Mass in the Dominican Rite.
My apologies to any readers who may have been troubled by my silence over the past week: Saint Joseph's University has been on spring break, giving me the chance to get away from Philadelphia for a few restful and restorative days in New York. Now I'm back on Hawk Hill, preparing to meet my students again on Monday and to begin the second half of the semester.
My time in New York included a rare opportunity to experience the Dominican Rite, the unique liturgical tradition of the Order of Preachers. The Dominicans adopted their own particular missal and breviary in the thirteenth century, retaining both until just after the Second Vatican Council. Little seen since the 1960s, the Dominican Rite is starting to make something of a comeback, with occasional - and sometimes even weekly - public celebrations in various places.
This past Wednesday at the Church of St. Vincent Ferrer in Manhattan, the Friars of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph celebrated a Missa Cantata in the Dominican Rite to mark the traditional date of the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas. One scholar described Wednesday's Mass as "the first Dominican Rite Sung Mass to be publicly celebrated in the Eastern Dominican Province in at least 40 years," so I can now say that I have witnessed Dominican history in the making. One of my photos from the Mass is seen above, but you can find many better ones in the Eastern Dominicans' album on Flickr.
I can't resist offering two fun facts to round out this post: 1) St. Vincent's has at least one notable Jesuit connection, in that Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin used to celebrate Mass regularly at an altar in the church while living and working nearby in the 1950s. (The Teilhard connection is recalled by a plaque inside St. Vincent's, though I didn't see it.) 2) St. Vincent's most famous parishioner is probably artist Andy Warhol, who worshipped there daily despite being a lifelong Greek Catholic. Warhol remained reticent about his personal piety and religious heritage while he was alive, but both have attracted notice since his death, as witnessed by books like The Religious Art of Andy Warhol and Andy Warhol's Religious and Ethnic Roots: The Carpatho-Rusyn Influence on His Art.
From Thomas Aquinas to Andy Warhol in one post - not bad, I think. I can't promise to maintain as much variety after classes start up again on Monday, but I'll keep posting as I'm able. AMDG.