The Rosary Shrine is delighted to add something both new and old to our liturgical provision: starting on Rosary Sunday (6th October) this year, the Dominican friars will offer a Sung Mass (Missa Cantata) in the Dominican rite every Sunday at 4pm, at the Altar of Our Lady of the Rosary. Where possible, translations of the Latin prayers and texts will be provided. All are welcome.
What is the Domincian rite?
In 1217, Pope Honorius III declared Saint Dominic’s nascent band of itinerant brothers to be an “order of preachers” who were sent throughout Christendom to preach for the salvation of souls. But as the friars travelled from place to place they encountered numerous local variations within the basically Roman form of the Liturgy that prevailed in the West. Efforts to redact a uniform Liturgy for the use of the Order of Preachers is likely to have been started by Saint Dominic himself but something was produced by his successor Blessed Jordan of Saxony. In 1245, a commission of four friars, including one from the Province of England, undertook a revision of that first attempt, and they seemed to have moved away from the Parisian sources of the earliest version of the Dominican rite in order to make it more Roman. Their revision was finally redacted by Blessed Humbert of Romans, Fifth Master of the Order, and he authorised its use throughout the Order in 1256. The resulting Liturgy, Archdale King says concerning the Dominican rite, “is more Roman in character than the actual Roman liturgy.” The Dominican rite of Mass remained the unique form under which Dominican friars, individually and in their convents, prayed the Mass all the way until 1969. In that year, the Holy See granted permission for the Order of Preachers to adopt the reformed Roman rite instead of the Dominican rite, although individual Dominican friars were always allowed to celebrate their own rite with permission from their superiors. Thanks to the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum of Pope Benedict XVI issued in 2007, and the subsequent Instruction Universae Ecclesiae issued by the Pontificial Commission Ecclesia Dei in 2011, individual Dominican friars are permitted to use the Dominican rite for private Masses, or for stable groups of the lay faithful who request it of him; public Masses require permission from the local superior. This regular Sunday Mass in the Dominican equivalent of the ‘Extraordinary Form of the Mass’ that we are introducing is a pastoral initiative of the Dominican friars, and it has the full approval of the Prior, Parish Priest, and Rector of the Rosary Shrine.
If you’d like to help with singing or serving the Mass, please contact Fr Lawrence Lew, OP.