Missa Cantata on video!

[right]JMJ + OBT[/right]

Another great Traditional / Tridentine Latin Mass video that used to be available on the Net only as a whopping 700 MB file is now available on Google Video, in the convenient streaming Flash format.

It’s such a beautiful thing to behold: a gorgeous church building, the congregation singing many parts of the ordinary with great enthusiasm, an army of altar boys, a priest who appears to be deeply in love with Christ and the traditional rites of the Church, giant candles, inspiring statues and crucifixes and other pieces of devotional and liturgical art, and more … Yes, it’s an SSPX parish, but hopefully you can watch with it with the same appreciation and hope for unity with which many of us watched the Orthodox Divine Liturgy which Pope Benedict XVI attended a couple of days ago.

Missa Cantata for the Last Sunday after Pentecost

Here is the description of the video which is displayed to the right of video-display widget; it’s quite helpful:

Missa Cantata, or sung Low Mass, offered on the Last Sunday after Pentecost at the Roman Catholic (SSPX) parish of St. Nicholas in Paris, France.

This is the Eucharistic liturgy of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church celebrated according to the 1962 Roman Missal (Missale Romanum), also commonly referred to as the Tridentine Rite, or old Latin Mass, or Traditional Latin Mass (TLM).

A “missa cantata” is an approved form of celebration of the Traditional Roman Rite of Mass which serves as a compromise between a Low Mass (which involves no music or incense, by definition) and a Solemn High Mass (which has strict instructions and requirements for celebration that cannot be met in many parishes). For more information, please read this fine article in the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia: www.newadvent.org/cathen/09790b.htm

The texts of the Latin prayers, and English translations of the same, which are common to every Traditional Latin Mass may be found here: www.sacred-texts.com/chr/lmass/ord.htm

The texts and English translations of the prayers which are proper to any particular TLM can be found here: www.sspx.co.uk/propers.php

Those prayers and English translations which are proper to this Mass, for the Last Sunday after Pentecost, can be found here: www.sspx.co.uk/propers.php?id=99

Note that an alcolyte reads the Epistle to the congregation in the local language, French, while the priest quietly reads it in Latin at the altar. After the priest chants the Gospel in Latin, the same alcolyte then reads it to the congregation in French. Then follows the priest’s homily, which is spoken in French; it’s about 13 minutes long – if you don’t speak French you may wish to skip past it, although there is some beautiful footage of the parish’s art and architecture which is displayed during that time.

I hope you enjoy it!

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.


It is an interesting video. I found it on the SSPX site a few months ago.

Some parts of it are odd though. For one, some of the prayers are read from a card held by an acolyte instead of from the Missal. Many of the altar boys seem to have little training. And then there was that thing with the Epistle and Gospel being read by an acolyte in French from the lectern while the priest read it at the altar- the actual pre-1955 tradition was for the Deacon and Subdeacon to read from the lectern in Latin while the priest read at the altar.

It is a good Mass overall, but gets odd on some points.

I think those cards – used at the end of the Asperges and for the Ite Missa Est – had the chant notation for the particular musical setting of those prayers which went along with the rest of the Mass; otherwise the priest would have needed to memorize it, and I don’t think the altar Missal contains a great variety of such settings. My reasoning may be way off, though.

Many of the altar boys seem to have little training.

Yeah, most of the ones in red didn’t serve much purpose except “being there” – but I think the idea is to plant seeds in the hearts of those young boys that might one day sprout into serious discernment of a priestly or religious vocation.

And then there was that thing with the Epistle and Gospel being read by an acolyte in French from the lectern while the priest read it at the altar- the actual pre-1955 tradition was for the Deacon and Subdeacon to read from the lectern in Latin while the priest read at the altar.

Remember that a “missa cantata” is a variant of a Low Mass, and so by definition involves no Deacon or Subdeacon. Having the readings given in the local language by an alcolyte seems to me a sensible adaptation, probably approved by an SSPX bishop, and perhaps is a kind of nod to the Second Vatican Council’s constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, which suggested that readings in the vernacular could be “of great advantage to the people.”

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.


Oh, I actually cried at what we have lost! The cards were a normal part of Mass back then. There were cards on the altar and the altar boys had cards as well.

We didn’t have what I thought to be a boys choir (all those young boys in red cassocks) except that they weren’t a choir. I did sing in a boys choir pre-VII so I’m not certain what their function is save that it draws those kids fully into HMC. Which is a good thing.

I did note the use of missals by the parishoners. I got my “big” missal in 1963 when I was confirmed and still have it. One got one’s “little” missal when one made your First Communion. This baloney that people couldn’t follow the Mass is just that -baloney. I never had any problems following the Mass - been there done that.

I am a member of a cathedral parish. sang in the choir for 18 years, and ours are most reverent NO’s. But we are nowheres near as reverent as the Mass I remember from my childhood. If and when the universal Indult comes about, there’s a whole bunch of us in my parish who are ready!

Oh, I’ve never seen those little cards used. I’ve been told to memorize the responses if I want to serve Tridentine Mass.

They were laminated in plastic and they were on the steps of the altar so that the altar boy could see it. The reality is that if you were an altar boy back then you served two or three Masses a week so you rapidly learned the Latin responses anyway.

Ah, well there’s always different treatment for priests and altar boys. :wink:

If you think about it most Masses will also have the 3 altar cards to aid the priest. Even so, IIRC (it’s a long time since I watched that video) he was reading the prayers for the Asperges which though in the missal are not part of the Mass proper. Plus, he has to stand on the lowest so then he would have had to have the entire missal held in front. Holding a card is so much easier particularly since it can be neatly tucked into a pocket.

The pre-1955 practise for a solemn high Mass would have had the subdeacon chanting the Epistle aloud facing the altar, and the deacon chanting it facing north. There is no provision in the ritual books for temporary ambo’s or lecterns such as in the video. Even in some of the older churches which had them, the Gospel was not read from them. Technically, I suppose by strict following of the Ritus in the Missal one could face the people for the Gospel though how that would accord with the Ceremonial of Bishops I don’t know.

The practise of the reading of the Epistle in the vernacular as seen can be traced back to 17th century Georgia (and elsewhere) where the Franciscan Capuchins would read the Latin Epistle and Gospel sotto voce and the Georgian Epistle and Gospel would be chanted aloud.

In the first half of the 20th century, the practise sprang up in Germany and thereabouts during Holy Week, where the Passion and sometimes other lections would be read simultaneously-silently or moderately by the priest at the altar and aloud by someone facing the congregation.

In the 1950’s there was a rapid expansion under Pius XII of permission for the vernacular. In some place like certain parts of IIndia permission was given for the Epistle and Gospel to be read directly in the vernacular. In other places, there were different indults and I think the practise in the video is derived form that. France had one of the first permissions for the vernacular in 1947 and another expansion later, but i would have to look it up to tell you what exactly was prescribed.

In 1958 however, the Instruction commended the reading of the Epistle and Gospel in the vernacular after the Epistle and Gospel of the Mass respectively by a lector or higher with the strict admonition that it should not be chanted.

(BTW, a lector may ordinarily read/chant the Epistle in Latin when no subdeacon is present. Same ceremonies, but no handingkissing at the conclusion)

As for the many altar boys…I suppose it was a special video and so they would have all wanted to be included. Such wonderful attire!

Sounds like a good idea to me. I wouldnt be able to memorize the responses that quick though, we only have the TLM once a month here.

You can read your missal daily.

Peter, in all fairness to Trev, he may not have a Missal. And, I humbly submit to you, that it was far easier to assist at Mass three times a week way back when and to learn the appropriate responses than to try to memorize them outside of Mass. I rejoice that you young folk are making the attempt to learn the Mass of your ancestors. It gives me great hope.

I am a member of a very devout NO parish. Having said that, I would love to recieve Our Lord kneeling at a Communion rail. Having watched the Missa Canatata, I long for its return. The biggest differences that I can see from the Mass when I was a child and the Mass now is that the Mass now is about us not HIM. We need to turn our attention to the worship of Our Lord and not the community! I don’t think that my plea will be heard.

How do I download this?

I don’t see how.

It should come up automatically when you click the link.
Here: video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1872714663680800365
I even posted mine to my facebook.

Some of that stuff might be local custom. Notice the priest does not wear a biretta, for example. Also, this is not a Solemn High Mass (therefore there is no deacon or subdeacon), it’s just a regular High Mass or “Missa Cantata”, which is actually a form of a low Mass with some parts still being sung and with incense. Notice also the priest still says the confiteor immediately before communion–which was dropped from the 1962 Missal. Someone I know who attends an SSPX church here in the U.S. said they do this at her church too, even though they use the '62 Missal. Is it some sort of local custom that is optional or can be included in the Mass? :confused:
I was suprised that many of the women in this video did not appear to be wearing headcoverings. Does anyone know the reason for that?

There is actually much mixing among the SSPX and even the Indult societies with the pre and post 1961 rubrics. In the SSPX, the difficulty is that originally there was no definate missal adhered to by the whole Society. In some places they used 1954, in some 1958, then 1962 and even, I’ve heard, 1965. There was an agreement in 1976 that certain places could use the rubrics as they stood in 1953. However, in the 80’s a great insistence was placed upon the 1962 books as, I think, a result of negiations with Rome.

When St. Nicholas was taken over by the SSPX, the pre-1955 liturg was used under the priest, Msgr. Ducaud Borget(sp?) until he died. That may account for some of their practises. They still for example, bow toward the cross at the Holy Name, and the scans of the missal were, IIRC, taken from a missal other than 1961/2. Many times one can still see adherence to the older rubricsin Europe among the SSPX: I saw one example in the propers for the Requiem Mass at the SSPX UK site.

The second confiteor is used varyingly (or so I’ve read) among Traditional communities. It was not officially suppressed but the reference to it was removed from the section titled “Rites to be observed in the celebration of the Mass” (the actual form as you probably know is given in the Rituale)

Dug up this fairly high quality video of a Tridentine Missa Cantata celebrated in France:


I am amazed to see a French church so full of parishioners.


whooops!! :smiley:

Well just so you know, just about the only parishes in France that have large attendances such as this are usually either indult communities or SSPX and other such groups chapels. Actually the SSPX Masses are very heavily attended in France. Much more so than here in the US where their attendance as a rule is rather small. If I’m not mistaken the video highlighted is from a SSPX Mass.

That is the main reason the French Bishops were so adamanatly opposed to any lessening of the restrictions on the Indult Masses. They see it as a true threat to their authority . They also see it as a repudiation of the new man centered Christology from below theology that has blossomed in the past forty years and of which they by and large are endeared. They are terrified that the hard won gains of the past forty years will be lost if there is any slackening in the bias against the Traditional Mass.

I have lived in France, in several different regions of that great country.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Novus Ordo Missae is moribund in France.

Attendance? Very low. Most churches do not offer weekday Masses.

Tridentine? Thriving. Both SSPX and FSSP. Packed churches. The government, heavily secularized, actually helps: many historical churches are protected from wreckovation by the government’s intrusion in Church affairs.

On a given Sunday, more Catholics at Mass in France are hearing a Tridentine liturgy than a Novus Ordo.

The same situation exists in part of Switzerland, in some areas of Belgium, and, more recently, in Holland, where finally the Tridentine Indult has arrived, along with the SSPX. The Novus Ordo is all but dead in Holland.

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