St. Theresa, Virgin and Doctor
  • The relatively recent phenomenon of celebrating Doctors of the Church, who happen to be female, raises an interesting question for those who celebrate the feasts of St. Catherine and the SS Theresa using the Common of Doctors, specifically the Magnificat Antiphon, "O Doctor optime" (page 665–6 in the 1934 Antiphonale Monasticum). To avoid linguistic problems, you might want to make the following changes to the text (which I had a few years ago from a priest and Latinist whom I trust):

    "O Doctor óptima, Ecclésiæ sanctæ lumen, beáta N., divínæ legis amátor..." etc.

    So, the original words "óptime" and "beáte" take their feminine endings. You should also edit the table of names following the chant to include:

    Ca-tha-rí-na (sung like Athanási, et al.)
    The-ré-si-a (sung like Hierónyme)

    While your updating, you might want to add Lau-rén-te (sung like Cyrílle, et al.) as well, for St. Lawrence of Brindisi.

    The modern edition of the Antiphonale Monasticum (2005) solves the problem by providing proper antiphons for these saints (as it has for many saints formerly assigned Common antiphons). So I have not the force of Church regulation behind this, only my own common sense (and the fact that "O Doctor optime" is a gorgeous chant). I would be curious to hear from somebody familiar with the practices among traditional religious orders, as to what they sing to honor these saints.