Mass from "Christmas Holiday"
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 468
    The blog Man with Black Hat points to this Youtube video from the 1944 movie "Christmas Holiday".

    The Youtube description says, "Scene from Christmas Holiday, a 1944 Universal Pictures film starring Deanna Durbin. In this unusually long Solemn High Mass scene, we are treated to snippets from a real Midnight Mass celebrated at the former Cathedral of Saint Vibiana, the mother church cathedral parish of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles built in 1876. The cathedral has since been taken over by the city and is now used as event space."

    So can anyone identify any of the music? The sound is not great. It does not seem to be any of the Christmas introits they are singing during the prayers at the foot of the altar. I seem to hear "Bethlehem", "Alleluia", perhaps "Puer natus", and perhaps "Jerusalem" in the music.

    I don't recognize the Kyrie, which is in a style we don't hear often these days... opinion on that may be mixed!

    This is the first quasi-documentary evidence I've seen of a sung Confiteor before communion at a non-Pontifical Solemn Mass, though I've had by oral tradition that it was done.
  • davido
    Posts: 656
    Shoot, I was hoping that someone on this forum had identified the music already...
  • At a Solemn High Mass in the EF, the deacon usually sings the confiteor before communion. I have always seen this so using the 1962 rubrics. I'll check this out and see if I am able to detect anything else.
  • The first song you hear is: Puer natus in Bethlehem, Alleluia; I do not know the composer of that melody. The Kyrie eleison is also a composition I'm not familiar with, but in those days it wasn't uncommon to find a variety of different vocal arrangements for the ordinaries. A good example: Short Mass of St. John the Baptist by Jean-René Quignard. There are plenty of others.
  • The Puer natus in Bethlehem sounds like Bach's harmonisation as found in BWV 65.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • The Kyrie is from Missa Choralis by Fr Licinio Refice (1883-1954)
  • It does not seem to be any of the Christmas introits they are singing during the prayers at the foot of the altar.

    Somehow I have suspicion that Mass propers were not sung at that Mass, but replaced with carols. I wonder also if such practice was perhaps general.
  • Anyone know who was in charge of music then? I don't have the access to newspaper databases I once did, and don't have the time this week to make best use of my free trial. There's a story on Monday April 10 1944 suggesting (by the few words I can see) that a 50-voice choir sang the Missa Papae Marcelli on Easter (the day before). The Refice looks like the sort of thing that a respecdtable cathedral with boys would do in the '40s