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.