Wednesday, 31 December 2014

High Mass in 1944

At one time, the portrayal of Catholic ceremonies in films was generally well researched and accurate. Nowadays, more or less anything goes: perhaps a reflection of the - let us say - creativity in the observance of ceremonial and indeed the latitude allowed in the rules themselves.

Seeing film clips which include parts of the older form of the Roman Rite is fascinating because the ceremonies are exactly the same celebrated today after painstaking study of Fortescue and O'Connell, except that they were usually carried out with greater smoothness and less fuss.

Thanks to Charles Cole at NLM for this beautiful clip of Christmas Midnight High Mass, and for the details supplied as follows:
It is an extract from the 1944 film Christmas Holiday starring Deanna Durbin and shows part of a Christmas Mass. It was filmed at St Vibiana’s, the former Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which was damaged in the Northridge earthquake of 1994 and sold to the city. St Vibiana’s has since been replaced by the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The music in the clip includes Puer natus in Bethlehem, the Kyrie from Licinio Refice’s Missa Choralis and Adeste fideles.
(See: Was Your Christmas Mass Anything Like This?)

The Melodrama Research Group of the University of Kent has an informative summary of their discussion of the film.
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