Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Dominican Rite Solemn Mass in Rome

For the feast of St Thomas Aquinas, priests of the Fraternity of St Vincent Ferrer were very graciously invited to celebrate a Solemn Mass in the Dominican Rite at the Fraternity of St Peter’s Roman parish, Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini. A member of the FSVF, Fr Regniald Rivoire, has been studying in Rome for a few years, and offered Mass in the very Rite that St Thomas himself would have used the day before successfully defending his doctoral thesis. This was certainly one of the nicest solemn Masses I have ever seen; the Dominican Solemn Mass is rather more complicated than the Roman, but everything was done with great reverence and calm. A regular parishioner said to me afterwards, “that was so beautiful, I wish we could have that much more often!”

As usual, I tried to take photos while being as little disruptive to the faithful as possible, so they are mostly from the same place in the church, from a place where a column blocks the view from the nave. These do not of course capture all of the things that distinguish the Dominican Solemn Mass from the Roman.

Fr Reginald preached about St Thomas before the Mass began.
The deacon unfolds the corporal while the subdeacon sings the Epistle.
The celebrant reads the Gradual and Tract at the sedilia.
The subdeacon returns the chalice to the altar after it was prepared at the sedilia during the Responsorium (Gradual) and Tract.
Preparing for the Gospel - the celebrant imposes incense at the sedilia. On solemn feasts, a processional cross is used at the Gospel; when it is sung, the cross-bearer stands behind the lectern, as seen (sort of) in the next photo.

The Gospel book is placed on a lectern, rather than held by the subdeacon.
At a Mass in which the Creed is said, the cross-bearer only removes the Cross from the sanctuary after the Creed is finished.
The incensation at the Offertory, which is much shorter in the Dominican Mass
The Lavabo is performed by the deacon and subdeacon, rather than the acolytes.
The deacon and subdeacon are only incensed after the Preface has begun, followed by the rest of the clergy in choir.

Immediately after the Consecration, the priest stretches his hands out in the form of a Cross, a very common custom of the medieval uses.

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