Monday, November 29, 2010

Use of the Capuce at Office in Light of Dominican Tradition

I have recently been asked about what the Dominican tradition is for raising and lowering the capuce (hood) at the Divine Office. I previously posted on this but I think that it would be more convenient to represent my conclusions. Especially note-worthy is the traditional rule on not lowering the capuce when one makes the "bow to the knees" (incinatio ad genua).

Those interested in the rules for raising and lowering the capuce in the traditional Dominican Rite may find them in nn. 730-740 of the Caeremoniale iuxta Ritum S. Ordinis Praedicatorum of 1869 (the last ceremonial of the order); an English version of these rubrics was published by the Eastern Province as Rubric Pamplet I: Choir in 1907. Both books are available at Dominican Liturgy on the left sidebar in PDF format for download. To your right you can see friars with their capuces raised during a vestition with the habit in the Western Dominican Province

I have already done a post on the pre-Vatican-II reform rubrics. In 1963 those traditional rubrics were suppressed, and the capuce was raised only when friars were seated listening to readings. Even this practice fell out of use by the time the Order adopted the new Roman Liturgy of the Hours in 1972. Although occasionally, especially in cold weather, or when meditating, individual friars occasionally put up their hoods in choir even today.

Assuming there might be a desire to revive use of the capuce in choir, here are my suggestions as to how this would be done in continuity with the older practice.

1) The capuce would be raised and kept up at Office following the Gloria Patri and alleluia at the beginning of each hour. In the traditional rubrics, the bow at this Gloria Patri was profound, which meant the capuce was down until it was over. The following would be exceptions to this rule:

a) The capuce would be raised after the verse "Lord, open my lips" and its response before the Invitatory of the first Office of the day. This verse and response used to be followed by a Gloria Patri, and the capuce was not raised until it was over. As the Invitatory Antiphon now follows immediately, one would raise the capuce after the response to the verse.

b) At Compline, the capuce would be down until the hymn. The verse, response, and Gloria Patri at Compline are today followed by the Examination of Conscience, which the Dominican Proper of 1983 directs to be said kneeling (not bowed as in the old rite) or even prostrate on the forms. As the old rubrics required that those kneeling or prostrate lower the capuce, it would be left down for the Examination of Conscience. The older rubrics required that the capuce be lowered for the Nunc Dimittis antiphon, the Collect, and then remain down for the Salve Regina and O Lumen processions, so the capuce remain down for the rest of Compline after the short reading.

2. Once it is raised the capuce is not lowered for the Gloria to the Father after the psalms or during the Short Responsory. That bow was traditionally a bow to the knees, not a profound bow (to the toes) as at the beginning of the Office. There may have been a Roman practice of uncovering for the Gloria Patri, but this was not the Dominican use.

3. At Lauds and Vespers, the capuce would be lowered at the antiphon of the Gospel Canticle. This was the traditional rubric. The capuce would remain down for the rest of those Offices. This follows the old rubrics, which required that it be lowered for the Preces when these were said, as well as for collects; so the capuce would remain down during the modern Intercessions and Our Father, and for the Collect and dismissal.

4. At the Little or Day Hours, the capuce would be lowered for the Collect and Benedicamus Domino. The same practice would be followed at Office of Readings, should it be separated from Laudes.

5. Readers at Office would, as was traditional, lower the capuce while reading. Should, for some reason (e.g. a "Protracted Vigil") the Gospel is read at Office, all would uncover their heads along with the reader.

6. It was the practice in the old rubrics not to cover the head during devotions and traditional prayers after or before the Office. So if the Sacra Convivium is said before or the Angelus after, the capuce would be left down.

7. Finally, although it was the Dominican practice to make a profound bow in Office at the names of Jesus, Mary, and Dominic, the capuce was not lowered for those bows at Office. I mention this because of the secular practice of tipping the biretta at the Holy Names. I see no reason that we should adopt this Roman rubric, which gets messy with a capuce. Something might be said for restoring the profound bow at the Holy Names, especially during the Salve Regina and O Lumen processions--custom still preserved those bows when I was at the Western Dominican House of Studies in Oakland CA during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

These are, of course, merely suggestions. As no rubrics on the capuce exist in the modern (1982 and 1996) editions of the Dominican Propers, houses are, of course, free to establish their own customs.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All Souls Dominican Requiem at Holy Rosary Chruch, Portland OR

We have the pleasure of presenting a series of excellent images of the Missa Cantata Dominican Rite Requiem Mass celebrated at Holy Rosary Church, Portland, Oregon, on the occasion of this last All Souls day. The celebrant was the pastor, Fr. Anthony Patalano, O.P., a priest of the Western Dominican Province. The music was provided by Cantores in Ecclesia, who regularly sing at Masses in the parish.

The first image shows the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. Father has bowed to make his Confiteor and the two servers (holding their candles) have turned inward to face him. Notice the unbleached candles on the altar, in the processional candlesticks, and around the catafalque.

In this next image we see the priest and servers, who have swung out to the Epistle side of the altar for the reading of the Officium (called the Introit in the Roman Rite) and the Kyrie. This swing would include the deacon and subdeacon if this were a Solemn Mass. This movement of the ministers is among the most famous elements of our Dominican Rite. After this, the priest will return to the center, turn and greet the people with Dominus vobiscum and then return to the book to sing the Collect. He will then read the Epistle, which may be sung by a cleric if one is available.

Here Fr. Patalano has come to the Gospel side to sing the Gospel, the servers having brought their candles in the brief procession. There is no censer-bearer as incense is not used at the Requiem Mass.

The servers wash father's hands during the Offertory. The verse "Qui retribuam Domino pro omnibus quod tribuat mihi." is omitted during Requiem Masses, otherwise the Dominican Offertory with a single oblation of the elements is unchanged.

Father has just finished the Preface and is reading the Sanctus quietly. As you can see the servers are lighting (or on the left have lighted) the Sanctus Candles. These will burn until the Communion.

The Mass completed, father has come down to perform the "Absolution of the Dead" at the catafalque, while the choir sings the chant of the Libera. You will notice that father has exchanged his chasuble for the cope.

Here incense is being prepared for use during the singing of the Libera, when it is traditional to incense the catafalque and then sprinkle it with holy water.

Incensing the catafalque:

The Libera and its prayers completed, the ministers depart to the sacristy.

May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace!