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VIDEO: Does This Christmas Mass from 1944 Look Anything Like Yours?


Readers of Liturgy Guy have very likely seen this video before. Nevertheless, it’s worth sharing again to highlight the timeless beauty of the Traditional Mass, particularly as we approach the Christmas holiday.

The clip itself is taken from the 1944 film Christmas Holiday starring Deanna Durbin, Gene Kelly, and Dean Harens. The scene was filmed during Christmas 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 clip today would find little in common with the Christmas Masses they’ve experienced 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. Anyone attending a Solemn High Mass this year will enter into a liturgy very much resembling what we see in the video. It makes no difference whether the Mass was offered in 1944 or in 2017. For that matter, the Mass shown in this beautiful clip would be immediately familiar to Catholics, not only in 1944, but even in 1844, 1744, and 1544.

But not to most Catholics today. Think about that.

An earlier version of this article was originally posted on December 21, 2016



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