Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Dominican Rite at the Family Retreat

Fr Thomas repeating the readings in English on Sunday morning.

Before breakfast on Saturday and Sunday Fr Thomas Crean celebrated Low Mass in the Dominican Rite, in the Old Chapel, which attracted a good number of people. I don't often get the chance to assist at the Dominican Rite and the differences between it and the Traditional Roman Rite are fascinating.
Lighting the 'Sanctus candles', alight between the Sanctus and the Communion of the Faithful.
The elevation: more restrained than in the Roman Rite, the Host is only just visible.
I laid in a stock of booklets to help people follow the Mass - booklets created, coincidentally, by Fr Thomas himself, with others; the front cover shows a Mass at a previous Family Retreat, with Fr Andrew Southwell celebrating. You can buy them on Lulu (or the expensive version printed in two colours).
A characteristic gesture of the Dominican Rite, which it had in common with the Sarum Rite.
Something I hadn't noticed before was the server extinguishing the candles before the priest leaves the Altar, during the Last Gospel; the Epistle side one first. (Corrected: see comments.)
The hood is worn up when entering and leaving the chapel.
More photos.


  1. David Forster12:35 pm

    Both of the candles are actually put out during the Last Gospel - Epistle side first, then Gospel.

    Other key features of the rite are:
    The server carries the missal in at the start of mass and out at the end;
    Mixing of the chalice right at the start of mass;
    Proper Confiteor which names St Dominic;
    Different prayers at the offertory and priest's communion (e.g. no 'Domine non sum dignus' for the priest's communion).

  2. Joseph Shaw1:17 pm

    Do you know what the significance of extinguishing the candles is?

  3. David Forster2:27 pm

    I think it was originally purely practical - the server carried the missal to the altar at the start of mass and lit the candles, and at the end extinguished the candles and took away the missal. Saved candle wax, at a time when that was expensive.

  4. Anonymous11:13 am

    The 'Sanctus candle' was used throught the Roman Rite, as far as I know, and simply fell out of use in many places. Fortesque, et al., recommend the practice, though strictly speak should it not be 'near the altar', rather than on it or the gradines? The significance of extiungusihing the candles during the Last Gospel (apart from the other practical reasons given by Mr. Forster) could also be down to the fact that the Mass is over, the Last Gospel originally being recited on the way back to the sacristy?

  5. Lovely pictures. I'm not very familiar with all this but find it terribly interesting.
    Could you perhaps explain for me the significance of the server holding the chasuble?
    I realise this isn't unique to the Dominican Rite.
    I ask because prior to my return to the Church, I became interested in Jewish liturgical tradition. In fact, my interest in Judaism was a significant part of what led me back home.
    And I recall reading that when the high priest went into the Holy of Holies to make sacrifice, he had a rope tied to him that extended out into the part of the temple where some acolytes had hold of it at the other end. This was so that if he died, or collapsed, he could be pulled out without someone having to enter the Holy place.
    I see the altar server holding the chasuble and wonder if it harks back to that in some way? Does it?

    1. The standard explanation of the lifting of the chasuble is that it helps the priest make the elevation. This would have been more of an issue with Medieval and Ancient 'conical' and 'Gothic' vestments where there was a lot of fabric.

      Practical explanations don't exclude symbolic ones, in the liturgy, and I rather like the idea that it is related to the rope tied to the High Priest. Although the server is lifting it up, not holding it down!

  6. I am sorry to sound petty, but the short alb looks ridiculous. It seems such a pity when a nice set of vestments are spoilt my a poorly fitting alb.

    1. That is the way they wear their habits in the English Province of the Dominican Order. You'll see lots of examples on Fr Lawrence Lew's blogs and Flickr page. So Fr Crean's alb comes to the same height as his habit.

  7. Thank you for the explanation. I rather have this thing about albs! My main grumble tends to be when I see very fancy albs worn with gothic vestments - the two don't seem to go well together in my eyes. However, I know that this is all very subjective!