Rorate Caeli

Dominican rite returning to Washington, D.C.

Followers of the Order of Preachers in the U.S. have observed a curious situation over the past decade, where many young conservative and traditional-leaning men have been joining the Dominicans in Washington, D.C., while the use of the Dominican rite has largely been on the west coast.

That is finally about to change.  Mass in the Dominican rite will be offered in the main chapel of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., starting with a Missa Cantata at 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, 27 September 2012.

Dominican rite Masses have been offered in the western province, often by Father Augustine Thompson, O.P., who has worked tirelessly to promote the rite of his order.  There have been occassional Dominican rite Masses in such other places as New York City and Columbus, Ohio, but not in the heart of the vocational growth of D.C. until now.

Particularly since Summorum Pontificum, several young Dominican brothers in Washington, D.C. have -- with patience and charity -- expressed their desire for the Dominican rite.  Some brothers have attended the traditional Latin Roman rite in Washington, D.C.  At least one Dominican friar in D.C. has offered the traditional Latin Roman rite.  Another has delivered the sermon at a traditional Latin Roman rite Missa Solemnis.  In fact, the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) has sent several priests to the Dominican House of Studies for advanced degrees. But never a public Dominican rite (or traditional Latin Roman rite, for that matter) Mass at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C. during all this.

So, this is a big deal for the Dominicans of the eastern province.  A lot of prayers (many from the brothers themselves) have been answered.  After minor things such as doing without concelebration can be accepted (one of the reasons this has taken so long), perhaps this is the next religious order to fully embrace the liturgical traditions closely identified with the many great clergy who filled stalls and cells for generations before Vatican II.


  1. Bob F.10:38 PM

    Deo gratias!

  2. Deo gratias!

    I heard that in circa 2010 a high ranking Dominican spoke in Washington, D.C., that every Dominican must learn the Dominican Rite such that every Dominican parish can have a Dominican Rite Mass. Can anyone here verify this?

  3. Iubilus1:04 AM

    I hope you will excuse me, but just a couple of observations.

    Although less in number, the young men entering the Western Province are not all that different from those entering the Eastern. We actually have quite a bit in common, more than with some other provinces.

    While it is in fact true that fr. Augustine Thompson has done much for the Dominican rite, for which I am grateful, it is offered regularly in Anchorage and Portland, and occasionally in other places, and more and more brothers are making an effort to learn it.

    Finally, the residual effects of the very bitter disputes over the liturgy that took place in the Eastern province some 30-40 years ago make it entirely understandable why they have been slower to reintroduce our rite, whereas in the West we never entirely gave it up.

    In any case, I am glad to see it happening, for what it is worth.

  4. Curmudgeo1:49 AM

    We now have the "Ordinary/Extraordinary Form" newspeak. What new name will the novelty fetishists invent for the Dominican rite?

  5. Gravitas2:21 AM

    The FSSP used to have to say Mass in the infirmary.

  6. Bernonensis1:11 PM

    Should we see this happy development as an omen of things to come from the Ecclesia Dei business? ( I would point out that Archbishop DiNoia is a worthy son of St. Joseph's Province. )

  7. Dismas1:20 PM

    Shhhh - noone mention this to His Eminence Donald Cardinal Wuerl!

  8. I don't understand. Is this a one-time thing, or the start of a regular Mass? The FAQ linked to the page seems to suggest the province has no plans to reintroduce the Mass in any of its priories. On the other hand, the page does seem a bit outdated.

  9. Deo Gratias!

    My home parish in Ohio is staffed by the eastern province Dominicans and last month offered a Dominican rite mass for the first time in many years. I was not able to go home that weekend, but I am praying it is the first of many such masses. I am going to see what I can do to attend the mass next month.

  10. This is the second time in recent months that the Eastern Province has anchored a vocations event with a Dominican Rite Mass. (And, on Facebook, the cover photo for the Province's vocations page shows a priest saying Mass according to the order's traditional use.) This trend is very encouraging and certain to attract men called to be Dominican priests.

  11. Henry G.8:02 PM

    The Dominican Order is rather decentralized, as one would expect from a Medieval Order. It is a lot less 'top-down' than many of the orders or communities that date from the 16th century or later. That being the case, it is much more a matter of individual priories and houses in a Province moving in a general direction and deciding to celebrate the Dominican Rite, rather than a central authority implementing a policy. But, that having been said, the Eastern Province as a whole seems well disposed towards the trend.

  12. Actually, in the Western Province, the Dominican parishes in Portland, Anchorage, and Seattle have had public Dominican rite Masses for some time . . .

  13. Gratias5:35 AM

    We were blessed in San Buenaventura Mission to have Fr. Paul Raftery O.P. offer EF mass on Sundays for about six years. He was Chaplain of Thomas Aquinas College and helped us enormously. The first year this Holy priest offered mass in the Dominican Rite. It seemed not that different to me than the TLM. Fr. Raftery is now in Anchorage, Alaska where he continues to preach the Faith.

    Bravo Dominicans!

  14. Anonymous5:08 AM

    The fact that the Dominican rite will be said at the House of Studies does indicate that there are still people who want unadulterated faith.
    One priest who never stopped saying the Dominican rite of Mass if Bishop Robert Mckenna, O.P. who until last year was at Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel in Monroe, CT He has retired to Michigan, but still says his Mass. The chapel in Connecticut still has the traditional Mass said by Fr Rodriguez.


  15. Thank you for everyone who is shown an interest in the Mass in the Dominican Rite at the Priory of the Immaculate Conception. For those planning to attend, below is a note reprinted from our website:

    NOTA BENE: For those planning to attend this Mass, please note that seating will be very limited. For priests planning to attend, please wear choir dress and, if you plan to receive Holy Communion, please bring a white stole. We will open the chapel for guests about an hour before Mass begins (6:15pm).

  16. Father Pius -- out of curiousity, why white stoles? I thought both the traditional Roman and Dominican calendars celebrate the red vestment feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian on the 27th.


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