Dominican Rite Mass at Blessed Sacrament on July 29 Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Jul. 26, 2018 -- 12:00 AM
Blessed Sacrament Dominican Priests
Fr. Andy McAlpin, OP, left, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison, stands with Fr. James Dominic Rooney, OP, who will celebrate a Dominican Rite Mass at Blessed Sacrament on Sunday, July 29. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- On Sunday, July 29, at 3 p.m., massgoers at Blessed Sacrament Church in Madison will not only fulfill their Sunday obligation to attend Mass, they will also experience some of the rich history and liturgical tradition of the parish and the Dominican Order.

The Mass will be a Traditional Latin Mass in what is called the "Dominican Rite".

It will be celebrated by Fr. James Dominic Rooney, OP, who is in residence at the parish this summer while working on his doctorate from Saint Louis University.

Blessed Sacrament Pastor Fr. Andy McAlpin, OP, said parishioners had been asking him for some time about the Dominican Rite Mass. With Father Rooney being at the parish this summer, Father McAlpin knew he had someone there that "has all the chops" to celebrate the Mass and started to plan for it.

Dominican Rite Mass

Father Rooney said there are some differences in the Dominican Rite Mass, but it is a Mass in the Roman Rite, and those differences will not seem as extreme. The differences are mostly in the music and some of the ceremony.

"A lot of the differences illustrate the unique character of the Dominican Order and the particular history we came out of," said Father Rooney.

The music is monastic in nature and massgoers will notice other differences, such as the water and the wine being prepared at the start of the Mass.

Father Rooney said the Dominican Rite Mass was mostly abandoned following the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, but it has seen a revival in recent years.

Father Rooney added that celebrating the Dominican Rite Mass is about "the recovery of liturgical memory. It's about recognizing diversity in the ways people want to worship, in ways that are spiritually uplifting. It's an older way to do it, not everybody has to do it, but it's a reasonable thing to want."

Coming together

On Sunday, July 29, at 2 p.m., one hour before the start of the Mass, Father Rooney will lead an information session on the Mass where people can ask questions and learn about what they are about to experience.

Father McAlpin said he's anticipating two different types of "audiences" to attend the Mass.

"One [audience] is those who know of the Dominican usage, the Dominican Rite, and are interested in it and would like to see it done well by Dominicans because they are familiar with the differences."

The other is "those who come to Blessed Sacrament because of the various other reasons that we're here. They love our preaching . . . They want to know more of our history of what made us different."

Mass aids will be available to follow along with the celebration.

A light reception will follow the Mass.

Blessed Sacrament Church is located at 2116 Hollister Ave. in Madison.

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