The Order of Servites cannot be said to possess a separate or exclusive rite similar to the Dominicans and others, but follows the Roman Ritual, as provided in its constitutions, with very slight variations. Devotion towards the Mother of Sorrows being the principal distinctive characteristic of the order, there are special prayers and indulgences attaching to the solemn celebration of the five major Marian feasts, namely, the Annunciation, Visitation, Assumption, Presentation, and Nativity of our Blessed Lady.
The feast of the Seven Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary, celebrated always on the Third Sunday of September, has a privileged octave and is enriched with a plenary indulgence ad instar Portiunculoe; that is, as often as a visit is made to a church of the order. In common with all friars the Servite priests wear an amice on the head instead of a biretta while proceeding to and from the altar. The Mass is begun with the first part of the Angelical Salutation, and in the Confiteor the words Septem beatis patribus nostris are inserted. At the conclusion of Mass the Salve Regina and the oration Omnipotens sempiterne Deus are recited. In the recitation of the Divine Office each canonical hour is begun with the Ave Maria down to the words ventris tui, Jesus. The custom of reciting daily, immediately before Vespers, a special prayer called Vigilia, composed of the three psalms and three antiphons of the first nocturn of the Office of the Blessed Virgin, followed by three lessons and responses, comes down from the thirteenth century, when they were offered in thanksgiving for a special favour bestowed upon the order by Pope Alexander IV (13 May 1259). The Salve Regina is daily chanted in choir whether or not it is the antiphon proper to the season.