Monday, December 24, 2018


 I have shown this video before and it is an actual Mass Hollywood filmed for an actual movie. It is a small portion of "The Mass of the Ages," taken from the Deanna Durbin feature film, "Christmas Holiday." It was filmed at the former Los Angeles Cathedral, Saint Vibiana which was severely damaged by an earthquake. Even Protestants and secularists and non believers found this form of the Mass quite beautiful. It was quite the evangelizer!

What is stunning is that so much of this Christmas Midnight Mass is incorporated into the movie!

And please note that the communicants begin to approach the altar railing exactly at the point the priest is receiving His Holy Communion to complete the Sacrifice. Thus by the time the Confiteor is chanted for the congregation, communicants are kneeling at the altar railing and others are standing in the aisle. As soon as the priest turns toward them for the absolution, even those in the asile will kneel for it and the Ecce Agnus Dei and their Domini Non Sum dignus.

This is how I recall communicants approaching the railing prior to Vatican II!


GenXBen said...

Merry Christmas to you, Father!

Carol H. said...

Merry Christmas!

Henry said...

"Thus by the time the Confiteor is chanted for the congregation, communicants are kneeling at the altar railing"

At our Sunday Mass, only the ushers and the women down from the choir loft for communion--the men in the choir having stayed there for the offertory chant--are kneeling at the altar rail in time for the peoples 2nd confiteor.

But the general congregation is predominately young folks with no memory of traditional practices, so they remain in the pews until after the Ecce Agnus Dei / Domini non sum dignus.

Of course, I prefer the old way, and fondly recall when no Catholic--whether a good one or not--could have conceived of remaining standing when the priest raised the Lamb of God in view.

ByzRus said...

Christ is born! Glorify him!

TJM said...

Only priests and bishops with mental health issues would find issues with this Mass

John Nolan said...

As far as I can recall, it was not customary for the congregation to approach the altar rail before the Ecce Agnus Dei, nor is there any point to it. Having to kneel while in a moving line of communicants is awkward and unnecessary. Perhaps things were different in other countries.

There was a custom in England whereby the last person to receive would remain kneeling at the rail until the priest had closed the tabernacle.

I have noticed that at a High or Sung Mass nowadays, the congregation will kneel for most of the Mass, which is a Low Mass habit. In the absence of any specific rubrics, it is probably correct to stand for the orations, stand for the preface dialogue and remain standing until the conclusion of the Sanctus, and stand again after the elevation of the chalice.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

My recollection is that the faithful approached the altar rail after the Ecce Agnus Dei. Of course, in those days the number of communicants was much smaller, on average, than today, where everyone tramps on up, whether worthy or not.