Friday, April 22, 2011

Dominican Chants of Good Friday

Among the most beautiful chants of the Dominican Office of Tenebrae (Matins and Laudes on the days of the Pascal Triduum) are the responsories used with the Lamentations and other readings. By provision of the Proprium Officiorum Ordinis Praedicatorum (1982), these may also be used with the modern Liturgy of the Hours. This excellent video, made available by Bro. Lawrence Lew, O.P., shows the friars of Blackfriars Oxford chanting the responsories Velum Templi and Tradiderunt Me, as well as the Benedictus (in English).

We at St. Albert the Great Priory in Oakland have also been celebrating Tenebrae, but, unfortunately, I have no videos or recordings.

May these beautifully performed chants inspire other Dominican communities to take advantage of the chant treasures of the Order approved for use with the Liturgy of the Hours.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dominican Chants of Lenten Compline

I am happy to make available to our readers the following presentation by Bro. Innocent Smith, O.P., of the St. Joseph Province, about some of the most famous and beautiful distinctive Dominican chants for Compline during Lent.

I would also mention these three chants are also sung at St. Albert the Great Priory, our House of Studies in Oakland. We sing the Evigila with the Nunc Dimittis daily from Ash Wednesday to the Third Sunday of Lent; we sing O Rex with the Nunc Dimittis from the Third Sunday to the Triduum. The Media Vita is sung in place of the short responsory In Manus tuas after the reading on First and Second Vespers of Sundays and Solemnities and everyday during Holy Week. On other days of Lent, we sing another Dominican responsory, the In Pace in place of the short responsory.

I hope this provides readers with a spiritual meditation on the spirituality and liturgy of Lent in anticipation of Holy Week and Easter.

With special thanks to Bro. Innocent!