Monday, December 7, 2009

New Dominican Rite Resources

Through the kindness of contributors, I can now announce several new resources for the Dominican Rite.

The first is James Harrison's How to Sing Plainchant: Chiefly for the Use of Dominican Choirs (Ditchling: St. Dominic's Press, 1920). This is more extensive than my post on how to read Dominican notation and interpret the rhythm. Note, however, two oddities in this text. First, the author discusses the smaller version of the quarter bar, which was found in editions of our chant from 1910-1933. Unlike the regular quarter bar, this was NOT a sign to lengthen the preceding note, but merely a phrasing mark. It seems to have been added in 1910 to imitate the quarter bar found in the Solesmes-Roman system. Post-1933 books don't have this mark. Also, he mentions, merely in passing, the quilisma. As readers know, our books do not mark this. I assume that he thinks that choirs will add the interpretation where it would found in the Roman books, but he never explains how to do this. One can download a PDF file of this book from from the link on the left sidebar under "Dominican Chant Books" or consult it online here.

Next is a PDF file of Ceremonies of the Dominican Rite (New York: McBreen, 1877). This is a useful book for those who cannot read Latin. Although it does not reflect the practice of 1962 exactly, it is an excellent resource and covers many things not mentioned in Bonniwell's Ceremonial. The book includes rubrics for choir office and other rites besides Mass. It can be downloaded on the left sidebar under "Dominican Rite Texts."

Next is the new Liturgical Calendar of the Dominican Rite for 2010. I have compiled this for use in the Western Province, so it has a number of feasts proper to my province in it. I have also added the page numbers for the feasts along the right margin for those celebrations whose old date was changed and therefore are a bit hard to find in the 1936 Traveling Missal. The numbers indicate the page in that Missal. At the end, is found a list of the local celebrations in dioceses served by my province. Also, as this always seems to come up, the date of the September Ember days follows the reform of Pope John XXIII, which is proper for the usage of 1962. That is why they are a week later than some "Tridentine" calendars that you can find on the web. The Calendar has the days on the correct dates. You can find the link for download on the left sidebar under "Dominican Rite Texts."

Finally, thanks to Sister Mary Catherine of the Summit NJ monastery of our cloistered nuns, a new font can now be downloaded from our sidebar. If you insert the font in a document and type a capital F you will get the traditional Dominican Flex Mark whenever you need it for any psalter project. You can download it at the link under "Other Useful Links." The just copy it into the fonts directory under Windows. Although I cannot reproduce the mark here, due to limitations on fonts in the blogger program, this nice character will look much better than the usual substitutes, an upside down 2, or the  character.

I thank all who have contributed to these new resources.