Solemn Mass ’45 style!

A reader sent me a note with a link to a movie (the whole thing on YouTube) called Christmas Holiday 1944.

From about minute 18 you will find a Solemn Mass. Very nice.

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  1. Jerry says:

    Here is a video of the full Mass for Easter Sunday 1941, filmed at Our Lady of Sorrows in Chicago and narrated by Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen

    Of more interest than the Mass itself is the introduction, which shows a brief clip from a session of a “Pray the Mass School” leading up to a presentation of the video of the Mass, and a mention of a perpetual novena to Our Sorrowful Mother which was started in the winter of 1937 – and still continues today!

    A shorter version of this video, which does not contain the introduction or the last portion of the Mass, has been posted on YouTube for several years.

  2. Josephus Muris Saliensis says:

    The length of the clip of the Mass suggests total familiarity of the cinema audience with what they were seeing. Wonderful.

  3. mamajen says:

    All of the ladies are wearing hats, not veils. Just an observation.

    I love old movies…will have to watch the whole thing when I have some time.

  4. Lin says:

    Thanks Jerry for the Our Lady of Sorrows link! My husband and I took a taxi from downtown Chicago to this church to get some holy water from the St. Peregrine shrine about 8-10 years ago. A very good friend of ours had cancer which has been in remission ever since. At that time, the church looked to be in a state of disrepair but when I looked it up on the Internet this morning, it appears it has since been renovated. Praise God because it is a grand old church!

  5. Lin says:

    Loved Christmas Holiday 1944!

  6. JeffLiss says:

    The location used for the Mass in Christmas Holiday 1944 is the Cathedral of St. Vibiana, the former cathedral of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles ( which is now owned by the city and rented out as a ‘venue’ for events and weddings — probably for all those people in L.A. who want a “churchy” wedding without all that annoying stuff about God. (

  7. PatriciusOenus says:

    Does anyone know more about this movie? Is it any good in its entirety?

  8. Gail F says:

    Here is what it says on Wikipedia — Gene Kelley plays the crazy man!!! I am going to watch it all later…
    Christmas Holiday is a 1944 American film noir directed by Robert Siodmak and starring Deanna Durbin, Gene Kelly, and Richard Whorf.[1] Based on the 1939 novel Christmas Holiday by W. Somerset Maugham, the film is about a woman who marries a Southern aristocrat who inherited his family’s streak of violence and instability and soon drags the woman into a life of misery. After he is arrested, the woman runs away from her husband’s family, changes her name, and finds work as a singer in a New Orleans dive.[2] The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Musical Score for Hans J. Salter.

  9. Jerry says:

    Could a movie starring Deanna Durbin and Gene Kelly possibly be bad? :)

  10. M. K. says:

    Does anyone recognize the setting of the Kyrie they’re singing in the “Christmas Holiday” movie? It’s very nice.

  11. RJHighland says:

    I love the man doing stations of the Cross after mass, he must have been to confession just before mass. It is a shame that Cathedrial was sold to the city and they have the new atrocity that Cardinal Mahoney built as the Cathedrial if you can call it that. Circus in the round is what it looks like. Ah the fruits of Vatican II. Destruction of so many things that are grand and glorify God. What an incredible boys choir in the movie how many of those do you see now days?! I found the Lieutenant standing when everyone else was kneeling was reminiscent of a man at my local parish who was following the Bishops new postures for mass before our parish had adopted them of standing after reception of communion, he was the only one standing at that time, last time I stopped in there everyone was standing. It was also amazing how many people did not go foreward to recieve communion. The reading of the Confiteor and three Domine non sum dignus proir to reception of communion, beautiful. I will definitely want to watch this whole movie and see the story line but thank you Father for this early Christmas present.

  12. StabatMater says:

    I am no architectural expert, but the interior of that church looks a lot like St. Alphonsus in New Orleans. It’s a beautiful old church that people here in New Orleans have been trying to preserve and restore. And the characters do head to Morning Call immediately after Mass. We do still do that here! I haven’t been able to find much on line yet, but I hope to find a list of locations used in the film.

    Mass and the awakening to the awe and splendor of God Almighty and our own unworthiness at Consecration– that’s why the TLM was the Mass of incredible conversions. And it still is even if we do have to drive a million miles to get there! Deo gratias!

  13. marypatricia says:

    Mamajen–I grew up in Ireland in the forties and fifties. We wore hats to Mass as far as I can remember, or as we grew older, headscarves. I think mantillas only became popular during the sixties.
    The headscarves were very handy if you were having a bad hair day–put one on and you were immediately respectable!

  14. moconnor says:

    One of Salter’s better scores, but his credit is virtually hidden! Shame on you, Universal!

  15. Andrew says:

    The era when the definition of Hollywood was that it was owned by Jews, to push Catholic theology, on Protestant America.

  16. esurientes says:

    M. K., The Kyrie is from the Missa Choralis by Msgr. Licinio Refice. The setting was used almost every Easter morning at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York from the 1940s-1960s.

  17. Transportsjoie says:

    Absolutely loved this – thank you!

  18. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Does anyone know if anybody had compiled a checklist (perhaps annotated, even as part of a study) of depictions of Masses (and other lturgies) in plays, movies, television shows and operas? Or, for that matter, devoted a website to the subject? (I thought I would ask, before searching for myself…) I was just asking someone earlier today if they knew Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, with its singing of Salve Regina at the end (which is extra-liturgical, but not unrelated)…

  19. The Masked Chicken says:

    I know there is a list of ecclesial detectives floating on the Internet. It would be a nice master’s thesis in film studies to do a longitudinal study of the portrayal of the Mass in film.

    The libretto for the Dialogue of the Carmelites was based on that by George Bernanos, not Gertrude Von Le Fort. However, I think Bernanos read her, Song at the Scaffold, before doing his take. To my mind, the most awe-inspiring picture that sums up the opera, perfectly, was the opening scene from the Met production – it is worth a meditation:

    The Chicken

  20. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Masked Chicken,

    Thank you! What a photo!
    Your Le Dialogue des Carmélites details got me looking around for more information, and I learned that there was a 1960 film based on Bernanos’ screenplay, and a 1984 TV movie as well, also based on his screenplay, the impressive finale of which (in which they sing the Veni Creator) someone has posted on YouTube.

    (I will look out for the list of ecclesial detectives! I enjoyed three novels by Daniel A. Lord, S.J. – especially Murder in the Sacristy – thanks to

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