Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dominican Rite Solemn Mass, Holy Rosary Church, Portland OR (1996)

Thanks to the New Liturgical Movement, we can now present these stills from the DVD of the Mass for the Centennial of Holy Rosary Church and Priory in Portland, Oregon. If you like these images, you can order the DVD from the Rosary Center in Portland, Oregon. Just follow the link, click the tab for Audio/Video, and find "Dominican Rite Solemn Mass." You may select DVD or VHS format.

This Dominican Rite Solemn Mass was celebrated on January 28, 1995 in the presence of the then archbishop of Portland and now Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Faith, William J. Levada. He presided in choro in accordance with practices of the Dominican Rite. These are far less complex than those for the traditional Roman Rite. He gave the absolution during the Prayers of at the Foot of the Altar, kissed the Gospel Book after the priest and deacon, was incensed after the ministers and servers but before the friars present, likewise kissed the pax instrument, and, finally received a head bow before the celebrant gave the final blessing.

For this Mass, the priest was the V. Rev. Fr. Anthony Patalano, O.P., then prior and pastor of Holy Rosary, who is currently again pastor there; the deacon was Fr. Paul Raftery, O.P., now chaplain at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula CA; the subdeacon was Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P., now professor at the University of Virginia and editor of this blog. Cantores in Ecclesia, under the direction of Mr. Dean Applegate, who continues to direct the choir for the 11:00 a.m. Sunday Mass at Holy Rosary. provided the music. Although they are not a professional music group, this choir is nationally known and they have CDs available. Holy Rosary Church had undergone, under the direction of Fr. Patalano, a major restoration in preparation for the centennial. One can see the repristinated side altars, the niche for the baptismal font at the left, and the new monumental tabernacle behind the free-standing altar. This marble altar was that of the original St. Dominic's Church in San Francisco, which collapsed in the earthquake of 1906. It can be used for both celebration ad orientem as well as ad populum. The altar rail and side altars were also refinished for the event, and new stained glass windows, showing the Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary were installed, replacing the original plain white glass.

After the three major ministers you can see Archbishop Leveda, accompanied by his chaplain of honor, Fr. Edmond Ryan, O.P., former prior and pastor of Holy Rosary. Before the major ministers, you can see the friars present for the event, wearing their black cappas. As the sanctuary of Holy Rosary (a converted nineteenth-century gymnasium) is very small, they were seated in the front pew. Yes, the church was full, and parishioners were even standing in the vestibule and on the steps outside.

The major ministers have their amice-covered capuces up. This parallels the Roman practice of wearing the biretta to the altar (as can be seen on the archbishop). The amices, in a medieval style, have an embroidered decoration called an "apparal." A similar apparal decorates their albs, at the bottom and on each of the sleeves.

This next image shows the ministers bowing to recite the Confiteor during the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. The new stained glass windows showing St. Dominic and St. Catherine (just then named a Doctor of the Church) are visible above. The two acolytes, still holding their candles, have turned toward each other for the prayers. The Dominican Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are very brief, as was typical of the thirteenth century practice. A verse and response, the Confiteor, and another verse and response. The ministers then ascend to the altar, the deacon and subdeacon placing the lectionary and missal, which they have carried, in their proper places.

After the Prayers and the Foot of the Altar, as the choir sings the Officium (as we call the Introit) and the Kyrie, it is usual for the ministers to sit. They return to the altar for the priest to intone the Gloria. In the Dominican Solemn Mass, as in the Sarum Rite and other northern uses, there is a procession with the gifts during the Gloria. The subdeacon carries the chalice with paten and host, and his acolyte carries the water and wine cruets. In this next image we see the subdeacon placing the chalice on the altar. He has carried them covered with the ends of the humeral veil, which he still wears.

The Gloria finished, the ministers return to the altar and, after the Dominus vobiscum, swing to the side for the singing of the Collect. This swing, and others like it later in the Mass, is one of the most famous aspects of the Dominican Mass. Here the priest, deacon, subdeacon, senior acolyte, and junior acolyte form the "wing position" as the priest sings the Collect:

The Collect finished, the subdeacon sings the Epistle. During the Epistle, the deacon ascends to the altar to lay out the corporal. This type of simultaneous action by the ministers is typical of our rite. As the Mass is celebrated above all to worship God, and he is not comfused by several actions happening simultaneously. There is no need to have each minister wait for the anothers to finish their functions before he can perform his own, as if they were each "performing," not for God, but for some human "audience." In this image we see the unfolding of the corporal by the deacon, Fr. Paul Raftery:

As the deacon is laying out the corporal, and the subdeacon is singing the Epistle, the server has taken the missal over to the sedilla for the priest to read Epistle, Responsorium (as we call the Gradual), the Alleluia, and the Gospel. At the time of Humbert of Romans' standardization of our Rite (1256), only the Responsorium and Alleluia were read by the priest: after all he was unable to join in the chants because (as at the Kyrie and Gloria) he had other things to do. He did not at that time read the Epistle or Gospel, as these were proper to the other ministers. In the early modern period, when the predominance of Low Mass in the Roman Rite caused people to think that the priest had to do everything to "make it valid," we adopted this Romanization and had the priest read the Epistle and Gospel as well. This practice was abolished only in 1964, so in this Mass, using the rubrics of the Rite was they were in 1962, the priest still reads the readings as well as the chant. In the next image, where he is reading the Responsorium, you can see that the Mass of St. Thomas Aquinas is being celebrated. The missal used is that of 1933, with its famous neo-gothic engravings.

In the next image you can see the ministers and acolytes gathered at the sedilla as the priest reads the Gospel quietly. So all are standing. At this point he choir is still singing the Responsorium.

The subdeacon then receives the humeral veil and takes the chalice from the altar. He goes to the sedilla for his Preparation of the Chalice under the direction of the priest. This next image shows him doing his as the deacon holds the paten and host, and the priest indicates how much wine and water to add.

Here the subdeacon returns the chalice to the altar. You can see the archbishop's chaplain of honor, Fr. Ryan, sitting in the apse behind the altar.

This image shows Fr. Patalano about the incense the altar at the Offertory. He has just received the censer. After incensing the altar, the deacon will incense him. The other ministers are incensed during the chanting of the Preface.

In this picture taken during the Canon we see the ministers in the triangle formation, just about to kneel for the Consecration of the Host and Chalice. The archbishop and his chaplain have already knelt. The two acolytes hold their processional candles -- our version of elevation torches -- and the censer-bearer stands between them, ready to pass the censer to the deacon.

In this photo the ministers have knelt for the Consecration. You can see the lighted Sanctus candles on each side of the altar, next to the outer most of the six large ones. The apparalled amices worn by the priest and deacon are quite visible here, but the subdeacon's is covered by his humeral veil because he is holding the paten.

The deacon raises the chasuble and incenses the Precious Blood during the Elevation of the Chalice.

After the fraction, the priest drops a particle of the Host into the chalice and kisses it. The deacon then presents him with the Pax Instrument, which he kisses. The deacon then takes it to the subdeacon to kiss, who then presents it to the minor ministers. The cross-bearer than took to the archbishop and then to the friars. In this photo we can see him giving the peace to Fr. Bartholowew de la Torre, now a missionary in Baja California. Fr. Dominic Hoffman (R.I.P.), a prolific writer of spiritual books, kneels to the left. The "Pax Brede" being used was the subject of a recent post on this site.

In this photograph se we see the praparation for the Communion of the People. The mnisters have knelt in preparation for the priest to turn and display the host for the recitation of the Domine non sum dignus. The Dominican Rite adopted this Roman practice in 1959. Previously we simply recited our version of the Confiteor at this point.

In this final image you can see the the ministers as they about to genuflect and leave in procession. You can see that their capuces are up and that the archbishop and his chaplain have already begun singing the recessional hymn.

If you liked these images, do remember that you can order your own copy of the DVD from the Rosary Center.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Pax Instrument at Dominican Mass

Fr. Anthony Patalano, O.P., pastor of Holy Rosary Church in Portland has sent me pictures of one of the Pax Instruments (instrumenta pacis), or "Pax-bredes" that were cast on the celebration of the Centennial of the church in 1994. As many readers have probably never seen this instrument, he suggested a posting on it. Before I leave for the north in a couple of days, here it is.

The Pax Instrument (as we Dominicans call it), Osculatorium Pacis, Pax-Brede, or Pax-Board, is often simply referred to as the "Pax." It seems to have been introduced in Western Liturgy in the early thirteenth century. It has been a part of the Dominican Rite liturgy at least since the time of Humbert's Reform (1256). Instruments of ivory, wood, silver (as here) or other metals exist. As you can see in the image to the right that of Holy Rosary shows on the front Our Savior crowned with thorns in the traditional image of the Man of Sorrows or Ecce Homo. This is one of the common images for a Pax. Other possible images are an Agnus Dei or the Crucifixion. I know of one where the image is of Our Lady. There is no obligatory image and it might even be a simple cross. The back of the instrument has a handle so that it can be presented for kissing. You can see the handle on the back of the Portland Pax, which includes a commemorative inscription, in the second picture.

Use of the Instrument. In the Dominican Mass, the Pax instrument is used at all Masses of Simplex (or in 1962 terminology "Third Class") feasts and above. After the priest has dropped the particle into the chalice, which in our rite is done immediately after the recitation of the Agnus Dei, the priest recites the mingling formula and kisses the chalice. The deacon approaches on the priest's right, takes up the instrument, and presents it to the priest to kiss. He then kisses the instrument himself and descends to the subdeacon. He presents it for him to kiss, saying Pax tibi et Ecclesiae Dei sanctae. He then gives him the instrument so that he can perform the same rite for the two acolytes. The subdeacon then returns the instrument to the altar placing it on the Epistle side of the corporal, that is, unless the peace is to be given all the friars present in choir, which is done on Sundays and on First Class Feasts (totum duplex). If that is to be done, the subdeacon presents it to the two acolytes to receive and then takes it to the lead cantor who presents it to the friars in choir, beginning with the Master of the Order (if present), then the prior provincial (if present), next the local prior, and finally the brothers in order of religion. He then places it on the credence. If it is not convenient for the subdeacon to go to the choir, this task may be undertaken by the crucifer, who comes up to receive the pax after the acolytes. On the very highest of feasts, however, the subdeacon himself takes the pax to all the friars in order, accompanied by his acolyte.

If the community has no pax instrument, the paten may be used in its place, but, in that case, it is not customary to have it carried to the community in choir. If a bishop is presiding in choir, he would receive the peace after the ministers but before it is presented to any of the friars in choir. There is an interesting local variant of this ritual in some places at Low Mass. It is not observed in the United States, and never was, as far as I know, at least in the Western Province. In this custom, the server at Low Mass, when he sees the priest kiss the chalice at the mingling, ascends and picks up the paten with the purificator and offers it to the priest to kiss. The priest then greets the server with Pax tibi et Ecclesiae Dei sanctae, the server himself kisses the paten and replaces it on the altar. I understand that this ritual is still observed among the Australian Dominicans.

Through the kindness of one of our readers, a former parishioner at Blessed Sacrament Church in Seattle, I can now add two more images of a Pax Instrument, these made in France. Notice that this one shows the Agnus Dei.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Landmark: 10,000 Visits to Dominican Liturgy

Even if you read this site regularly, you may have never gone all the way to the bottom of the page. If you do, you will find a little graphic showing a number there. This number lists the number of times Dominican Liturgy has been visited by readers. Some time last night (July 9) the number passed 10,000. So I had to reconfigure the four-digit counter to make it show the current total. Now, 10,000 visits in two months may not be much for some of the big-time Catholic blogs but for the little world of Dominican Liturgy, this was a landmark. It is times like this when the work seems worthwhile and productive. If you have friends interested in the Dominican Rite or music, do let them know about this site. Should you have questions or comments, leave them in the combox of this welcome page and I will be notified. Or contact me directly by email.

I would like to remind readers of the new additions to our sidebar for books of Dominican chant and liturgy. These are all downloadable as pdf files. I will continue to update the Liturgy of the Hours Vesperal in Dominican Chant as I complete more sections. I am now adding the Commons. You will notice that there are some missing antiphons. Since I am following the Ordo Cantus Officii (1983) from the Sacred Congrgation for Worship and some of the antiphons prescribed are not edited, these will come as soon as I can transcribe them from mircofilms of manuscripts. This should be possible after I get back to the D.C. area in the fall and can use the chant microfilms at Catholic University. But for now, there is plenty of material for those who want to sing Vespers in Latin chant using (mostly) Dominican melodies.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Venia and Kissing the Scapular

I have been asked by readers to say something about Dominican traditions concerning the practice of making the venia and the custom of kissing the scapular. I am happy to oblige. What follows respresents formal legislation or custom within my own province. I am sure that others will let us know about different practices elsewhere.

The Venia is made (Caeremoniale (1869), n. 791), "by extending the whole body on the ground, not on the stomach but on the right side, with the left leg on top of the right." Although the exact posture varies a bit from province to province, and even according to what a friar was taught by his novice master (one of whose responsibilities is to "teach the novices to make the venia"), this image of a French friar of Toulouse is a good example.

Traditionally, the venia is made for one of two reasons: to show acceptance of an obedience or to ask forgiveness. It is similar to the practice in certain religious congregations of kissing the ground, a custom we do not use. The Caeremoniale prescribes the following times when it is made to accept a obedience:

1. At a chapter of faults on receiving a penance.
2. After correction by a superior.
3. On receiving a precept, office, or ministry.

This last is probably the most common use in practice today. I have seen the venia done during the past year by a friar after the reading of the "mandamus" assigning him to our priory in Oakland, and a couple of years ago on the installation of a prior there.

More common historically, is the use of the venia in asking forgiveness or showing sorrow for a fault. The Caeremoniale prescribes it on these occasions:

1. At a chapter of faults, on making a self-accusation.
2. When asking forgiveness for a fault from a superior, or even from other simple friar.
3. By the communicants (not the ministers) at the recitation of the Confiteor before Communion in the Dominican Rite Solemn Mass up to 1959, when this Confiteor was dropped to conform to changes in the Roman Rite.
4. In the sacristy, by the server after Mass, if he has made a mistake in serving.
5. During reading at meals, at the end of the reading, if a grave mistake were made (e.g. one causing laughter).
6. In choir, if one arrived very late (after the first Psalm of the Office), in which case one remained on the floor till the prior knocked on the form. Or, by a chanter or reader, after making a grave mistake in singing or reading. This venia was done briefly, rising without waiting for the prior to knock.
7. In Sacramental Confession, when using the Dominican Rite formula for absolution, if the friar penitent recited the Confiteor after the absolution from censures and before the priest recited the Misereatur and gave formal absolution. Friars could do this, just as everyone recites and act of contrition today in confession, but lay people were not expected to know the formula in Latin, so it could be omitted. For the form of Absolution in the Dominican Rite. see the downloadable text on sidebar to your left.

There were two other occasions when the Venia was made that do not quite fit in these categories. These were:

1. Before the superior, when leaving a community for more than one night, or when receiving the blessing for travelers.
2. During the reading of Martyrology on the feast of the Annunciation at the words "et factus homo."

When a subject had committed a very grave fault, and wanted to ask the superior for mercy, a more solemn form of the venia was made: prostration flat on the floor with arms out-stretched in the form of a cross. I have never seen this done, nor, thank God, had to do it.

Kissing the Scapular

The scapular is the apron-like part of the Dominican habit. It is a very ancient as a part of monastic garb, being mentioned in chapter 15 of the Rule of Benedict as an item worn for manual labor. Originally short, it was lengthened in the early middle ages and sometimes connected by strips at the sides to make it cross shaped, as can been seen in the example of the famous Carthusian habit to the right. Originally not worn in choir, it had became a part of the choir habit for monks, hermits, and canons regular by the 1100s. We Dominicans wear it because we are in origin canons regular, having been approved as such in our foundation bull of Pope Honorius III in 1216.

It is the only part of our habit that is formally blessed at the profession of first vows. Older legendaries claimed the the scapular was added to our habit many years after the foundation because of a apparition of the Blessed Virgin to Bl. Reginald of Orleans during a serious illness, she saying "behold the habit of your Order." This story does not indicate that the Virgin was adding the scapular to the original canons' habit of the order. As canons regular, we already had the scapular--although the late legend interpreters did not know this. Thus the unfounded story. When Our Lady showed him the scapular, it was already part of the full habit of the Order he was to enter after being healed.

The practice of kissing the scapular is customary and was never a part of our legislation in a formal way. It was, and is, the custom in many provinces to kiss the scapular in choir after making a minor mistake in singing or reading, or when having to go around another friar to get to one's stall. But this was not universal custom. In some provinces (cf. Caeremoniale, n. 797, f.n. 1) it seems that the practice was to touch the ground with a finger, or at least (for the less able) to try to do so. I have never seen that done, but in all the provinces I have visited, including my own, the practice of kissing the scapular in choir is very much alive.

Those who would like information on the lay devotion of small scapulars and their origin and use, should consult the excellent article "Scapulars" in the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967), 12:114, by Fr. Paul N. Zammit, O.P. This is not the Catholic Encyclopedia on-line, which is the old one of 1911.