small metal dish held by the sacristan. The coals had been lighted without any special ceremony in the sacristry before the service. The deacon held the missal. The blessing prayer Domine sancte Pater was short and merely recited, not sung. A small candle was then lighted from these coals, but they were kept in the presbytery until the lighting of the church lamps, so that they could be used to relight the Easter Candle should a draft put it out. The deacon received the prior's blessing, gave the subdeacon the missal and placed himself to the subdeacon's left, which was the Gospel side, as all were facing the altar. The two acolytes with unlighted candles flanked the deacon and subdeacon. The prior took his place at the Epistle side of the altar, as he did for the singing of the Gospel at Solemn Mass. The Deacon then sang the Exultet, for which Dominicans have a tone somewhat different from the Roman and which differs in a number of places from the Roman text.

Although in modern times Dominicans used Easter Candles of conventional size, as late as the 1800s we often used a very large Easter Candle, much taller than those in use today. Our Province archives have pictures from the 1850s of one of these candles at our old priory church in Benicia California. I will try to get a scan of it. Dominicans did not use a three-branch holder for the Easter Fire and there was no chantning of Lumen Christi. In many priories the ancient practice of the "Easter Card" (Cartula Paschalis) was maintained into the last century. This was tacked to the candle in place of the modern practice of lettering on the candle. The card gave the year of the Lord, the years since the foundation of the Order, Years since the death of St. Dominic, the Epact, the Dominical Letter, and the Indiction.

When the deacon reached the words In huius igitur noctis, he inserted the first grain of incense into the candle; at the words Rutilans ignis accendit, he lit the Paschal Candle. The server holding the other four grains of incense then inserted them as the deacon continued to sing the Blessing. These acts would have required use of a ladder in the old days. As the deacon sang Qui licit sit divisus in partes, the two acolytes' candles were lighted, and then, at Pretiosae huius lampadis, the church lamps. When the Exultet was finished, the ministers returned to the sacristy, put on white Mass vestments and returned to the altar. There they bowed and went to be seated for the readings, without any other ceremony. During this one Mass of the year, the acolyte's candles were not snuffed when not in use, but allowed to burn continuously.

A lector in surplice then sang the four readings of the Vigil. These were Gen. 1-2; Ex. 14-15; Is. 4; and Is. 54-55.  In the thirteenth-century the number of readings at the vigil varied widely: from 4 to 18. The Dominican shorter version was found widely in use in Italy. There is actually nothing unusual about it.  So, I do not believe that the Dominican was a special model for the post-1955 Roman revision of the Vigil--the readings do not match. I would think that the Roman model was one of the shorter Italian (Roman) uses from the middle ages.

A Tract and Collect followed each reading except that from Genesis, which had only a Collect. The second reading from Isaiah had two collects, one before and one after the Tract Sicut Cervus. Two chanters wearing surplices in medio chori then lead the community in singing the Litany of the Saints in its Dominican form. When the choir had sung the last Agnus Dei of the Litany, the choir began the Easter Kyrie and the major ministers approached the altar for the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. 

The priest then intoned at the center of the altar, the Gloria in the solemn tone (very similar to that of Roman Mass IV). As it was intoned, the organ played for the first time since the beginning of Lent, the church bells were rung for the first time since Holy Thursday, and the friars took off their black cappas to reveal their white habits. The subdeacon then sang the Epistle from Colossians 3.

The Dominican way of singing the Easter Gospel Alleluia differs from the common Roman form, with its three repetitions of the Alleluia and cantors raising each intonation. To the right you can see the Easter Alleluia according to the Domincan chant, the melody of which differs a bit from the common Roman form. You can also see how it is sung. Two cantors in medio chori intone it and the friars all rise. The community then joins in on the short melisma at the end: as indicated by the double bar. Note that this use of the double bar in Dominican notation functions as does the asterisk in Solesmes notation. Then the entire Alleluia is repeated by all, as indicated by the "Repet." The friars then sit while the two cantors sing the verse, joining in for eius at the end, as indicated again by the double bar before that word. As can be seen from "Non repet. Alleluia." the Alleluia is not repeated after the verse. So the Dominican practice is to repeat the Alleluia only once, before the verse. Originally we sang the Alleluia once more after the verse, as I will explain below. Another pair of cantors next joined the original two to sing, antiphonally, the Tract (Ps. 116). Then came the deacon's chanting of the Gospel from Matthew 28.

The current use at the Alleluia reflects changes made in our liturgy at the time of Humbert's reforms in 1256. In the picture to the right you can see displayed one of the four extant Dominican Missals from before the Reforms of Humbert of Romans in 1256. This book represents the "Liturgy of the Four Friars" whose standardization of Dominican practice was approved in 1246. The left page shows the end of the Litany and the Vigil Mass of Easter (the right page is the Mass of Christmas). If you look carefully you can see where the rubrics for the Alleluia have been changed to conform to Humbert's revision: originally the Alleluia was sung a third time after the verse. This is here crossed out. The Tract was then sung in medio with two pairs of friars alternating the verses. At the Gospel only incense was used; no candles or cross were carried. There was no Credo and no Offertory chant.

The Mass then continued as usual until the Pax Domini. Unlike the usual practice at Solemn Mass, the Pax instrument was not passed and there was no Agnus Dei. Rather, a very short vespers service began immediately after the response to the Pax Domini. The triple Alleluia antiphon was sung and followed by Psalm 116 with its Gloria Patri. After the choir repeated the antiphon, the cantor intoned the Magnificat Antiphon Vespere autem sabbati, which was also repeated after the choir had finished the Magnificat. The priest, who had by this time finished communion, then sang the Postcommunion Collect. The Mass ended in the usual way with the Placeat, the Ite Missa est, the blessing, and the Last Gospel, the deacon, however, sang the Ite with triple alleluias. Compline was sung after the major meal with chants proper to the Easter season and the Salve Regina was followed by procession to the altar of the Virgin Mary singing the Litany of Loreto, was customary on all Saturdays of the year. In case you are wondering, Dominicans sing the Salve Regina all year round after Compline.


There was no General Communion of the friars at the Vigil because the Easter General Communion was at the day Mass of Easter. But I understand that in many places a General Communion had been introduced into the Vigil in the early part of the twentieth century. Such as the practice at our House of Studies in the early 1950s. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Dominican Vigil is the absence of any rites related to Baptism and the font. This reflects the monastic origins of our rite: monasteries did not have pastoral cures and so had no baptismal font since they never needed to perform baptisms. The rite is also of interest for the simplicity of the Fire Ceremony, which is probably quite ancient.

The Four Friars Missal show is Lausanne: Musee Historique MS MG 2117 and dates to the late 1240s. This post follows the rubrics of the 1933 Dominican Missal, the 1869 Caeremoniale juxta Ritum S. Ordinis Praedicatorum, and the memories of older friars of the Western Dominican Province, in particular Bro. Raymond Bertheaux.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Dominican Chants for Holy Week Available

Dominican Liturgy Publications is pleased to announce that the volume Hedomada Sancta Pro Liturgia Horarum Iuxta Usum Ordinis Praedicatorum is now available in time for Holy Week.  This volume contains all the offices of the Liturgia Horarum from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, with the Dominican Gregorian Hymns, Antiphons, Responsories, and other chants approved for use in the Proprium Officium O.P. and the Ordo Cantus Officii.

This book will be especially of interest to those who want to sing "Tenebrae" as permitted for the Liturgia Horarum, with the Lamentations of Jeremiah, the Preces Litanicae, and the Oratio Jeremiae.   It will also serve as a resource for those singing the Office in English, who want to add some of the traditional chants in Latin.

Those who wish to sing the Holy Week Offices according to the use of 1962 can find the resources they need on the left sidebar of Dominican Liturgy.

You can find the order page for this volume (and for other new books)at Dominican Liturgy Publications.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dominican Formaulary of Blessings Reprinted

Dominican Liturgy Publications is pleased to announce the republication of the  Forumularium Absolutionum et Benedictionum ad Usum Ordininis Praedicatorum, which contains dozens of blesssings, absolutions, and other prayer formula of the traditional Dominican Rite.  Those who write me wanting to find, for example, the Dominican Blessing for Rosaries, or that for the Angelic Warfare Cord, may find these, along with blessing of meals, in this volume.

This volume is available in two versions.  One version, is a 6 x 9 inch hardback version with red rubrics;  the other version, is a smaller, inexpensive, pocket book paperback that you can carry with you.

We invite readers to visit Dominican Liturgy Publications and see all our other publications!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Vespers in Dominican Chant

Dominican Liturgy Publications is pleased to announce that the volume containing the texts and music for singing Vespers for all the solemnities and Sundnays of the year in Dominican Gregorian chant is now available for purchase. The volume, Vesperale ex Liturgia Horarum iuxta Usum Ordininis Praedicatorum, also contains the music for Vespers of all celebrations with the fank of feast proper to the Dominican Order.

This hard-back volume is ideal for Dominican communities and parishes who want to include Gregorian Chant Vespers according to the Liturgy of the Hours to their prayer schedule on a regular basis. If you are a Dominican friar or sister ordering more than 10 copies for your community's use, contact me by email for arranging a bulk discount. The volume may be ordered here.

Those who want to sing the Office according to the traditional Dominican Rite can download or order resources here at Dominican Liturgy on the left sidebar.

I am also happy to announce that the newly revised Dominican Rite Calendar for 2017 now includes the local feasts for all American dioceses where there are priories or communities of Dominican friars. Previously it included only dioceses where there are houses of the Western Dominican Province. This calendar may be downloaded gratis here. If any friar notices a error or something lacking for his province, please let me know and I will correct it.

We invite readers to visit Dominican Liturgy Publications and see our other publications!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Dominican Ordo for 2017 Available

Dominican Liturgy Publications is happy to announce the publication of the Ordo for The Dominican Rite in 2017, which is the work of the editor of Breviarium S.O.P.  This booklet is intended for use by anyone who prays the 1962 Dominican Rite Breviary. It includes a complete calendar for the Dominican Rite liturgical year for 2017.

In addition, it includes the collects for the Dominican blesseds who are not on the calendar (so that a votive commemoration can be made of their feast), obits of the deceased masters of the Order, and announcements of days when Lay Dominicans can obtain plenary indulgences.  Finally, it contains an English translation of the Office of Prime, which was omitted from the 1967 English translation of the Dominican Breviary.

It can be purchased here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Domincan Habit and the Holy Rosary

Dominicans Wearing Rosaries and Capelli Romani (Roman hats)
In the wake of a recent post on St. Martin de Porres, which included a discussion of the Tertiary ("Third Oder") habit that the oldest painting of his shows him wearing, a commentator asked when the Holy Rosary became an "official" part of the Dominican habit.  This seemed an easy question to answer, but it proved more complicated.  The first thing I did was to look in the most recent version of the Dominican Constitutions (2014), appendix 3, which describes our habit.  It says absolutely nothing about the Rosary.  Perhaps then, the Rosary was dropped after the major revision of our Constitutions in 1968.  I checked there in appendix 3: nothing on the Rosary.

However, I then found that n. 50 of the 1969 Constitutions, which says. "The habit of the Order consists of a white tunic with a white scapular and capuce, with a black cappa and capuce, a leather belt and rosary."   And so n. 50 reads for all revisions of the Constitutions up to the present age, even though Appendix 3 in each addition never mentions it.  This legislation is virtually identical to that no n. 601 of the Pre-Vatican-II constitutions of 1954 and 1932, although these specify that the Rosary is to hang from the belt.  These norms descend from n. 892 of the 1924 Constitutions, which mentions the Rosary but says nothing of where it is worn.  And this legislation is the first official entry of the Rosary into the Constitutions as part of the habit.  It was undoubtedly introduced as part of the reform of the older law (as witnessed in Jandel) in the wake of the new Code of Canon Law in 1917.So the Holy Rosary has been an official part of the Dominican Habit since the promulgation of the revised Constitutions of 1924.

So what of the Rosary and the habit before that date?  I find that, in 1879, the founder of my Western Dominican Province, Fr. Francis-Sadoc Vilarrassa, a noted canonist of his time, wrote, commenting on the Jandel Constitutions, “Though there is not any ordinance as to the wearing of Rosaries, it seems were are bound to wear them in virtue of the ancient and universal custom of the order.” So before 1924 Dominicans wore the habit Rosary, not because of legislation, but because of custom with force of law. How custom become law is no our topic here, but rather the question is when did the custom arise and when did it become “universal.”

Blessed Venvenuta
In the thirteenth century, the practice of reciting set numbers of Pater Nosters (Our Fathers) was already a popular lay devotion.  I have collected examples of this from the lives of Italian saints and blesseds of the period in my book Cities of God. My favorite is the Dominican blessed, Benvenuta Bojani (1254-1292) From the age of seven to twelve, she said 100 Paters and Aves daily, doing 100 prostrations in honor of the Lord's Nativity and a second 100 prostrations in honor of his Resurrection.  To this she later added 1000 Aves in honor of the Blessed Virgin, except on Saturdays, Our Lady's special day, when she doubled the number.  So she was not only saying Paters but also Aves.

In our primitive constitutions (ca. 1220), the conversi or lay brothers (now called cooperator brothers) were required to say set numbers of Paters for the various canonical hours, which they could not sing with the clerics because they normally were illiterate and had manual labor to do to support the community.  But in 1252 the Provincial Chapter of Dacia, held at Lund in what is today Sweden, made the first attempt to add a 100 Aves to 100 Paters lay brothers said in their suffrages for dead.  This did not last, but by early 1300s, 100 Paters and Aves had became the conversi suffrage for a dead member of their community.  Then, in 1366, the General Chapter at Rome first added Aves to all  Paters that the convesi said instead of the Divine Office.  After some back and forth, this practice was finalized by the early 1400. But none of this was the "Dominican" Rosary as we know it, with 15 decades of 1 Pater, 10 Aves, and a Gloria Patri.  As far as we can tell, that form, with a set of 15 mysteries to meditate on, first appeared in the writings of Dominic of Prussia (1382–1461), a Carthusian monk.  So, the custom of wearing the Rosary has to date after the mid-1460s.

Famously, Bl. Alan de la Roche, O.P. (d. 1475) promoted the devotion to the Rosary throughout the last 16 years of his life, preaching and writing about it.  In 1470, he founded the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary.  Later legends (recorded only after his death) ascribe to him visions of Our Lady, the Rosary, and St. Dominic, supposedly dated to about 1460.  So the earliest date for Dominican habit Rosaries would be the late 1400s.  And, indeed, the earliest image I know of showing Rosary, is a woodcut dated to that period. It also shows Dominic (not wearing it) and I reproduce it here.

There is nothing that I have found that indicates any Dominican wearing of, or legislation on, the Holy Rosary, however, for another 100 years.  Then, I understand that, in the 1540s, Fray Domingo Betanzos, O.P. (d. 1549), first provincial of the Dominican province of Mexico, required friars of that Province to wear a Rosary around their necks.  This practice would then spread with Spanish Dominicans to South America and eventually to the Philippines and the Far East.  This then is the first example of wearing of the Holy Rosary with the habit, although it is not universal and not on the belt. On September 1569, the Dominican Pope, Saint Pius V, acknowledged as a "pious belief" the legends linking Dominic and the Holy Rosary, usually connected with Alan de la Roche, in his bull Consueverunt Romani Pontifices, which also granted indulgences for those saying it and meditating on the mysteries. Then in 1571 comes the first-known mention of the Rosary in any legislation of the Order as a whole.  The General Chapter at Rome in that year urged the promotion of the Rosary in preaching.  This is not surprising as that was the year of the great victory over the Muslim invasion of Christian Europe at the Battle of Lepanto, a victory that Pope Pius ascribed to praying the Rosary.

St. Dominic, no Habit Rosary, 1593
By 1583, however, the General Chapter at Rome first mentioned the recitation of the Holy Rosary in an ordinance of the whole order: It allowed lay brothers and Tertiaries (conversi et seculares) to replace the 100 Paters and Aves in suffrages for the dead with five decades of the Rosary.  In 1596, the order gave the title "Our Lady of the Holy Rosary" to the new province of the Philippines and the Orient.  I find, however, no evidence that the Spanish Dominion practice of wearing the Rosary around the neck had spread any beyond the Spanish missions.  In 1593, for example, a title page of Spanish catechism still shows St. Dominic without any habit Rosary. As you can see to the left.

Nevertheless, as is clear from the image of the elderly St. Martin de Porres I featured in my earlier post that, in the Spanish Dominions at least, the wearing of a Rosary around the neck had become common, even customary.  Then, in 1670, at the Rome Chapter, the daily recitation of the  Rosary in choir by all friars, priests as well as lay brothers, was mandated, a requirement that remains to this day when not impeded by pastoral responsibilities.

St. Dominc wearing the Rosary, by Coello
Artistic evidence in the later 1600s, suggests that it is in that period that the wearing of the Rosary, now on the belt, finally became a "universal" custom.  It is very difficult to trace the introduction of customs, but artistic representations are usually a good indication.  And it is in the 1660s and 1670s, that artists first begin to portray Dominican saints wearing a Rosary.  At good example from this period is the painting to the right by the Spanish late-Baroque painter Claudio Coello (1642–1693), It shows St. Dominic wearing the Fifteen-Decade Dominican Marian Rosary.  I do not claim that this is the earliest example of this iconography, only the earliest I have found.  If a reader knows of a dated earlier example, I would be happy to add it to this post.

St. Rose of Lima with a Rosary
It is interesting that the same artist did know that St. Rose of Lima (1586–1617) would have worn her Rosary around her neck as that was the practice among Dominicans in Peru during her time.  This, even though he has all the rest of her dress incorrect, painting her in the habit of a cloistered nun, rather than in the Tertiary habit she would have worn (white veil, no scapular, white tunic, black mantle). 

So, my conclusion is that the custom of wearing a habit Rosary become more or less universal  in the late 1600s.  It certainly was so by the 1700s, as I know of no images of Dominicans from that century or later without it.  If, however, anyone knows an image of that late date showing a Dominican without a habit Rosary, let me now and I will add it to this post.