18 October 2007

The Dominican Rite

With all the interest in the Traditional Latin Mass, one wonders why the distinction of calling it the 1962 Mass or the Mass of Pope John XXIII. I think sometimes we Romans forget there are many rites within the Church and ours happens to be just one of them.

When we lived in Seattle, we spent a lot of time looking for a Mass that wasn't full of abuses. In my experience, the West Coast tends to do a lot of experimentation. Can you say Archbishop Hunthausen?

After spending some time at an incredible Byzantine Catholic Church (St. John Chrysostom), we found a church that offered the Dominican Rite. While we loved the Byzantine Church, Roman Catholics typically have a hard time adjusting to this rite, which is more a way of life than anything. Masses are much longer and there are many Holy Days of Obligation. Very rigorous if you are used to the once-a-week-for-just-an-hour obligation. While the people of the parish were very welcoming, the pastor was actually kind of hostile toward Romans. So, we finally found our way to Blessed Sacrament for the Dominican Rite Mass, which is said in Latin with all the bells and smells a girl could want. As the priest entered, they would sing the Asperges, which is my favorite part of the Mass aside from the Consecration.

Supposedly, the Dominicans were abandoning this ancient rite in favor of the Roman, and the Dominican Rite Mass was brought to an abrupt halt while we were attending in Seattle, but I did find that there are some Dominicans that have been given permission to continue on with the Rite.

Our Church is very rich and blessed in so many ways. Get out and attend some of the other rites to see that there is much the Church has to offer!

I looked at Wiki and found oodles of rites I had never heard of before. Below is a list of some variants of the Roman rite that are now defunct:

* The Sarum Rite (more properly Sarum Use), a defunct variant on the Roman Rite originating in the Salisbury diocese, which had come to be widely practiced in England and Scotland around the 1530s, while the Protestant Reformation swept across continental Europe; practiced alongside limited other variants such as the Use of York, Lincoln Use, Bangor Use, and Hereford Use.
* The Cologne Use, used in the diocese of Cologne (German: Köln) prior to 1570.
* The Lyonese Rite of the diocese of Lyon, France, which some consider to have been (rather than Milan) the centre of diffusion of the Gallican liturgy.
* The Nidaros Use, long defunct, based mainly on imported English liturgical books, used in pre-Reformation Norway.
* The Uppsala Use, suppressed during the Reformation, formerly the dominant variant of the Roman Rite used in northern Sweden.
*The Aquileian Rite, a defunct rite originating in the former patriarchate of Aquileia in northern Italy.
* The Benevento Rite, a defunct Latin rite originated in this city in Italy.
* The Durham Rite (defunct: Durham, England)

It also listed some rites said by religious orders:
The following previously existing rites of Mass, distinct from the Roman Rite, continue to be used on a limited basis by the permission of ecclesiastical superiors:
Carmelite Rite
Cistercian Rite
Dominican Rite
Premonstratensian or Norbertine Rite

The Catholic Encyclopedia applied the word "rite" also to the practices followed (to some extent even now, a century later) by certain Roman Catholic religious orders, while at the same time stating that they in fact followed the Roman Rite:
Franciscan Rite
Friars Minor Capuchin Rite
Servite Rite

For some info on the Dominican Rite, click here or here.

Distinctive marks of the Dominican Rite
Again, from Wiki
Only the most striking differences between the Dominican Rite and the Roman are mentioned here. The most important was in the manner of celebrating a low Mass. The celebrant in the Dominican Rite wore the amice over his head until the beginning of Mass, and prepared the chalice as soon as he reached the altar. The Psalm "Judica me Deus" was not said and the Confiteor, much shorter than the Roman, contained the name of St. Dominic. The Gloria and the Credo were begun at the centre of the altar and finished at the Missal. At the Offertory there was a simultaneous oblation of the Host and the chalice and only one prayer, the "Suscipe Sancta Trinitas". The Canon of the Mass was the same as the Canon of the Roman Rite, but after it were several noticeable differences. The Dominican celebrant said the "Agnus Dei" immediately after the "Pax Domini" and then recited the prayers "Hæc sacrosancta commixtio", "Domine Iesu Christe" and "Corpus et sanguis", then followed the Communion, the priest receiving the Host from his left hand. No prayers are said at the consumption of the Precious Blood, the first prayer after the "Corpus et Sanguis" being the Communion. These were the most noticeable differences in the celebration of a low Mass.

In a solemn Mass the chalice was brought in procession to the altar during the Gloria, and the corporal was unfolded by the deacon during the singing of the Epistle. The chalice was prepared just after the subdeacon had sung the Epistle, with the ministers seated at the Epistle side of the sanctuary. The chalice was brought from the altar to the place where the celebrant was seated by the subdeacon, who poured the wine and water into it and replaced it on the altar. The incensing of the ministers occurred during the singing of the Preface. Throughout the rite the ministers also stood or moved into various patterns rather different than those of the old Roman Liturgy.

P: Asperges me
C: Domine, hyssopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.

Misere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto, Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen


Sanctus Belle said...

There is also a Carthusian rite which as far as I know has never been changed and predates the Tridentine. I could be wrong about that, but I think this is the case. Of course they are a strictly cloistered order so lay people cannot assist there. I did catch some glimpses of this mass in the movie "Into Great Silence" It looked simple, holy and beautiful.

gemoftheocean said...

Great post. On the west coast, in particular, young folks and even those much older, often don't seem to realize that "there is more than one way to skin a cat." So I usually point out this fact to my servers. I was able to convince a few of them to attend some lenten liturgies with me, just so that they got the experience and understood there was more than one way to validly do Mass.

swissmiss said...

My info was pretty much from Wikipedia...someone should add the Carthusians to it! Very interesting. Will have to watch Into Great Silence sometime.

Before we had kids, we did a lot of traveling and attended Mass all over the place. Really neat. I hope to expose my kids to a variety of rites and have them hear Mass said in a variety of languages. How did the servers like the different Masses you attended?

Terry Nelson said...

The Carthusian rite is pretty much the same as the Charlemagne rite, with little change. Lay people who visit the Charterhouse can and do assist at their Mass, outside the grill in the extern chapel. Their chant is solemn and pure.

Terry Nelson said...

I should have mentioned the Carthusian rite is similar to the Dominican rite.

swissmiss said...

Thanks for the info. Where is the Charterhouse you mention?

Sanctus Belle said...

O Terry I didn't know that! I didn't think any lay people were allowed inside their walls. That's very good news! I will make it one of the goals of my life to assist outside the grille at one of their masses. I have a great love of the Carthusian order. Thanks!

swissmiss said...

Here a website I found for the Carthusians:


Terry Nelson said...

The American Charterhouse is in Vermont.