Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vigil of All Saints at the Dominican House of Studies

On the evening of October 31, I had the pleasure of attending the 2009 Vigil of All Saints at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, with a few friends from the West Chester area. On this annual event the Dominican House chapel is packed to capacity with young adults and religious from other communities in the area. It is a special service derived from the ancient Office of Readings of the Liturgy of the Hours. It includes selected readings from, or about, several Saints, Dominican chant, a sermon preached by a student brother relating to the lives of the Saints, and closes with a candlelight procession inside the cloister hallways while chanting the Litany of the Saints. A light reception follows. [For more info, including an audio of the sermon preached by Br. Jordan Joseph Schmidt, O.P., see the Dominican vocation web site here]

Here is a short video giving some highlights of the evening, accompanied by the Dominican brothers chanting in the background. The Dominican friars web site includes this in its introduction to the video:
This year, the Vigil of All Saints was a beautiful celebration of the Church’s witness throughout the ages. Dominicans friars throughout the country hosted their own vigils from the Dominican Studentate of the Western Province in Oakland, CA (where the All Saints Vigil Originated) to the Aquinas Center at Dartmouth College to the Church of St. Mary in New Haven, CT right here to the Dominican House of Studies in Washington. Moreover, the All Saints Vigil has started to spread elsewhere. A[t] least two convents of the Little Sisters of the Poor are offering it for their residents. And even students in Gaming, Austria have started it this year.

Attending this Vigil is a wonderfully Catholic thing to do. I greatly appreciated, as well, the opportunity to spend a little time with several of my former classmates and brothers who are now outstanding young Dominican priests.

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