Videos of Solemn Masses 1960, 1962 at Ushaw Seminary

A priest friend sent a link to this film from 1960.  A Solemn Mass at Ushaw College (Seminary).

Notice that the place is full.

And there is this Christmas Mass from 1962.

The next year Vatican II started.

Ushaw is pretty much empty now. HERE

BTW… notice the rabbit on their logo HERE.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Vincent says:

    Pretty much empty would be an understatement, father! it has been closed since 2011 and is now owned by Durham University. I can’t remember what they use it for, although it was attached to that university in the past.

  2. acardnal says:

    “Notice that the place is full.”

    I remember as a youth attending Sunday Mass in the early ’60s – prior to V2 and the imposition of the Novus Ordo Missal – and the church was packed. Packed! People were standing in the aisles it was so full! And this was before air conditioning; congregants were “cooled” by electric fans mounted on the walls. My sister fainted often. Where are all the Catholics today? Why aren’t they at Sunday Mass? I think I know why.

  3. Sonshine135 says:

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to call the former parishioners and their decedents and find out why they left? I never got why churches didn’t take the time to do this. When I left my former Parish, I received a “thanks for your contribution to the Parish” form letter, but never a call asking why I was leaving. I didn’t even receive an exit survey. Nothing.

  4. Discipula says:

    When I speak to Catholics who left during those years they tell me that they did not leave the Church, the Church left them. I would be very interested in finding out if this is a common response.

  5. Someone please be the Garrigue says:

    I’m not sure if it’s actually owned by the University of Durham, but they are definitely in charge of preserving the internationally important library.

  6. Fr_Sotelo says:

    It is quite the treat to watch this video. Such beautiful music and ceremony. Such faith and devotion.

  7. Blaise says:

    For clarity,Ushaw was the seminary for the North of England. As I understand it, there were 400 seminarians attending the Mass filmed I’m 1960. 51 years later the seminary was closed. The chapel is stunning.

  8. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:


    I’m not even 30yrs old yet and I feel like the Church is leaving me all the time.

  9. Robbie says:

    Two wonderful videos! I’m so glad more and more like them are finding their way onto the internet. Seeing videos like these always produces this thought. When I attend or see a TLM on video, I always feel I’m observing a solemn, religious ceremony. When I attend the NO, I always feel as though I’m at a spiritual gathering. I fully recognize the validity of both, but there is definitely a different feel to each.

  10. mburn16 says:

    “I fully recognize the validity of both”

    …which actually probably puts you in the minority of those Catholics who favor the TLM as the means of conducting mass. One of the things that strikes me is that, if those who favored the traditions that have risen up with the NO – praise music, electric instruments, liturgical dance, lay preaching, and the general practice of everyone having something to hold or say or carry – actually had an alternative outlet for their preferences, they might well feel less need to bring them with them into mass.

    As Catholics, we meet once weekly on Sunday for between 45 and 90 minutes. And that is generally the extent of it. Why not make a regular practice of adding a praise service (sans Eucharist) mid-week in the way that many Protestant churches do? Just because something is unsuitable for Mass does not make it unpleasing to God.

  11. stephen c says:

    Quomodo sedet solita civitas.

  12. jameeka says:

    1) I love the manner of the Consecration in the first video, more than beautiful.
    2) without going down a rabbit hole, very interesting to learn about Cardinal William Allen, who helped found Ushaw, and whose ancestral crest featured 3 hares, it seems. Very tough to be a Roman Catholic in England back then. And hares punch each other sometimes ..

  13. Jim in Seattle says:

    The Israelites were 40 years in the desert. It is over 40 for us. Oh, Lord, how much more…

  14. HighMass says:

    Jim in Seattle says:

    The Israelites were 40 years in the desert. It is over 40 for us. Oh, Lord, how much more…

    Jim I also have wonder this……….and have asked Our Lord the same question.

    On a positive note, who would have thought the the Latin Mass (E.F.) would have been given such wide usage even 10 yrs ago??? Sad to say the pastor in our Parishes refuses to allow it.

    We Pray continue to Pray for Pope Benedict and Thank God for His 8 yr Pontificate…….

    The liberals refuse to see the N.O. Mass needs help, and the Fruits they hoped for, have not come about…..Reform of the Reform.

    Young People who were never on this earth when the Mass was totally in Latin…are so attracted to the Latin Mass….Why??????

    Reverence, Sacredness, Solemnity, Beauty, esp. if The Mass is a High Mass. And yes NO ACTING as Father Faces East……Again Like Jim said, Oh, Lord How much Longer??????????

  15. Sonshine135 says:


    How much longer? Until we get off our hindquarters and start demanding it. My ministry is based on the bringing back the older form of the Mass with clear explanation why this is necessary. Many people sit there and say, “I want the older Mass.”, but they do not create the necessary squeak of the wheel. They say, “Father won’t allow it.” Has anyone written Father a formal letter– pen and paper? Have you surveyed the church informally? Do you have supporters? Is Father reticent to do it, because he is worried about blow back? Will you take the brunt of the blow back by publicly admitting you asked for the TLM in the Parish, providing Father air cover? If Father responded negatively to such letter, did you write the Bishop of the Diocese?

    My bigger point is that we don’t organize and rebel rouse to the point that we make this a reality, and it is because we do not have faith that we can change anything. Though that may be true, God sure can. The key is to be organized, persistent, and always….always….always….respectful. You should start a Small-Fires chapter.

  16. kiwiinamerica says:

    *Elmer Fudd voice*………Dat wascally wabbit!!

  17. Rachel K says:

    Any mention of Ushaw always makes my heart sink as I recall the account to a close friend of mine gives of his time as a seminarian there twenty or so years ago. Those seminarians who had a devotion to Our Lady made efforts to conceal this from those in authority. The worst account of his, though, is of being forced NOT TO KNEEL in the chapel during Mass!
    Chairs were installed and all kneelers were removed and those found kneeling EVEN AT THE CONSECRATION were reprimanded. Yes, it sounds unbelievable, but was verified by another priest friend who was also there at the time. No wonder it closed.

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