Here is an interesting bit of video from 1934 in Chicago, dealing with Church stuff. Toward the end, you see a procession into church and you hear some of the liturgical music. In other words you get a sense of how our liturgical situation has truly devolved.
However, there are not only churchy things. There is also a shot or two of a bicycle race, which is appropriate given that today we watched the 16th stage of the Tour. And if, in the 1934, there was also a shot of a demonstration, there was a race disturbing demonstration in the Tour today. Idiots.
Compilation of street scenes in Chicago, Illinois, US during the year 1934. These films were taken with early Movietone sound cameras. Condensed/worked on footage and sound
0:07 – Street shots; crowd outside Union Station (May 8)
1:45 – Demonstration for unemployment relief (Nov 24)
5:21 – Bicycle races (Oct 21)
7:02 – Crowded group awaiting news (Aug 27)
9:43 – Payout for Chicago teachers (Aug 27)
10:58 – Parade and speeches at the opening of new post office (Sep 28)
13:13 – Arrivals at Cardinal Mundelein’s residence (Nov 20)
16:12 – Procession and crowds gathered outside church service (Nov 20)
As my username indicates, I am a Chicagoan by birth. I grew up in Vatican II, but was told stories of the days of my parents’ youth and those that came before them. It’s likely my ancestors were in the crowds at that Mass. Raising my own children now, this video made me cry. I’m joyful in the hope that many of those reverent souls are now in God’s Kingdom, but also sorrowful at what has been lost. Those streets and pews teeming with faithful are now empty, or even closing. As goes our heritage and tradition, so goes our future. I look among family, friends, neighbors now—and I cannot imagine them showing up to stand outside for Mass and kneel in the streets for love of the Lord. Maybe some, but not most. I’m sad when I think back on how many people I grew up with in the Church who now have walked away, who support or engage in mortal sin, who refuse the sacraments of marriage for themselves or baptism (and so on) for their children. I’m overjoyed when I see the work of the leadership and laity at places like St John Cantius.
But perhaps if my parents or any other boomers want to know (if they even care? I know my parents don’t…) why we don’t prefer happy clappy and why their children are ignoring everything they thought they taught them (but didn’t), they should sit them down in front of this video, or a video of the TLM (there are full old videos of TLM on YouTube), or go attend a TLM TOGETHER. It would be very interesting to see the reactions of the parents and my peers. Most young (40 and under) Catholics I know are looking for the truth—for Christ. The world offers enough lies.
It is striking/moving to observe, in all those various slices of life, quite apart from the religious instinct of reverence, ordinary people in crowds (even in protest at the hungry 30s) behaving with peacefulness and self-respect – with a habit of dignity.
It was nice to see guys dressed up with shirt and tie. Unlike the uniform of today’s society jeans and a tee shirt. It is also sad that we have to have a dress code posted outside before you walk in to go to Mass. Love your post CbgoCatholic. I have been going to TLM exclusively now for over five years. People don’t want to hear about it. Vatican II ruined everything
In the procession of clergy, what’s the name and significance of the sleeveless outer garment that the clergy at the front of the procession are wearing – rather like an Oxford undergraduate commoner’s gown?
Thanks grumpyoldCatholic. My parents think it’s weird we are interested in TLM, or want to go to regular confession etc. I think they, and perhaps others who think as they do, feel judged by it somehow. There’s definitely a psychology behind this looking down on people, especially the next generation, for wanting their birth right!
It is a mantelleta which was worn by a bishop when he was outside of his see.
The people knew the clergy in the procession held the faith, it’s doubtful any other possibility would have even crossed their minds. They stood there to hear the Holy Mass, not even being able to see it, but it was enough. They were blessed far beyond measure but didn’t know it. There is simply no comparison between what they knew and could take for granted and our experience.
We only attend the Latin Rite now. We have for about four years. Anyone hurting over the breakdown in the church today should find it and attend. It is not the answer to all problems. We never know when the powers that be will put an end to it, because we frankly are treated like second-rate citizens, and have times and places changed and priests get pulled with no explanation. Yes, even if you ask. But while it is going on it is sublime, and we attend the Low Mass, not the Mass with the “bells and smells”. We don’t need it, the Low Mass is amazing. Get yourself a St. Joseph Missal and go. At first you won’t know much but you’ll learn it and most likely, love it as we do.
Interesting that back then, lefty demonstrators prominently displayed the US flag…
Thank you, John F. That was a lot of bishops!
The whole question of why the Church in the U. S. has undergone these changes is a fascinating topic for discussion.
One large reason that the crowds of the pre-Vatican II period are long gone has to do with the increasing social mobility that occurred during the second generation after WW II coupled with the liberal Civil Rights movement which fostered a declustering of populations according to race or ethnicity. Mnsr. Charles Pope has a nostalgic look back at the days of ethnic churches:
In many ways, I must be careful how I say this, the Civil Rights movement was way over-extended to include whole populations which had no natural political identity and, thus, no natural civil rights. As a movement to correct the historical injustices forced on the African-American population, it was all well and good, but that is as far as it should have gone. Things like Title IX was an over-extension of the idea that anyone could claim discrimination, even if it was not man, but nature doing the discrimination. Men and women urinate differently. Is that discrimination? Yes, in a technical sense, but it is discrimination by nature, not by man. Here comes Title IX and the push for unisex and transgendered bathrooms.
The mixing of the culture, the push for a higher social entropy, has destroyed the very concept of isolationist immigrant parishes – indeed, even though Los Angeles has a very large Latino population and Spanish is used within the parishes, there is nothing like the social identity and closed ranks that occurred among the Irish, Polish, and Italian immigrants after WW I, even though many churches are composed of Latino immigrants. Indeed, I suspect that this is because, despite all of the rhetoric, the Latino population does not really consider themselves strangers in a strange land, as the Catholic immigrants did after WW I (and the Jewish immigrants after WW II) or else they would do what the Irish, Poles, and Italians did – set up a close-knit subculture that ignores the rest of the American Protestant culture (and the other ethic Catholics in other neighborhoods). Indeed, it seems to me that many may consider it their right to be here (I stand to be corrected) and have simply taken this land to be their own, not as a privilege, but a right. Thus, they have no need to close ranks, but have an assimilationist mentality. It is true that some in the Catholic hierarchy pushed assimilation in the 1920’s (The National Catholic War Board, being an example), but this really didn’t filter down to the laity level or, rather, it split the laity into nativist and immigrant and the nativists, who had been in the U. S. before WW I, were much more open to assimilation (which they had to do in the trenches in WW I) than the large influx of immigrants. Thus, I think the concept of The Immigrant needs to be more clearly defined in the current political climate, because their behaviors seem to point to different classes or types of immigrants and discrimination of one type of immigrant may not be the same, morally speaking, as another (Catholic bishops, take note).
The Civil Rights movement was an assimilationist movement writ large. It was all about incorporating large populations (with the more recent buzz word, diversity, its catch-phrase) into a single, “blended,” culture without distinctions. As more and more of this occurs, morals can be expected to fall even further, because morals are, after all a matter of Divine distinctions in behavior and ideas. Discrimination is not, always, a bad word. In the final analysis, the monomaniacal pursuit of non-discrimination by the Left has done more to empty churches and pacify the population than any totalitarian regime. Humanae Vitae is a document that discriminates sexual behavior into categories of right and wrong and it is antithetical to assimilationist mentalities. So, just as the immigrant churches were destroyed by the rise of suburbia and the diffusion of employment to non-local industries (where one worked was no longer, necessarily, in the same city as where one lived, so one made friends outside of the neighborhood), so the diffusion of non-exclusivity in sexual relations, the fall-out of contraception, caused a fall-off of Church attendance.
The mis-implementation of Vatican II in terms of liturgy brought the whole situation to a head. Latin was a language of culture, but also of distinction. It united the immigrant churches against the Secular (and in the U. S., largely Protestant) culture. The use of the vernacular pulled the rug out from this. Far from improving things, it made the Mass closer to the Secular realm of things and encouraged assimilation with the Protestant culture. Going to the vernacular was the single stupidest thing the Mass innovators could have done. It wasn’t called for by Vatican II. I submit that if the Mass had remained in Latin as a distinct and unique exercise in religion, contraception would never have gained the traction it did among Catholics in the 1960’s. It seems no mere coincidence that the rise of contraception and the vernacular occurred at the same time, for what is contraception, but, by analogy, the permitting of sex in the vernacular, so to speak?
Finally, the rise of scientism, occurred as early as the 1890-1920 Progressive Era in the U. S., with the demand for, “scientifically”-based education. Ironically, this carry-over from the European Enlightenment, funneled through France, but most particularly Germany (who began the modern systematic scientific era) would fuel the destruction of religion in both countries and, although introduced in the U.S. during this period (with things like the Eugenics Movement), the materialism gained little traction in Catholic Culture because of the faith of the Catholic immigrant populations after WWI. Sadly, the homogenization of culture in the 1960’s destroyed the resistance to scientism in the Catholic culture and, today, many youth have fallen away into a general universal spiritualism if not outright atheism.
Can things change back to a wide-spread appreciation of the Faith? Yes, but the way is narrow. As long as the cultural blending continues, faith will become more and more privatized. One must recover the truth about essential distinctions, which is an adjunct to truth. I fear that society in the West has become too individualized to appeal to a shared Truth (except the notion that there is no shared truth). The trick is to clean up the laxity without becoming tyrannical, much as General Patton cleaned up the Third Army.
Clearly, we need a Pope Patton.
Father, is that a sung last gospel we hear after the blessing? Very interesting scene! Thank you for sharing.
Wow! We crave the beauty and reverence of that Mass in the film clip. Yet, we are continually cheated out of it by the current regime. I pray and I hope that one day the Mass of old will be restored. That is when the vocations will be numerous and many, many, people will go to Mass. No one really wants to attend the hippie -clappy Mass. The youth are leaving and becoming atheists and the current regime is STILL trying to push their failing agenda.
Thank you for sharing , Father. Very interesting.
The Nov. 20 footage is from the end of the Silver Jubilee of Cardinal Mundelein as bishop. Archive info here https://thecatholicnewsarchive.org/?a=d&d=cns19341126-01.1.1&e=——193-en-20–1–txt-txIN-Impressive+ceremony—-1934–
Among other things, the size of the spiritual bouquet is interesting.