Our Rule of Life

The Dominican Laity originated in its present form with the promulgation of the first Rule under Munio de Zamora, Master of the Order in 1285. The spiritual origin of the Laity resided within the penitential movements associated with Saint Dominic, who gathered around himself groups of Laity for apostolic work and spiritual and material defense of the Church. The Laity has existed (under various names) as long as the Dominican Order itself, and has always performed specific functions and collaborated closely with the other branches of the Dominican Family.

>> Lay Dominican Rule & Directory (Southern Province, 2016)

Ten Benefits of being a Lay Dominican During Life:

1. You become a full member of the Dominican Family as a lay member of a major Religious Order
2. You enjoy a privileged place in the church
3. You have St. Dominic for your Father and all the Dominican saints for your brothers and sisters
4. You share in the prayers, penances and good works of Dominicans throughout the world
5. You gain plenary indulgences, under the usual conditions, making a promise of faithfully fulfilling the duties of one’s vocation; on the day of admission and on the day of profession, on the feasts of Christmas, Easter, Our Lady of the Rosary, St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena, Annunciation, and Assumption
6. You benefit from the formation conferences
7. You enjoy the society of fervent lay folk
8. In sickness and sorrow you have the support of special chapter prayers
9. Due to the influences of the Liturgy, the Sacraments, and adherence to the Rule, you avoid occasions of sin and rise promptly when you fall
10. These spiritual benefits are perpetual with the Order

Six Consolations at Death:

1. Your daily rosaries are an efficacious preparation for death
2. On the day you die, if you wear the scapular, or spread it on your bed, you gain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions
3. You may if you desire, be buried with the full Dominican habit
4. The Chapter will assist at the funeral rites
5. Your soul benefits from the Masses, prayers, and penances of all Dominicans long after your relatives and friends have forgotten you
6. In Heaven, you will enjoy your special relationship with all the Dominican saints and elect in glory

The next logical question to ask is: What must I do to gain all these benefits? (please remember that these items are not binding under sin). To fulfill the obligation of daily prayer a tertiary should pray the Liturgical Office and five decades of the Rosary.

Monthly Obligations:

1. Confession at least once a month
2. Participation at the meetings of the Chapter

Yearly Obligations:

To assist at or have celebrated three Masses for all Dominicans living and deceased
Fasting on the vigil of the feasts of St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena and the Holy Rosary insofar as this may be possible.

Daily Obligations to Consider:

1. The recitation of the Divine Office (morning and evening prayer)
2. One Our Father, Hail Mary, and Eternal rest for all Dominicans living and deceased
3. Fifteen minutes of mental prayer or reading of the Sacred Scriptures which may replace the recitation of the Office
4. Masses and Communion daily, if possible is recommended

Practices Recommended for Spiritual Growth

1. Annual retreat of three days, or single days of recollection
2. Abstinence on all Fridays of the year, or some special penance
3. Modesty in dress, recreation and avoidance of worldliness
4. Personal apostolate of good works, prayer, or suffering
5. Involvement in the objectives of Vatican II (and the four priorities of the Order


– from Fr. Rubba, O.P.

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