Wednesday, August 20th, 2008
Fr. John Farren, OP, the Director of Advancement for the Province, discusses the readings for the Solemnity of the Assumption and the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time with Angelo Matera, the editor of Godspy.com.
Most people now attending Dominican parishes might have little idea that before the 1960′s Dominicans worldwide celebrated both Mass and the Divine Office according to their own ancient traditions. These included Mass texts, liturgical hymns, and chant melodies, many dating back to the 13th century, that were unique to the Order of Preachers. During the liturgical reforms of the late ’60′s, the Order was given the choice of maintaining its liturgical tradition or adopting wholesale the reformed Roman Rite. The circumstances of the time, which included greater mobility and sustained interaction with diocesan parishes and institutions, prompted superiors to switch the entire Order to celebrating the common Roman Rite.
Certain elements of the Order’s ancient traditions, however, have endured. Others continue to be studied and appreciated for the substantial contributions they can make to contemporary Dominican celebrations of the Roman Rite.
Fr. Augustine Thompson, OP, a priest of the Holy Name Province, maintains a blog entitled Dominican Liturgy, in which he explores various elements of the Order’s liturgical traditions. Be sure to check it out. There one can find explanations of classic Dominican prayers and practices. Also available are electronic copies of old liturgical books. Of particular interest are the pictures Fr. Thompson posts of Masses being celebrated today in the Dominican Rite.