Monday, March 21, 2016

Dominican Stabat Mater

Nuns Singing in the Bologna MS
As Good Friday is approaching and many churches sing the Stabat Mater at Stations of the Cross, I thought it would be suitable to reprint the transcription of the text and music of a thirteenth-century version of the Stabat Mater, recently discovered by Prof. Cesarino Ruini in a manuscript that once belonged to a convent of Dominican Nuns in Bologna, Italy, and on which I have already posted. A miniature of the Bologna nuns, from their manuscript, decorates this post.

The discovery of this manuscript, as explained in the article available here (in Italian), shows, by the date of the manuscript that the traditional ascription of authorship to Jacopone of Todi can no longer be sustained. The date, however, leaves open the possibility, often mentioned, that it is the work of Pope Innocent III.  Perhaps it was composed by the Dominincan nuns of Sant'Agnese in Bologna.

This version is interesting for a number of reasons. First, this is the earliest use of the text as a sequence. Until the discovery of this version, it was only known as a hymn until the late middle ages. This manuscript shows that the earliest known use of the text as a sequence was among Italian Dominican nuns in the 1200s. Next, the text includes not only a number of verbal variants, but also includes two verses absent from the commonly received version. Those who wish to examine these can download my transcription and compare the text to the received version here.

Even more interesting is the music. As pointed out to me by the Dominican nuns of Summit NJ, this ancient sequence borrows, with the exception of one stanza (cf. verses 19 and 20), the melodies of the Sequence of St. Dominic in the Dominican Rite. There are a number of minor musical variants as well. Those interested might want to compare the music to that found in the Dominican Gradual for the Mass of St. Dominic.

Through the kindness of a reader who converted the PDFs of this music into JPGs, here are images of the newly discovered 13th-Century Stabat Mater.  I am aware that these images are a bit blurry; if you click on them or download them, you will get a clearer image.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dominican Chants for Holy Week

I remind our readers, especially Dominicans, that the Cantus Passionis Domini Nostri Jesu Christi has been republished by Dominican Liturgy Publications.  This book contains the music for singing the Passion in Latin according to Matthew for Palm Sunday and the Passion according to John for Good Friday.  The texts have been shortened and reset to match the forms of 1962, which are to used when celebrating the Dominican Rite today.  A sample page is displayed ed to the right:

Those who purchase this book for liturgical use will want to order three copies, one each for the narrator, Christ, and the crowd.  The volume is bound in attractive hard cover.  You can read about this book and other offerings at Dominican Liturgy Publications.  I also remind readers that the PDF for the Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae, that is all the choir music of Holy Week in the Dominican Rite is available on the left side bar here at Dominican Liturgy.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Latin-English Dominican Rite Hand Missal (1959) Available for Download

I am happy to announce that though the labors of Fr Sebastian White, O.P., I can make available the text of the Saint Dominic Missal: Latin--English (New York, 1959).  This hand missal contains all the changes and reforms from the 1950s and so represents the Dominican Rite as of 1962, which is the form in which it is to be used today.  I regret that Dominican Liturgy Publications cannot reprint this book as it is over the 800 page limit for our books-on-demand printer (

The missal PDF can also be downloaded from the left sidebar of this site under "Dominican Rite Texts--Downloadable."  You might want to take a look at other publications at Dominican Liturgy Publications.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Dominican Ordo for 2016

Dominican Liturgy Publications is happy to announce the publication of the Ordo for The Dominican Rite in 2016, 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 2016.

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.

This new 2016 edition also includes prayers for the coming General Chapter at Bologna and those for the 15 Tuesdays devotion to St. Dominic.

It can be purchased here.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Announcement of Indulgences for the 800th Jubilee of the Order of Preachers

The official dates of the Jubilee are from 7 November, 2015 (Feast of All Saints of the Order)until 21 January, 2017 (the date of the official Papal Bull Gratiarum Omnium Largitori of Pope Honorius III). For events of the Jubilee in your area, consult the web page of your respective Dominican Province.

Dominican priests may wish to download the forms of Sacramental Absolution according to the traditional Dominican Rite available here and here. On the second of those cards, is included the addition to the form on the first card to be used during a Jubilee. Each download is two pages long.  Print each double-sided, trim the card, and laminate it.  They will fit easily into your wallet.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dominican Rite Calendar Available for 2016

I am pleased to announce that the 2016 Liturgical Calendar for the Dominican Rite is now available here or on the left sidebar under "Dominican Rite Texts---Downloadable.  This calendar is especially intended for use by those saying the Dominican Rite Mass but is also useful for the Office.

Included in the calendar are all feasts proper to the United States.  An appendix gives the local feasts for dioceses where friars of the Western Dominican Province live or minister.  Finally, an appendix gives a list of those Dominican blesseds not on our general calendar, but celebrated only in particular provinces.

Should any reader notice errors on this calendar, please let me know by email and I will correct them.