Rorate Caeli

Order of Preachers embracing liturgy of founder

On today's feast of Saint Dominic we share a bit of hope with readers, concerning the Order of Friars Preachers (aka the Dominicans).

This past Sunday the Dominican vocations office of the Province of Saint Joseph, which represents the northeastern portion of the United States, publicized a Dominican rite Mass for "young men, 18-35 years old, considering a vocation to the Order of Preachers."

The sung Mass, at Saint Patrick's church in Columbus, Ohio, was offered by Father Dominic Langevin, OP, an assistant master of students at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C.

Codified in 1254 after Saint Dominic earlier wished to have his men use one missal instead of offering regional variations of the Roman rite, the Dominican rite is fairly similar to what we know as the traditional Latin Mass, although with distinct features such as the celebrant invoking "Saint Dominic our father" in a shortened Confiteor and holding his arms in a cruciform position after the consecration.

Following Summorum Pontificum, a renewed interest in the Dominican rite has been demonstrated here and there, especially involving younger friars and student brothers.  But Sunday's explicit outreach to young men considering a vocation to the Order of Preachers sends a clear message to traditionally-minded Catholics that the healthiest provinces of the Dominican order are focusing on restoration and expansion.  

Combined with a traditional approach to theology, exemplified by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter sending priests for graduate degrees at the Dominican House of Studies, it is no wonder vocations are booming -- at least in some parts of the world -- at the order of Saint Dominic de Guzman.