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

Presentation of the Infant Jesus

O Thou, Who through Thy birth hast sanctified the virginal womb, and Who hast blessed the arms of Simeon as it is meet, do Thou, when wars prevail, give peace to Thy people. Hail O thou, full of grace, virgin and Mother of God, for from thee has arisen the Sun of Justice, Christ God, illuminating those who are in darkness. This Feast, celebrated on February 2, has several names, all pertaining to the various meanings of the Feast. In the Eastern Church it is called Hypapante or Encounter, because Simeon and Anna encountered the Infant Jesus in the Temple. We usually know it as the Feast of the Presentation … Continue reading

Advent in the Monastery

Image of a small statue of Our Lady surrounded by evergreen sprigs against a purple Advent background

Advent in the monastery is a time of such joyful expectation! Long before Advent officially begins, the Sisters are turning their thoughts eagerly towards this season of preparation for the coming of the Savior. As the short summer nights lengthen into autumn, one or another Sister will break into Christmas carols in the kitchen while doing dishes at recreation. “It’s not Christmas yet!” someone objects. “I know—but it’s coming!” We hear the first real whisper of Advent in the special Ave Maria we sing after Mass beginning 40 days before Christmas. The haunting melody sets the tone for the season, continuing up until we sing it for the last time … 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

Collection of Lenten Posts

St. Dominic adoring the Crucified Christ by Fra Angelico - detail of larger painting

As we are about to begin this holy season, here are some of our posts from past years concerning Lenten prayers, practices, and devotions.  During Lent we intensify the work of conversion, metanoia, turning from self to God, which is common to all the seasons of our monastic life.  We pray that you receive special Lenten graces during this Year of Mercy. • Parce Days: Making Reparation — on the three days before Lent 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 … Continue reading