Sunday, December 28, 2014

HOW HOLLYWOOD PORTRAYS THE CATHOLIC MASS PRIOR TO VATICAN II AND AFTER VATICAN II! IS THE PROBLEM HOLLYWOOD OR THE CHURCH? I ASK; YOU ANSWER!



A friend of mine, a parish priest in the Archdiocese of Westminster, sent me a link to this video earlier today. 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 St Vibiana’s has since been replaced by the new Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.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.
Our grateful thanks to a kind NLM reader who remastered the clip and made it available to us. 
 
My comments: This clip, apart from the actors that are depicted which would have been done in a studio, is a real Mass as it would have been celebrated in 1944. It tells you that even Hollywood had respect not only for the Catholic Church of that period, but for her liturgy, for her Mass. What else explains a Hollywood movie dedicating so much time to the screen for a Catholic Mass and portraying a lay woman in the movie so moved by it and the season it is celebrating to experience a sort of conversion.
 
This is the way we were! Please note that there is no order when these Catholics actually approach the altar railing (communion railing) and this is during the time the priest is completing the Sacrifice by his reception of Holy Communion. After this, there is the laity's additional Confiteor with absolution (eliminated in the 1962 EF Missal) and then the Ecce Agnus Dei with the laity's Dominus Non Sum Dignus. By this point the railing would have been full of communicants and those standing in the aisle would have knelt on the floor!
 
This Mass captured the religious and spiritual imagination of Catholics, non Catholics and non-believers. 
 
What can we say about the Ordinary Form of the Mass beginning around 1970 to this very day. What are the sentiments it produces for television and movie producers?
 
This Saturday Night Live Clip of a couple of weeks ago captures the sentiments of Hollywood today as it concerns the Catholic Church and her Mass. Yes, it is a caricature and the way so many celebrate the Ordinary Form today inspires this kind of modern caraicature of the Church. Compare this with the 1944 sentiments about the Catholic Mass. 
 
It is sad, so sad, that the Bishops of the Church and yes, the popes of the Catholic Church have allowed this sort of thing to happen to the Mass where this kind of caricature touches the reality of so many Catholics today when they attend Mass!
 
 
 
 
 

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Fr. McD. It is NOT 1944 any more...and it never will be.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Why is 1970's still here? It should never be 1970 again but alas liturgically speaking....

Anonymous said...

I think some of you may be watching the 60 minutes episode about Pope Francis. I believe I can hear gaskets blowing.....

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Watching ! I like the debunking of myths the press has perpetuated.

dominic1955 said...

The liturgy used to be inspiring, in the sense that it had the power to bring people to the truths of Catholicism and bring them farther in the worship of God. Now, you are hard-pressed to find one that is anywhere near that.

The SNL skit says something true in its satire-church (i.e. Mass, but Protestant services too for that matter) are often trying, boring affairs that do anything but inspire. It becomes just a family/cultural ritual that no one really wants to do that much, but do anyway.

Its like when I go home for Christmas. I'd much rather be where I live, liturgically, because I have an FSSP parish and an Ordinariate parish so liturgy is top notch. When I go home, its not the worst I've seen by any means but its pretty lack luster. I am thankful for what I have, I just wish the rest of the Catholic world could be as fortunate.

Anonymous said...

Watching that first video makes me so sad. We will never have that again and it's a far cry from what we're are "fed" at our local parish

Anonymous said...

Are any bishops reading these comments? Is Bishop Hartmayer reading any of these comments? Are any pastors reading these comments? Do any of you hear the hunger of your flock? Do you feel the sadness? Why do you continue to ignore us? If our Church is inclusive, do we not also have a right to be included? How much longer will you feed us crumbs and pretend the past never existed?

Anonymous said...

As someone once said "It's not 1944 any more...and never will be".

Anonymous said...

1944? I'd settle for 1965!

Seriously, it is God Who is unchanging. If HE is unchanging, we should not be "updating" (mediocritizing) our worship to suit man. Man should conform his worship to reflect the unchanging character of Him whom we worship.

Gene said...

For the most part, Bishops are PR people who will invariably take the route of least resistance. In the protestant denominations that have bishoprics, getting a bishop to do something decisive usually involved something like one of the pastors trying to mount the bishop's wife on the podium of the annual conference. My experience, so far, of Catholic Bishops
is that it would take the Catholic equivalent of that..whatever that might be...

Gene said...

On an ecumenical side note, female Episcopal Bishops are now driving drunk, running down cyclists, and leaving the scene of the fatal accident.