Vintage footage of liturgical celebrations from the past crops up regularly on this blog. In our post The Angels Rejoice......and so do the ex-Anglicans you can see Pope Pius XII solemnly declaring, ex cathedra, that the Blessed Virgin Mary "....having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory." There is Pathé film of the 1950 celebrations at Westminster Cathedral and at Wembley Stadium of the centenary of the re-establishment of the Catholic hierarchy in our post on Cardinal Wiseman. You can see Cardinal Merry del Val visiting Assisi in another of our recent posts.
Today. we've uncovered some youtube footage of the 31st International Eucharistic Congress, held in June 1932 in Dublin. The footage very much speaks for itself.
One of these films is a mini-documentary on that great event, which gives more of the background, including a recording of the great tenor John McCormack singing Panis Angelicus as a million people attended Mass in Phoenix Park. I particularly like the footage of the Free State Air Force flying in the formation of a Cross to escort the arrival of the Papal Legate, Cardinal Lorenzo Lauri, into Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Images of the Phoenix Park Mass, and of hundreds of thousands kneeling in adoration by O'Connell Bridge are also immensely powerful. Just one complaint about the otherwise fascinating third video - the anachronism of having accompanied film of the 1932 procession through Navan with a soundtrack of an admittedly tasteful rendering of Make Me a Channel of Your Peace does rather jar!
For a fuller account of those great days in Dublin, I commend this article to you.
Here is the video invitation to this year's International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. As we all know, much has changed since 1932, but we must all offer our support and our prayers, and if possible our presence, to this great call to witness and adoration.
In spite of the danger of severe video overload, I'm afraid it was simply not possible to resist the temptation to take the opportunity to include John McCormack singing Panis Angelicus, sadly not the recording from Phoenix Park, but immensely evocative nonetheless.
How wonderful it is, now in the Ordinariate, wholly in the Catholic Church and in communion with the Successor of St Peter, to be part of all this.