Holy Week Liturgy video -- what do you think?


I stumbled across this video of Holy Week liturgies at Franciscan University of Steubenville.




River-dance eat your heart out, seriously I can’t say it’s catholic, apart from someone lighting candles at the end.

Can’t say it’s protestant either, their services appear to be more dignified than this.

Bring on the clowns !


**I am curious if either one of you has ever been to Easter Vigil at Franciscan? OR to any mass there for that matter…WHile i don’t particularly like the charismatic movement I find what FUS does extremely admirable.

It is one of the truly orthodox schools for THeology in the US and at least they took an oath to the Magesterium.

And whoever filmed that is lucky FUS doesn’t know it exists because it’s illegal to film on campus without express permission of the university and that person has to get a release form for everyone in the video. **


Yes, I have been to Masses at FUS. But I was asking for comments about what is seen and heard on the video.


**My comment is this it usually only happens on Easter and several other big masses they have in the gym. The usual mass seems fine (i personally don’t like the music but to each his own) …

I am suprised they did the whole streamers and girl running with tamborine but again to each his own.

And my other comment was about how someone taping something like that is illegal. **


That was interesting. I had heard it was charismatic at Franciscan University but seeing it is new. I was Protestant so this looked like what I’ve expereienced there - just a Catholic version, and a particularly annointed one. I love the “slow” reverence of trhe EWTN Masses, and this isn’t that. Particularly when they were practically running down the aisles. But you can’t miss their deep love of the Lord. The heart of Jesus is there. And we already know they have truly Catholic teachings there.



The film is a few minutes of the “Student Mass”. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to judge them on the section you provided, esp. given my exp. with the "Student Masses at the University of San Francisco in the late 1970’s where we had to fight like tigers to get basic things included in the Liturgy and heresies excluded. So, I’m not going to complain about people playing music on quitars as long as they are trying to be reverent.

I’ve also heard a few of the U. of Stuebenville faculty on EWTN, and what they’ve had to say tends to predispose me in their favor.

If you think something really is wrong, talk very politely and lovingly with the priests who are in charge of these Masses, and find out what they are trying to accomplish and who they are trying to reach with this approach.

They may agree with you that some of the stuff is inappropriate. If they do, you will have won some friends and allies. If they don’t, then we can discuss what to do next. Or, You can can write, emai or phone their superiors with the details.

I think the thing that’s irritating the Mods here is that posters are doing “U-Tube Gotchas” instead of trying to talk to their Pastors and heads of Campus Ministries and respecting the People God has given us.

Your Brother in Christ, Michael


I don’t see any particular problems with what’s on the tape. It’s not everyone’s pace, but mainly just a lot of young people at a contemporary music Mass who are clearly on fire with faith.

I did get a chuckle, however, at how the camera kept doing close ups on the name of the songwriter.


What I dont understand is how somone could really play music like that and dance around if they truly believe the Mass is a Sacrifice.

Thats like dancing back and forth with a bowl of incense on Calvary…



To be fair, I asked for comments, not judgements. And I didn’t provide a section, I just stumbled onto a video and passed it along in its entirety.


**Definition of Comment:

A statement of fact or opinion, especially a remark that expresses a personal reaction or attitude.

An implied conclusion or judgment:

American Heritage Dictionary

How is my expressing my opinion not a comment? We had no idea till now you were not the person filming this event. And still I see no one judging you, the previous poster was only giving you his comments(opinions) on the video which is what you asked for!**


Well you should have had an idea that this was not my video, since in my original post I said that I had stumbled across the video.

And my comment about judgement was in response to another poster saying (and I quoted him, to provide context for my response) that he would not judge them. I was pointing out that I was not asking anyone to judge anybody, but only for comments.

I think you need to read these posts more closely.


I read it and all I am saying is that he was giving his opinion comments whatever you asked for. Just because he used the word judge doesn’t mean thats not a comment!

As to you not being the one to making the video, i apologize but you should realize the ramifications of what you post and be able to accept them.


My comment: I couldn’t watch more than a few minutes of it. My choir has a block long procession from the city’s plaza along a city street with hand bells and palms into our cathedral singing All Glory, Laud, and Honor, with the cathedral bells tolling, with organ and brass inside the cathedral. I’m sure all of us old geezers are on fire with faith as well. Too bad I don’t have video of our procession. The comparison would be quite instructive.


I’m going to have to post my comments to this video in two posts each with different themes:

Let me first explain my point of view. I am a 2006 alumnus of Franciscan University who is now a seminarian studying for the diocesan priesthood. While at FUS, I participated in many liturgical ministries and thus know the individuals involved in planning these liturgies very well. I also know the person who shot this video quite well. I distinctly remember watching him video the parts he showed from the Palm Sunday Mass.

First, I need to state that the most important part of this thread is not what this person filmed, but what he left out, namely:

  1. That the Fieldhouse was filled to capacity more than an hour before the Easter Vigil began, so many people wanted to come and celebrate the night that our Lord rose triumphantly from the grave.

  2. That, in addition, the line to enter the Fieldhouse was backed up several feet around the corner to get in before the doors opened. Most universities see crowds like this for football games; at FUS, the Easter Vigil is the most popular and best attended event during the school year (except Baccalureate and Commencement, when more families are present.)

  3. That one man was baptized and six others were received into full communion with the Catholic Church.

  4. That during the Eucharistic Prayer at all of these liturgies, the place was so quiet that one could hear a pin drop. Furthermore, despite the huge crowds, lack of space, and hard gym floor, all knelt in silent adoration during the Eucharistic Prayer.

  5. That despite ending around 12:45 a.m., several people went to the Eucharistic Chapel afterwards to thank Our Lord truly present (and newly re-reposed after the Vigil) in the Eucharist for his Passion, Death, and Resurrection.

  6. And finally, and most importantly, one of my household brothers came up to me afterwards and said that his brother who had been away from the Church for years, after seeing the witness of faith in the reality of Our Lord’s Resurrection and the beauty of the Paschal Mystery, experienced a conversion and returned to the Catholic Faith. (Now, how often does that happen at Mass?)

Now, regarding some things that happened at those liturgies: I will admit that some mistakes were made, and that thankfully God can work despite human errors and misunderstandings. However, as I will describe in my next post, an intelligent argument can usually at least be held defending some of the controversial practices.


Thank you Cathsem for your response. Can you tell us how the Good Friday Liturgy was conducted? Was the Passion chanted or simply recited?


Continuing where I left off, now to address some particular practices:

Palm Sunday: Because of the size of the congregation as well as other physical limitations, after much consideration, it was determined that having a traditional Palm Sunday Procession would not be possible. Therefore, some elements of a Palm Sunday procession to commemorate Our Lord’s triumphal entry were incorporated. It lasted about three minutes in length and only included some incense and a few people waving palm branches. I really don’t understand what the fuss is all about.

Easter Vigil Lights: The rubrics call for the lights in the Church to be put on after the third “Christ, our light”. In many places, some lights are turned on at this point, while the largest are kept off until the Gloria when the altar candles are lit and, at least according to the pre-1970 Missal was when the “Mass” part of the Easter Vigil began. (Some evidence of this distinction still remains, as the prayer after the Gloria is called the “Opening Prayer” or “Collect” in the Missal.) Since the Fieldhouse lights take a couple of minutes to light up and are quite bright once on, it was determined to turn on a spotlight on the Easter candle at the Service of Light and turn the others on at the Gloria to maintain the spirit of a night vigil as we heard all seven readings (in their long forms) with the Easter candle’s light dominating, a pillar of fire symbolizing the Risen Christ leading us, shedding new light on the OT readings.

Responsorial Psalms: Each of these psalms is the prescribed one for after each reading. Respectively, the video shows versions of Psalm 104 (1st), Psalm 16 (2nd), Exodus 15 (3rd), and Psalms 42/43 (7th). While some may dislike the more contemporary style of the music, this is not a new problem in the Church. It is at least defensible in light of JP2’s chirograph on the centenary of St. Pius X’s centenary of Tra Le Sollecitudini where he says that the church “admits into celebrations even the most modern music, as long as it respects both the liturgical spirit and the true values of this art form.” (10) I’m no musical expert, but I do know the two lead Music Ministers who chose and, in some cases, wrote the music for the Vigil. They are both people of deep prayer and commitment to the Church, who are using their musical gifts to the best of their knowledge and ability to give honor to our Lord.

Gloria: I’ll openly admit that I wish we would not have had the streamers as their intention was largely not understood, resulting in their being seen as a big distraction at a uniquely joy-filled period during the Liturgy. However, I know the person who organized the Gloria Procession and they drew their justification from then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s description of a “rhythmically ordered procession” in The Spirit of the Liturgy. I don’t agree with this position, but in fairness, this action was approved by the Head of Chapel Ministries and a University Chaplain who holds a graduate degree in liturgy from San Anselmo in Rome. Therefore, I give the benefit of the doubt. As for the “tambourines”, they are actually handbells. The rubrics do call for the ringing of bells during the Gloria. As for the flowers and unveiling of the cross, this is not expressly called for in the current rubrics, but was done in the pre-1970 Missal after the Old Testament readings. Statues and crosses were uncovered (as they had been for the previous two weeks) and decorated with flowers, as was the altar. Since the practice was never abolished or prohibited, I see no reason why it cannot continue.

If anyone else has any questions about any particular practice, I will try to offer an explanation. (This does not necessarily mean that the explanation is correct, just that some justification does exist; it was not just done at the whims of an arrogant liturgist.)


Yes, I can!

On Good Friday, the priest and music ministry chanted the Passion narrative according to a polyphonic chant that we have used for (I hear) decades. It was very well done (at least I though so).

On Palm Sunday, however, the Passion was recited as it is done in most parishes, with the Priest reciting the lines of Jesus, two readers reading the parts of narrator and voice, and the congregation following the responses of the crowd.


Is it any wonder that many of the Director’s of the Church Life Teen Group/Mass come from this university?


Our cathedral seats around 1,000 people. The people gather in what used to be the old city plaza. Bishop, priests, and deacon are there to bless the palms, the choir sings the Commemoration of Our Lord’s Entry into Jerusalem. We process a block back into the cathedral.

No one is baptized or received into the Church since that is more properly reserved for Holy Saturday.

As a choir member, I have sung “The King of Glory Comes” with tambourine and bodhran accompaniement. But I have to say I have never seen people in ANY Palm Sunday procession wave palms in time to the music or run up and down the aisles wafting bowls of incense.

It was my understanding that the opening shots I saw were of Palm Sunday. I saw enough. It did not resemble any Holy Week liturgy with which I am familiar or, I have to say, of any Passiontide liturgy that I ever experienced before Vatican II. You probably won’t know that Passion Sunday preceded Palm Sunday before Vatican II and that all the statues and the crucifix were draped in purple cloth which was removed during Good Friday liturgy.

I wish you could have seen the people on fire with faith in my childhood or, indeed, at my reverent NO cathedral parish. It does not look anything like the video.

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