Video of the liturgy from the Three Days of Darkness, or, “Why we needed Summorum Pontificum”

The well-known Los Angeles Religious Education Congress always provides us with lots of things to think about.

A reader alerted me to some youtube videos of the closing Mass… er… liturgy… er…

Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:


Part 4:


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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. I’m watching this at the office right now. Why do I suddenly feel like getting up and dancing… barefoot???

  2. Rupert Napier says:

    One can’t help but be reminded of King Solomon, 1 Kings 11:4-5

    “4 Cumque jam esset senex, depravatum est cor ejus per mulieres, ut sequeretur deos alienos: nec erat cor ejus perfectum cum Domino Deo suo, sicut cor David patris ejus. 5 Sed colebat Salomon Astarthen deam Sidoniorum, et Moloch idolum Ammonitarum.”

    Strange about “stabiliter” – the Vatican’s web-site still says “continenter”…

  3. Brian Sudlow says:

    Why do they keep waving a large steaming chamber pot all over the place? It doesn’t seem very sensible.

  4. Fr. Michael says:

    Ugh. This videos depress me. I chuckle, but I then weep.

    Folks, as I’ve stated before, this is not “why we needed Summorum Pontificum”.

    It is “why we needed stronger bishops enforcing liturgical norms” OR

    “why we needed a required continuing education program for clergy initiated” OR

    “why we need to focus our collective energies on celebrating the Novus Ordo well”.

    If supporters of the ’62 Missal continue to justify its use based on a negative reaction to how the Novus Ordo is celebrated, then it won’t stand. Its coexistence in the Church should be justified by its own positive reasons and not because some awful folks are abusively celebrating the Novus Ordo Mass. Doing so will only make your position in our holy Church stronger and have greater integrity.

    God Bless.

  5. Fr. A says:

    These are extremely disturbing. I find the anti-spam phrase very appropriate: “Pray for our bishops.”

  6. TNCath says:

    How His Eminence, Cardinal Mahony, has gotten away with this spectacle for all these years is beyond my comprehension.

  7. Jeff Pinyan says:

    How that can get away with being called a “Religious Education Congress”, I’ll never know.

  8. Anthony says:

    Believe it or not, this is not the worst “performance” that I have seen at the REC. Still, I feel so very sorry for those people in the congregation who have no idea what they are being subjected to.

  9. Cody says:

    I admit, I didn’t watch the videos. But the “Three Days of Darkness” caught my eye. Wasn’t there a mystic who had a vision that Christ would return after “three days of darkness”. I think there was also the condition that we couldn’t go outside or we’d be struck dead, so I my thought was nuclear war or something like that…

    But anyway, we’re getting closer ;-D

  10. Tobias H says:

    Inspired by another recent post on this blog, I exhort all parents whose children (whether girls or boys) display an early interest in dancing to discourage it by all means. :-)

  11. elizabeth mckernan says:

    Glass chalices there? Isn’t there a danger of breakage? And I understood chalices had to be made of precious or semi precious metal or is this not so any longer?

  12. Melody says:

    Fr. Michael: I think it’s “why we needed Summorum Pontificum” because the only way the Novus Ordo can be reformed is if people are shown what has been almost lost.

  13. Watching and Waiting says:

    Which Eucharistic Prayer was the Cardinal using? Can’t seem to find it in my Sunday Missal…

  14. Mary says:

    How that can get away with being called a “Religious Education Congress”

    I guess because the congregation is likely made up of Directors of Religious Education and CCD teachers, which — unfortunately — is not hard to believe. Sounded like they came through with a lot of applause too.

  15. Royce says:

    Fr. Michael,

    I think you’re missing the point about ‘why we need Summorum Pontificum.’ I think Fr. Z’s thinking is in line with the Holy Father’s statement in SP about how celebrations of each form will be mutually beneficial. It’s not that we need the extraordinary form as an escape — not at all! We need it to help keep us on track and inspire us to aspire to truly beautiful liturgy.

  16. Dan J. Howell says:

    Ok, ladies and gentlemen I have a confession to make and please to beat me up with a wet noodle here but I thought you guys were making it up with the degree of liturgical abuses, however I have saw the hoor and I am truly stunned. I would like to know if you should even go up to receive communion when you feel that everything was all wrong. I am blessed to never have seen such nonsense in the New York Archdiocese. This is a nightmare of the worse order. I would have loved to seen our Holy Father’s face if he saw this video. When is Cardinal Mahoney up for retirement? Unbelievible but it took me to see it with my own eyes to believe the tales and see the horror.

  17. Antonius says:

    “When is Cardinal Mahoney up for retirement?”

    February 27, 2011

    He was actually born in Hollywood!

  18. Jeff Pinyan says:

    At least this crap isn’t in Mahony’s “Gather Faithfully Together”.

    But I just can’t believe they do this with such impunity.

  19. Jeff Pinyan says:

    elizabeth mckernan – “Glass chalices there? Isn’t there a danger of breakage? And I understood chalices had to be made of precious or semi precious metal or is this not so any longer?”

    They’re not allowed. Like most of what happened at that eucharistic [sic] celebration.

    Watching and Waiting – “Which Eucharistic Prayer was the Cardinal using?”

    He was using Reconciliation II, found here. It is in the Roman Missal.

  20. skeeton says:

    Fr. Z,
    Multiple people have expressed the same sentiment:
    “I just can’t believe they do this with such impunity.”
    “How Cardinal Mahony has gotten away with this spectacle for all these years is beyond my comprehension.”
    “I would love to seen our Holy Father’s face if he saw this video.”
    “How that can get away with being called a “Religious Education Congress”, I’ll never know.”

    Now, in your professional and well informed opinion, Fr. Z, exactly how is it that this kind of stuff goes on anymore? I could perhaps understand it in the 70s and 80s, but with the advent of the internet and YouTube, awareness of these abuses is widespread and instantaneous. Isn’t the appropriate dicastery paying attention? I would think one would have to deliberately turn the other way not to notice this mess. Does Rome really care? And if so, why hasn’t something been done about it?

    Thanks, SK

  21. Joseph says:

    I think I’m going to get sick; no I am sick. This was disgraceful.

    Who do you write to in this diocese, when the Archbishop himself trashes REDEMPTIONIS SACRAMENTUM?

  22. Richard says:

    Flabella! His Emminence has got flabella!

    Look at video 1, at 3:40, and the Cardinal walks down the catwalk with flabella being waved either side to honour his entrance.

    Admittedly they are rather skinny flabella, but this must be the first time they’ve been used for decades, and perhaps the first use other than by a Pope for centuries. Yes the rest of it is full of abuse, but at least he has brought one traditional item back into use. Next year, perhaps he will be carried in on a sedia gestatoria.

  23. Watching and Waiting says:

    Jeff – thanks – I wasn’t doubting the validity or existence of the EP he used, just that it is not the Sunday Missal I have, which does date back about 10 years.

    I remember reading a Tablet article in which a priest talked of having to choose between 14 Eucharistic Prayers when preparing for Sunday Mass. But is that really correct? Can priests really chooses between all the various Reconcilation, Peace, Children’s, EPs for the parochial Sunday Mass?

  24. TerryC says:

    I also wonder about why this is allowed to go on. I realize that the Holy Father has many things on his plate, but the excesses, liturgical abuse and blatant violations of requirements propagated by Rome in a major U.S Archdiocese, by a Cardinal, have reach the level of public scandal. This does not even mention the sexual abuse crisis, which Mahony, almost certainly had a hand in covering up (or at least attempting too) to as great an extent as the unfortunate Cardinal Law.
    I do not expect the Holy Father to necessarily lambaste the Archbishop of Los Angeles publicly (as much as he might deserve it.) But a transfer to a sidelines position in Rome would be quietly telling. Then the problem becomes who can clean up the mess? That man will need all our prayers.

  25. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Watching and Waiting – There are 13 approved EPs for use in the US: 4 “standard” ones, 3 for children, 2 for reconciliation, and 4 forms of the “Swiss canon” (for peace).

    The EPs for children are only allowed to be used at Masses for children.

    The EPs for reconciliation get used in my parish a lot during Lent and Advent (including on Sunday).

    The EPs for peace… I’ve never heard them, and I don’t know what the regulations are for their use.

    The standard EPs, and their norms for use, are mentioned in GIRM n. 365:

    The choice among the Eucharistic Prayers found in the Order of Mass is suitably guided by the following norms:

    a. Eucharistic Prayer I, that is, the Roman Canon, which may always be used, is especially suited to be sung or said on days when there is a proper text for the Communicantes (In union with the whole Church) or in Masses endowed with a proper form of the Hanc igitur (Father, accept this offering) and also in the celebrations of the Apostles and of the Saints mentioned in the Prayer itself; it is likewise especially appropriate for Sundays, unless for pastoral considerations Eucharistic Prayer III is preferred.

    b. Eucharistic Prayer II, on account of its particular features [its utter brevity], is more appropriately used on weekdays or in special circumstances. [Thus, it is less appropriately used on Sundays.] Although it has been provided with its own Preface, it may also be used with other Prefaces, especially those that summarize the mystery of salvation, such as the common Prefaces. When Mass is celebrated for a particular dead person, the special formula may be inserted in the place indicated, namely, before the Memento etiam (Remember our brothers and sisters).

    c. Eucharistic Prayer III may be said with any Preface. Its use is preferred on Sundays and feast days. If, however, this Eucharistic Prayer is used in Masses for the Dead, the special formula for the dead may be used, to be included at the proper place, namely, after the Omnes filios tuos ubique dispersos, tibi, clemens Pater, miseratus coniunge (In mercy and love unite all your children).

    d. Eucharistic Prayer IV has an invariable Preface and gives a fuller summary of salvation history. It may be used when a Mass has no Preface of its own and on Sundays in Ordinary Time. Because of its structure, no special formula for the dead may be inserted into this prayer.

  26. Bill says:

    Fr. Z,

    I would also like to hear what you think we might be able to do regarding this situation. I know you have written previously that dicastery officials read this blog. Is this sort of thing getting through to them? If not, what can we do to ensure this does get some attention, if anything? Should we simply bide our time and wait for a new archbishop or something else?

  27. TJM says:

    Like man, Roger, you’re such an old dude, be cool, be like relevant – do Latin. Tom

  28. Liz F. says:

    It would not work for me. None of them worked. It said something like, “This video is no longer avaible,” when I clicked on each!!!

  29. Liz F. says:

    Now, it’s working for me.

  30. Tom Lanter says:

    While viewing the beginning of part one, our grand daughter Lauren, age three, came to my side and said “grandpa are you watching the circus”?
    Some one please tell me why Rome dosen’t send out pink slips. How much damage these comferences have done to our church! So sad.

  31. Mary says:

    Your Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI,

    Please discipline these disobedient Shepherds! They are misleading the flock and destroying souls. They are poisoning people with confusion and lies. They need the loving discipline that can only come from a Father. Jesus threw out the money changers from the temple. Cardinal Mahony is “begging” to be loved from discipline.
    It is never too late to love!

  32. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    Well, I agree with the ‘Have mercy on us’ part.

    Father, I wish you had warned us that that video came with sound. I’ve had to listen to Haydn for half an hour to wash those tunes right out of my head.


  33. Andie says:

    I was at that mass. I took some good things away from the congress workshops, but several of my friends had brushes with theology that was just plain wrong, and the liturgies were painful. I spent a lot of time with my eyes shut trying to just focus of Jesus.

    I hear there were about 40,000 people at REC this year. I would guess, from crowd reactions and some conversations I had, that the vast majority just LOVED this nonsense. That, to give my gut response to the question several have asked, is how this stuff keeps happening.

  34. Susan says:

    I too was there, and was the one who video taped it. Andie, did your friends happen to attend the workshop on Saturday March 1st 3-4:30pm called “Roundtable on Catholic Spirituality and Homosexuality” given by Dr. Tom Beaudoin, Sr.Kathy Bryant RSC and Charles O’Neill? I walked in for that last 15 minuets of the workshop and found a young man dressed wearing a collar, rebuking the panel speakers. Then after he spoke another young man made a statement to the panel that, the Apostles were “gay” men. The panel didn’t correct this man, infact Dr. Tom Beaudoin recommended a book to the audience promoting the Apostles were practicing homosexuals and that some saints were gay too,and there is alot of homoerotic art in the Catholic Church. I was absoulutly stunned by the whole thing! The panel took a few more questions or statements from the audience who were standing in line to speak. The rest of them were self proclaimming homosexual men, one said he works as a catholic school teacher from New Zealand. The other was a former married man (to woman that is), but came “out” to his children and they were fine with it. I also attended on Saturday the workshop “Rebles and Prophets” by Edwina Gateley this nun has been banned from some dioceses for her heretical views. She promotes “women priestess”. I attended the workshop “Conscience Formation for the Adult Catholic” given by Rev.Gerald Coleman. He made a comment it is fine to dissent from the Church’s teaching but be careful on how you do it. He didn’t recommend this approach but if your conscience says to you, you are obligated to follow your conscience. It was a very twisted moral theology workshop. The reason I attended these workshops, wasn’t because I didn’t know what would happen, I had a feeling what would take place. I wanted to record theses “workshops” because they were not recorded by the REC Congress. I wanted to expose some of the heretical and immoral things that would be taught to people who go back to parishes to teach our children. I hope to have what was said, but there were some technical difficulties in the recordings. Pray for a recovery of the recordings. Thank you Fr.Z. for showing the videos I recorded of the closing Mass. We need people to expose this REC Congress. Please help out for next year. Don’t accept these errors or sugar coat that there are some token “orthodox” speakers etc. Your right Andie, it keeps going. I will say it keeps going because people who either don’t know any better, people who know better and have the agenda to change the Church’s teachings,and people who know better and try explain away,that I stay away from the “bad” workshops. It is time to take a stand for Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church, because it is the most charitable thing to do. I’m not try to pick on you Andie, I guess I get a little fustrated that it has been allowed to continue for so long.
    Also keep praying for Cardinal Roger Mahony, who is the one entirely responsible for this Religious Education Congress every year.

  35. Susan says:

    Fr. Z. when I read your headline I laughed, because I have for years called The Religious Education Congress “The Three Days of Darkness Congress” even though it is actually 4 days, the first day is on thursday is for thousands of youths. However the REC is no laughing matter. Thank you again Fr.Z. for exposing this on your blog.

  36. Dr. Lee Fratantuono says:

    Father Zuhlsdorf might do well to label some posts “aspirin needed” vel sim.

    I need more than Haydn after these clips…Hayden and Hennessy’s cognac, maybe.

  37. Rudy B says:

    Dear Lord, what a disgrace. What stuck with me the most after the first clip is how the LOWEST thing in the place is the altar; Cardinal Mahony was seated higher than it. It is a tragic irony how he ascended steps to his chair, instead of the altar of Our Lord.

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