Video of a 1st Mass in 1954

One of you kind readers sent me a link to a video of the 1st Mass on Trinity Sunday in 1954 of Fr. Gerald Coates.  The video was posted by the Tower Convent School (in West Sussex, founded in 1903 by the Sisters Of The Blessed Sacrament).

You may want to mute your audio.

What may strike you, if you know the Extraordinary Form, is how consistent our liturgical worship was then and still is now.

It would be interesting to know what became of Fr. Coates, whether he is still among the living or not. Say a prayer for him, either way.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    No idea if this is him, but there is a Rev Canon Coates listed as retired on this page.

    “Coates, Rev Canon Gerald Retired
    Retired Priest – Diocese of Arundel & Brighton “

  2. Yes, I think that must be the same Gerald Coates. He celebrated his Jubilee in 2014. HERE

  3. pelerin says:

    Fr Coates was here in Brighton, East Sussex in the church of St John the Baptist. ( Maria Fitzherbert who married George IV is buried there.)

    There was a school attached and the local paper once had the headline ‘New Head for John the Baptist’ and I believe the headmaster used to enjoy answering the telephone ‘Head of John the Baptist here!’

  4. Henry Edwards says:

    “What may strike you, if you know the Extraordinary Form, is how consistent our liturgical worship was then and still is now.”

    Sure. As in Bishop Fulton Sheen’s narration of a classic 1941 video of a solemn high Easter Mass in Chicago, where– in describing the cope worn by the priest during the Vidi aquam (Asperges) rite—he delivers at 3:50 my nominee for the single most savagely ironic line uttered by a human being during the 20th century:

    The large cape worn by the celebrant is called a cope. …. Its use today is continued in memory of the ancient tradition. It is a long-established principle of the Church never to completely drop from her public worship any ceremony, object, or prayer which once occupied a place in that worship.

  5. WYMiriam says:

    God bless our priests, living and dead!!

  6. Clinton R. says:

    Thanks for sharing this, Father. It is beautiful beyond words. How sad this is how Holy Mass was throughout the world. Due to the bad works of modernists, the Mass of All Ages is largely unknown to many of the faithful. May the Lord restore the Mass which gives Him His due honor and worship. May the Mass, in Latin, ad orientem, the Mass that nourished so many saints, be returned to all of His Altars across the world. +JMJ+

  7. frjim4321 says:

    It is quite moving and beautiful in its proper context.

  8. mo7 says:

    This was marvelous to watch! Not to miss the point but every lady’s head is covered and every man I can see is wearing a jacket and tie.

  9. organista says:

    Firstly, and most importantly, Canon Gerald Coats is currently in very poor health. Prayers for him would be most welcome. He was also Ordained at St. Bartholomew’s.

    Secondly, what wonderful footage of ‘my’ parish. I would have been but a few weeks old when it was taken. Father Basil Miller, the then Parish Priest, is but a distant memory to me. He left the parish in 1963.

    I have progressively been organist and Director of Music at St. Bartholomew’s since 1970, and the shots of the then-extant Men’s Choir, singing from their Libers, and the little old organ that existed for about two years into my tenure, were delightful to see. Thank you, Father, for bringing the footage to our attention.

  10. Giuseppe says:

    Head of John the Baptist – I spat out my coffee at that one.
    Speaking of which head, the MET Opera is doing Salome in December!

  11. ocsousn says:

    One can’t help but note both the perfection of the ceremonies and the beautiful vestments: Nothing cheap or tawdry! Real silk damask and immaculate linen! The obvious “active participation” of the faithful following in their missals and standing, siting and kneeling at the appropriate times for a Solemn Mass! Unfortunately in some traditionalist quarters today the look of this liturgy would be dubbed as the first signs of decay. But to me this is exactly what Pius XII and Vatican II had in mind. It’s certainly what I imagined when, as a very young seminarian, I first read the first read the Decree on the Liturgy. It is also what I encounter more and more in the Solemn Masses celebrated by our new generation of priests.

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