Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Dominican Rite Absolution for Confessions during a Jubilee

Yesterday, the Holy Father announced the indulgences and other grants of pardon for the coming Jubilee Year of Mercy beginning December 8, 2015. Among the items listed was a grant to all priests of the faculty to absolve from the sin of abortion, by which surely means the faculty to absolve from the penalty of automatic excommunication incurred by those procuring an abortion. Something commonly reserved to the bishop.

A short time ago, I announced the availability of wallet cards giving the various forms of Sacramental Absolution according to the traditional Dominican Rite.  On the second of those cards, is included the form of absolution to be used during a Jubilee.  In the spirit of the Jubilee, I am making the PDFs for these cards freely available here and here. The first link downloads the card with the long, "more common," form of absolution, the second the shorter forms, and on the back the form specific to times of Jubilee.  Each download is two pages long.  Print each double sided, trim the card, and laminate it.  They will fit easily into your wallet.

Previously I asked those interested to write me for the cards.  That is no longer necessary, unless you want me to print the cards and mail them to you.  If you do, follow the directions in my previous post about the cards.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Dominican Breviary Volumes (Latin and English) for Sale



Dominican Liturgy Publications is making individual volumes of the Dominican Rite Breviary in Latin (1962) and English (1967) available for purchase by the general readership.

Go to the  ORDER PAGE!

This offering is being made in response to inquiries as to where used Dominican Rite books may be acquired.  We may eventually add other offering to these breviary volumes, so bookmark the Order Page!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Dominican Rite Care of the Sick and Dying


Humbert of Romans, Codifier of the Dominican Rite
I am pleased to announce a new offering from Dominican Liturgy Publications: Cura Infirmorum: Care of the Sick in the Dominican Rite.

This book contains the prayers and rituals for care of the sick and dying according to the Dominican Rite, in Latin and English. It includes: Sacramental Absolution, Communion of the Sick as Viaticum, the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, the Apostolic Blessing at Moment of Death, the Commendation of the Dying, and Prayers for a Departed Soul. In an appendix are included: The Dominican form of the Confiteor, the Seven Penitential Psalms, and the Gradual Psalms.

Now Dominican priests can have a handy, attractively printed, ritual for ministry to the sick in the traditional rite.  The book is hardcover and printed with text in black and rubrics in red.  The price is $35.00.  Read more about it here.

I also remind Dominican priest readers about the Sacramental Absolution Wallet Cards for the Dominican Rite, which I recently presented here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Dominican Rite Sacramental Absolution Wallet Cards

I am happy to announce to Dominican Priest readers that Dominican Liturgy Publications is making available wallet-size plastic laminated cards with the Latin formula for Sacramental Absolution according to the Dominican Rite. An image of the front side of the longer Absolution card is to the right. Note that, because of the conversion needed to make the JPG image, a red cross come out as a red square.  On the actual cards that figure is a Cross. Sorry the JPG is a bit fuzzy.

There are two cards.  One has the longer four-part absolution that I described here.  The other has the "short" absolution for use when there are many confessions or when time is short, as well as the "very short form" for use when there is danger of death and a special form for use during a Jubilee. Each card is two-sided. The cards are available two ways.

If you simply want the PDFs themselves to double-side print and laminate yourself, you can download them here and here. There is no charge for these PDFs.

Or you can order the laminated cards themselves.  In that case, mail me by U.S. post a self-addressed stamped envelope and $4.00. (This is the cost of printing and lamination.) I will make the cards and mail them back to you.The address to which you mail your order is:

Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P., Editor-in-Chief
Dominican Liturgy Publications.
5890 Birch Court
Oakland, CA  94618

Friday, July 10, 2015

Seraphicus Pater . . . Apostolicus Pater: A Devotion to Sts. Dominic and Francis

Every once in a while I get an email asking where to find the text and music of the Devotion to Saints Dominic and Francis traditionally sung during the thanksgiving after the main meal on those saints' respective feasts.  There is a old tradition of Dominicans inviting the local the Franciscans to dinner on the Feast of St. Dominic and the Franciscans inviting the local Dominicans on the Feast of St. Francis, and this chant was part of those festivities.  So this text is also known to Franciscans.

I remember hearing it back when I was a novice back in the 1970s, but could never find a copy.  A couple days ago, I was looking for a chant in the Processionarium S.O.P. and there it was in the appendix!  So I made up a version that can be downloaded here.

The text is actually an antiphon: Seraphicus Pater Franciscus et Apostolicus Pater Dominicus: ipsi nos docuerunt legem tuam, Domine.  ("Seraphic Father Francis and Apostolic Father Dominic: they taught us your law, O Lord."), sung with the Psalm 117 and a Gloria Patri.  The music is simply the Dominican Rite Psalm Tone VI.  So it is not at all hard to learn.  When the chant is sung on the Feast of St. Francis (at the Franciscan house), St. Dominic is named first.

St. Dominic's feast is coming up next month (August 4 in the traditional calendar, August 8 in the new calender), so this good time to make this chant available.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Index of Antiphons for Dominican Rite Chant Books

Dominican Sisters Chanting the Office
I am pleased to announce that we are making available on our left sidebar an Index of  the Antiphons found in the chant books of the Dominican Rite.  This index will be useful for those seeking the Dominican music for antiphons to use in the new Roman rite, as well as those who want to compare the Dominican music with Benedictine, Roman, or other Latin religious order Rites.  The closest relative to Dominican chant is that of the Premon-stratensians, both of which are derived mostly from Cistercian models.

Modern Roman-Benedictine chant books often have indices for the various chants, but the most important Dominican chant books for the Office—the Antiphonarium of 1863 (with night office), the Antiphonarium of 1933 (no night office, post-Pius X psalter), and the Matins book of 1936 (major feasts)—have never been indexed or the index is found in a separate, hard-to-find, pamphlet.  All the antiphons of these books are in our new index.  This index also includes all the antiphons found in the Dominican Processional, the Holy Week Books of 1949 and 1963, the Gradual, and the Compline book.

The links to the index are available here at Dominican Liturgy on the left sidebar under Dominican Rite Texts—Downloadable.  The text of the first version is numbered straight through; that of the second is arranged in booklet format for double-sided printing.

Note: The Dominican cloistered sisters of Prato (the community of St. Catherine de' Ricci, O.P.) are wearing white veils and no scapulars because they were and are technically members of the lay penitents ("Third Order"), not nuns ("Second Order").

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Feast of St. Peter Martyr, Milan, Italy. By Prof. Donald Prudlo.

This fine article on the celebrations honoring the Dominican St. Peter of Verona at his tomb in Milan this year was composed by my former graduate student (now associate professor of history at Jacksonville State Univ. in Alabama) will, I am sure interest our readers.  It was previously published at the New Liturgical Movement.
 
Peter of Verona was an early Dominican inquisitor, brutally murdered in 1252 by Cathar heretics. He had been active in public ministry for nearly 30 years in northern and central Italy, and was one of the most powerful preachers of the age; after his martyrdom, he became the fastest canonized saint in history (less than 11 months after his death). His relics are kept in the Romanesque basilica of Sant’ Eustorgio in Milan, formerly also home to the relics of the Magi, which were later looted by Barbarossa and taken to Cologne. St Peter is co-patron of the quarter and the parish, and each year, on the Sunday closest to his feast, the local church celebrates in his honor.

The Basilica of Saint Eustorgius
I was privileged this year to be present for the festivities, which demonstrated the close connection between liturgy and the Saints: an excellent example of liturgical and extra-liturgical devotion, and a witness to an ancient cult still alive and well in the Church. Saints, even those canonized with a universal cult like St. Peter Martyr, are testaments to the intersection of catholicity and particularity. When one attends the feast of a Saint, one sees evidence of the organic growth of liturgy as it took place over the centuries, all the while embedded in the continuous traditions of the broader Church. Saints are the liturgical signposts of the year, marking in their lives the radical following of Christ, in the case of martyrs, even to death. They are the lived Anamneses of the Church. The celebration of their feasts is a present reminder of the unity of their sacrifice with that of Christ, made manifest in the celebration of the Sacrifice of the Mass over and near their tombs.

Yet even while recalling the universal nature of the Church, each local saint is an incarnational presence in a particular place. Each patron saint comes with interesting local customs, that one can usually only see in a certain location, usually only once a year. Peter’s feast is no different. It is still celebrated near its date on the traditional Calendar, April 29, something which is quite common, at least in Italy. This further increases the special nature of the feast, for it is like according an extra celebration to the patronal saint, one for the locality, and one for the Universal Church. (Peter’s was removed from the universal calendar in the post-Concilar reform, but he retains a commemoration in the Dominican order on June 4, the date of one of his relic translations).

The parish had two Masses on Sunday in Peter’s honor, each with its own particular characteristics. Both were in the revised Ambrosian rite which -- while much simplified -- retains certain carryovers from the old Ambrosian Rite that Peter would have been familiar with in his lifetime. (One particularly medieval moment was when a dog started barking in the back of church during the sermon, particularly apposite for Peter when one recalls the old nursery rhyme “Hark, hark the dogs do bark, the Beggars are coming to town.”) A common point between the two forms is the burning of a paper globe high above the Gospel side of the altar in a special wrought-iron carrier borne by two angels. On the globe was the word “Credo,” which to reminds us that Peter’s was a life lived for the Creed. His story begins with him defending the Creed against his angry heretical uncle as a seven-year-old, and ends as he begins to recite “Credo in unum Deum” when he was struck dead. Peter’s life was dedicated to a radical living out of the doctrine of the Church in all his endeavors: his preaching, his pursuit of heretics, and his warm relations with religious and laity. At Sant’ Eustorgio, the globe is set afire by a triple candle. This represents the fire of Charity which, when added to doctrine, sets afire the whole of the earth; the triple candle also stands for the faith in the Trinity, which is the principle of evangelization to light the world ablaze.

The paper globe which Dr Prudlo describes above, called a “faro” in Italian, is filled with oil soaked cotton, and set alight at the beginning of the liturgy, before the Mass proper begins. This is done only for feasts of Martyrs in their own churches in the Ambrosian Rite.

The first Mass concluded with a procession into the Portinari chapel, usually behind an annoyingly expensive paywall, but open to the faithful for prayer this one day of the year. As the procession entered, the skull of Peter of Verona was displayed in a marvelous reliquary. Discovered to be incorrupt at the translation of his relics in 1253, and again in 1340, his head was removed for the veneration of the faithful. Indeed, one can still see the beard and tonsure of the Dominican, as well as the brutal head wounds that caused his death. So many of the relics one sees in Europe are such remote and sometimes unknown figures it is difficult to associate their bones with their stories. With Peter we have powerful eyewitness accounts, and a clear record of cultic preservation, a fact that brings home the actions of that fateful Sabbato in Albis over 750 years ago and recorded in famous paintings from Fra Angelico to Titian.



Once past the skull, the glorious Portinari chapel was completely opened, a masterpiece of Christian architecture, with perfect renaissance proportions and frescoes painted by Vincenzo Foppa. (One of the more interesting is the rare image of a Virgin Mary with devil horns, an apparition sent by the devil, which Peter dispels by showing it the Blessed Sacrament).

Peter Martyr Routs an Apparition of the Devil, by Vincenzo Foppa, 1462-68. According to this story, when the devil had appeared to a group of heretics, disguised as the Virgin Mary, St Peter unmasked him by showing the consecrated Host and saying “If you are truly hte Mother of GOd, kneel before your Son and worship Him!”
But the crowning glory is Giovanni da Balduccio’s glorious freestanding ark tomb, raised aloft by female statues representing the Cardinal and Theological virtues (with Obedience added, to make a total of eight). Around the ark are masterful bas reliefs of Peter’s life, interspersed with the Doctors of the Church, and all surmounted by Mary and Jesus, who are flank by Peter and Dominic. The high point was that for this one day, the Saint’s ark was returned to its original purpose: people could freely pass right through the master work, underneath the tomb, and press their heads and hands to it, just as was done in the Middle Ages.



After that, deacons were present all day to present a relic of Peter for veneration, including a prayer against headaches very popular with the Milanese. (Peter’s patronage against headaches should be evident from his iconography; he is usually pictured with a giant knife sticking out of his head). This ritual included a prayer composed by Blessed Ildefonse Schuster.
O God, who did grant to your Blessed Priest and Martyr Peter the grace to write with his blood that Symbol of the Faith which, after he had diligently learned it as a child, and then become a Preacher of your Gospel, he preached undaunted to the people against the errors of the heretics; through his prayers grant that Your Church might preach the Faith and confirm it in good works. Through Christ our Lord.
Hundreds of the faithful came through the day to venerate the head and tomb, and to kiss the relic. Such lived devotion to the Saints, so rare in majority Protestant countries, one can find alive and well in the historically Catholic areas of the world. These are the deep roots of the much maligned “cultural Catholics,” whose appreciation of the faith is often far deeper than many realize (even if greatly restricted in scope). Indeed this residual devotion is certainly a foothold in the re-evangelization of the unchurched in these areas.

In the second Mass, we were privileged to see an assembly of various representatives of the Misericordia confraternities. Many ambulance services in Italy are run privately, by volunteers of the Misericordia. These were originally founded by Peter of Verona, and have been in existence for nearly 800 years, helping the sick and wounded. Another aspect of robustly Catholic culture, these fraternities were and, to a certain extent still are, religious in nature; it was Peter’s genius to see it as effective ways for the laity not only to have improved religious observance and to do good works, but to sanctify the world, and to firm up the ranks against heresy. Representatives of the Confraternities had the honor of processing in with the relic of the skull and enthroning it for Mass.


After the Gospel, the priest blessed the short black penitential robes, the symbols of lay piety, bound by a rosary, and including a black mask, originally to preserve the anonymity of the members, who also and promise to take no pay save for a glass of water. Peter knew that doctrine and works go together, and that Mercy has been at the heart of the Church’s mission from the very beginning. The postulants, dressed in their colorful emergency attire, then made their promises to observe the constitutions, and then were helped to vest by their sponsors.

Mass concluded with a solemn blessing in the name of St. Peter, and then the faithful came up for a chance to venerate the skull relic, guided by the new members of the confraternity.

The living veneration of the saints is one of the oldest manifestations of orthodox Christianity in the world, dating from the first years of the Church. It is something we hold in common with our Eastern brothers, a genuinely traditional ecumenical principle. The Saints are like divine strikes of lightning, creations of grace scattered throughout every region and time of the Church, models of the holiness and of the possibilities of graced human nature. The revival and cultivation of their cults, pilgrimages, veneration, and prayers for their intercession, must be a vital part of any genuine renewal.