Video: Canticle of the Passion

Photo: Dominican Nun venerates the Crucifix

The Canticle of the Passion, or the “Passion Verses” as we say, is a specifically Dominican devotion traditionally sung on the Fridays of Lent.  A compilation of texts from Sacred Scripture relating to the sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, this devotion was revealed by the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Catherine de Ricci, a cloistered Dominican Tertiary of the 16th century, after the Saint experienced the first of her many ecstasies sharing Our Lord’s Passion. “Our Lady is said to have desired Catherine, when she revealed this Canticle to her, to spread it through the convent as a form of prayer and contemplation supremely pleasing to our Lord. The venerable confessor, Fra … Continue reading

Parce Days: Making Reparation

St. Dominic prays at the foot of the Cross with his arms like a cross

The three days leading up to Ash Wednesday we call the “Parce Days” (pronounced PAR-chay, for those unfamiliar with ecclesiastical Latin). These are days are observed as days of special penance in reparation for the excesses of Mardi Gras, going back to at least the 13th century. During the Parce Days, we pray special prayers of reparation, most notably by dropping our other employments and returning to choir (the nuns’ part of the chapel) every hour on the hour to sing the Parce, from which these days take their name. Given that nowadays the Mardi Gras celebration in certain regions runs much longer than three days, it might seem that … Continue reading

Vocation Retreat 2016: The Heart of the Dominican Vocation

Exploring a Dominican Vocation Eleven young women traveled from as close as Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Tennessee, and as far as Virginia, Ohio, Texas, and California to attend the Vocation Retreat on the weekend of June 3-5.  During their stay the girls experienced many aspects of our life, beginning with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and Divine Office, silent prayer and Eucharistic Adoration, and the rosary and spirit of Marian devotion.  It was beautiful to see their joyful enthusiasm to be at our monastery, learn about our Dominican life, and draw closer to Our Lord. We spoke with the retreatants about God’s desire to share His life with us, … Continue reading

Sounds of the Ascension at Marbury

This year as we practiced the chants for the feast of the Ascension, a friend urged us to share the beauty of the chant.  Although we sing more than one of the chants for the Ascension, we only present one here: Viri Galilaei, the Offertorium (offertory chant) from the Dominican Graduale for the feast of the Ascension.  Other chants for the Ascension are the Officium (called the Introit in the Roman Rite) at the beginning of Mass, two Alleluias with accompanying verses, and the Communion antiphon. This is just a sample of what Mass sounds like here at Marbury, and of the kind of music the girls will hear on … Continue reading

The Marian Heart of the Apostolic Life

Image of Mary and the Apostles at Pentecost by Fra Angelico

The Dominican Friars live an apostolic life inspired by the common life and preaching of the first Apostles.  As cloistered Dominican Nuns, we look to Mary, Queen of Apostles, to exemplify for us a life of prayer and contemplation at the heart of the Holy Preaching of both the Order and the Church. It was through Our Lady’s fiat that the Word became flesh, and through her prayer in the midst of the Apostles that He sent the Holy Spirit upon the Church.  In a similar way, our fidelity to God’s call and attentiveness to His Word enables Him to become present in the world, and our life of prayer … Continue reading