Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Beauty of the Solemn High Mass, as Portrayed by Hollywood

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:

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.'

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 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.

Deo gratias!


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1:38 AM  
Blogger Geremia said...

How's the rest of the film? Is it worth watching? Was the opening scene's just an inciting incident, or does the religion theme run through the whole film? Thanks

3:42 PM  

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