Skip to comments.The Beauty of the Solemn High Mass, as Portrayed by Hollywood (Catholic/Orthodox Caucus)
Posted on 09/25/2008 8:22:07 PM PDT by Pyro7480
Just under 4 years ago, I started this blog after meeting several devout Christendom College students after a Sunday Traditional Latin Mass at St. Mary, Mother of God Catholic Church in Washington, DC. The previous month, I had traveled to England and visited several Catholic sites, including the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, and had seen Catholic art in the National Gallery in London. I was inspired, by the events of that time and by those students, to blog about Catholic subjects, especially Catholic art, feast days, and devotions; and also, write about Traditional Latin Masses in the Washington, DC metro area which I had attended and taken pictures.
With this post, I continue in this vein, but instead of focusing on the beauty of still visual arts, the feature is a video clip of the opening scene of a movie titled True Confessions, which was released in 1981. This scene is set in the 1940s, and features a Solemn High Nuptial Mass.
As far as I can tell, it is a faithful reproduction of the Solemn liturgy. It does cut frequently to different parts of the Mass, and the offering priest, portrayed by actor Robert De Niro, for one reason or another, doesn't chant the Ite Missa Est at the end. But that is a very small matter.
Witness the beauty of this production:
Excerpt of Solemn High Mass
A priest friend of mine, who is a regular celebrant of the Traditional Latin Mass, told me about this scene before a pro-life rally. He sent me the following description before giving me the link to the video:
Many years ago, back in college (1981), I took a girl-friend to see a movie called 'True Confessions.'I can definitely identify with this kind parish priest's train of thought: "I had been deprived of my birthright." I had such a sentiment after I discovered the Traditional Mass during the summer of 2003. But praise be to the most high God in Heaven that he has given the gift of the Traditional Latin Mass, the highest prayer we can offer to Him, back to us, through His Divine Providence and kindness. May more and more people come to see the true beauty of this liturgy.
It was about an ambitious priest who discovered what it really meant to be a priest.
Anyway, the opening scene was of a [S]olemn [H]igh [N]uptial [M]ass. I was just a college kid and had never seen what the old [M]ass looked like. I remember being amazed at the beauty of the Mass as displayed in the movie and wondered how and why the Church had ever discarded something so beautiful. I remember being angry that I had been deprived of my birthright. Somehow, also, that night the seeds of my own vocation were nurtured and I longed to see the day when this beautiful form of the [M]ass would one day shine forth again. Here is an excerpt from that movie, the [S]olemn [H]igh [N]uptial [M]ass scene I saw. Enjoy this beautiful clip:
I love the 9 AM Mass at Old St Mary’s.
Wish I didn’t live 25 miles away (@$3.50 a gallon) and I would be there almost every week.
Do you make it to the Silver Spring Mass at 7:30 or St. Francis de Sales in Benedict?
Faith sharing bump.
I’ve wanted to make the one in Silver Spring, but I have a nocturnal 15 year old. That is tough. And it’s still a bit of a haul (I’ve mapped it...isn’t it basically Wheaton?)
The one in Benedict is out of the question (Laurel to Calvert County)
Ah, I know about nocturnal teenagers since I used to be one (I’m still a night person actually). Maybe you’ll get one in that beautiful St. Mary’s of the Mills eventually. I was up there earlier this year for a day retreat, and it’s a beautiful church.
Those were almost my exact words when I was learning about the true Mass in the winter/spring of 1992. I remember saying, "They have stolen my birthright from me." ("they" being the bishops, cardinals, protestant "advisors," and Freemasons at Vatican II)
Yes we had been. Thank God for Archbishop Lefebvre.
Even though the situation with the SSPX is lamentable, he did force the Vatican’s hand, which ended up planting a seed that has produced much fruit.
bumpus ad summum
I'm pretty sure that the celebrant doesn't chant the Ite Missa Est at a Solemn High Mass. Did you mean that no one chanted the Ite Missa Est?
It is that. But unfortunately, the last upgrade made it decidedly non TLM friendly...they installed a permanent freestanding altar in front of the high altar...
And you know that big crucifix you saw above the tabernacle? It was made from the remnants of the altar rail removed about 20 or so years ago.
Unfortunately, Solemn High Mass at the Oratory here is at 10 am - same time as the High Mass where I am in the choir. But, as things tighten, we are seeing more and more of the traditional elements. It may happen yet.
...wondered how and why the Church had ever discarded something so beautiful....
As a senior who remembers the beauty of the pre-Vatican II liturgies, I can certainly relate to that!
Thanks for the post and the ping.
Did you mean that no one chanted the Ite Missa Est?
Isn’t it the priest who says that the Mass is ended?
At a low Mass (Missa Lecta) and a sung High Mass (Missa Cantata) the priest says or chants the Ite Missa est, respectively. However, at a Solemn High Mass I am reasonably certain that the celebrant (the main priest - most Solemn High Masses these days have three priests as ministers: the celebrant, deacon and subdeacon) does not chant the Ite Missa est.
Sounds very like my own experience just a few years ago. I love the TLM and wish I could attend every week.
ELS is correct. After Solemn Mass the Ite is chanted by the deacon. Though Mrs. Romulus and I were blessed to have a Solemn Mass for our nuptials, I confess I didn’t recall whether the Ite is sung in that form — so I’ve just dashed out to the car to check my copy of Fortescue. The answer is yes, it is chanted.
Okay, thanks for the correction.
You are right, and I was wrong. Guess I don’t know much about a Solemn High Mass.