Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Dominican Altar Boys' Manual

I am delighted to announce that, thanks to the work of my Dominican Brother Corwin Low, O.P., of our Western Dominican Province House of Studies, Dominican Liturgy Publications can now make available paperback copies of The Dominican Altar Boys’ Manual. This booklet was first published in 1945, and has been in the public domain since 1964. Those interested in a copy may order here.

This booklet contains all that is necessary for training young men to serve the simple (Low Mass) and sung (Missa Cantata and Solemn) forms of the traditional Dominican Rite Mass. There are also many other pointers and aids for servers generally.

I am sure that many of our readers who are not training servers for Dominican Rite Masses will also be interested in the wealth of information on the Rite available in this booklet.

I also ask our readers to offer a prayer for Brother Raymond Bertheaux, O.P., professed as lay (cooperator) brother for 56 years, with decades of service in the missions and nine years at the Dominican Curia in Rome, who will be buried tomorrow in our Province Cemetery in Benicia CA. He was one of the most exacting teachers for me when learning to celebrate the traditional Dominican Rite Mass and was my server many, many times. R.I.P.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Concede nobis: Responsory for All Saints Day

Each year on the Vigil of All Saints a special event is held at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC with readings from the lives of the saints, a ferverino, the office of Compline, and a procession around the cloister to our reliquary. This year, the schola sang a long responsory from the Dominican chant tradition, Concede nobis, following one of the readings. The text of this chant is curiously similar in form to that of a Collect.

Concede nobis, Domine, quæsumus, veniam delictorum, et intercedentibus Sanctis quorum hodie solemnia celebramus, talem nobis tribue devotionem, * Ut ad eorum pervenire mereamur societatem. V. Adjuvent nos eorum merita, quos propria impediunt scelera: excuset intercessio, accusat quos actio, et qui eis tribuisti cœlestis palmam triumphi, nobis veniam non deneges peccati. * Ut ad. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui sancto. * Ut ad.

Here is an English translation:
Grant us, Lord, we implore you, forgiveness of sins; and through the intercession of the saints whose feast we celebrate today, grant us such devotion * that we may merit to share their company. V. May we, who are hampered by our own wickedness, be aided by their merits; may we, who stand accused by our actions, be excused by their intercession, and may he, who granted them the palm of heavenly triumph, not deny us forgiveness of sins. That we may (&c). Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. That we may (&c). (Dominican Breviary (1967) 2:901).

A recording of this chant as sung at the 2011 All Saints Vigil may be listened to here.

Concede nobis is assigned in the Proprium Officiorum Ordinis Praedicatorum (1982) as the responsory following the second reading at the Office of Readings (cf. p. 458). In the medieval Dominican rite, it is sung as the first vespers responsory and as the ninth matins responsory.