Many of my readers have no doubt seen this video before. Nevertheless, it’s worth sharing again to highlight the timeless beauty of the Traditional Mass, particularly as we approach Christmas.
The clip itself is taken from the 1944 film Christmas Holiday starring Deanna Durbin, Gene Kelly, and Dean Harens. The scene below was filmed at Christmas Eve Mass at St. Vibiana’s, the old Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. As noted by New Liturgical Movement, the music in the clip includes Puer natus in Bethlehem, the Kyrie from Licinio Refice’s Missa Choralis and Adeste fideles.
Sadly, many Catholics viewing this today would find little in common with the Christmas Masses they’ve celebrated in the past. The liturgical rupture is too significant; the break with tradition too extensive.
For those who attend traditional parishes, however, the story is quite different. The Solemn High Mass heard by my family last Christmas very much resembled what we see in the video. It made no difference that one Mass was offered in 1944 and the other in 2015.
For that matter, the Mass shown in this beautiful clip would be immediately recognizable to Catholic faithful from 1544, 1644, 1744, and 1844 as well. But not to most Catholics today. Think about that.
The question is this: does the Christmas Eve Mass in this video look anything like yours?