On 21 January at 4 pm in the Lateran Basilica, Pope Francis will preside over the closing Mass of the Order of Preachers’ 800th Anniversary, an important event which should not only direct our thoughts toward the Order’s history but nourish us for the future as well. Since every Eucharist is the celebration of the Church – in this case particularly one of the Dominican Family – it is good to prepare well for such an event so that we may truly celebrate together, in the fullest sense of the word, remembering that the liturgy is not only about who the celebrant is or who gets to sing in the choir, but rather that it engages and expresses the entire Church with the richness of diverse roles and vocations! Let me thus explain some particularities of this unique celebration.
Before Mass we will pray the Rosary, a prayer so important in our Dominican tradition. It will be led in five different languages by fra Bruno Cadore, the Master of the Order. Obviously, our Dominican Family speaks more than five languages and is composed of more than five cultures, so the response parts will be recited in Latin in order to better express the universality of our heritage and the unity of the Dominican prayer. Before each mystery there will be a short choral piece to help us enter into meditation. At the end of the Rosary we will chant to St Dominic: Imple Pater quod dixisti - believing that he intercedes for us, as he promised on his deathbed and has fulfilled for almost 800 years.
As a preparation for Mass - the ineffable mystery of God’s dwelling among us - we would like to spend few moments following the Rosary in intentional silence, to recollect our busy minds and make ourselves disposed to God’s own action through the liturgy.
Each Eucharist is an image of the entire Church, which means also of the Order of Preachers in the richness of its different forms of life, with Dominican bishops, former Masters of the Order, and representatives of the Dominican Family from all over the world. Although Mass will be celebrated mostly in Italian, in order to emphasize both unity and diversity of the Dominican prayer we will sing in different languages compositions coming from our traditions, both old and new. Let us start our preparations with the easiest parts.
For Communion we will use Adoro Te devote, a well-known hymn written by St Thomas Aquinas. The mass settings, however, are contemporary arrangements.
Dominik Jurczak OP
To be continued...
Next time, more Mass chants and the booklet for the whole celebration.
(31 December 2016)