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The Catholic Mass in 155 A.D.

The Catholic Mass in 155 A.D.

Full disclosure: I really posted this mostly because of the music, but the history is interesting too. :>)

YouTube URL;
Video URL as posted on’s Sept., 2009 directory page

September 30, 2007
Anno Domini 155…

Justin Martyr was one of the early Christian writers. He was a Greek philosopher, and argued his Christian beliefs quite openly with the other philosophers, relying on their common code of being willing to consider all points of view to protect him from official persecution. (Eventually a jealous philosopher did betray him.) He is famous for having sent a letter, The Apology, to the Emperor Antoninus Pius, who was a Stoic philosopher and the father of Marcus Aurelius. Fr. Jay Toborowsky tells how he used Justin in the classroom… [Link to rest of Fr. Toborowsky's piece.]

Read the whole thing at the Anno Domini’s archive page for Sept., 2009.


  1. Paul Marks says:

    The adopted father of Marcus Aurelius.

    The music and art (and tradition) of the Roman Catholics.

    Astonishing that they (or their leadership) flung it away in with Vatican II.

    It was not inevitable – for example the Orthodox did not fling away their traditions.

  2. John Galt says:

    I wouldn’t worry about it too much Paul, the Catholic church may be having a bit of a resurgence under the new pope, who seems to be a genuinely decent bloke (or have excellent PR, not sure which), but even under the dominion of Petrus Romanus :-) the church is an increasing irrelevance, which will at some point be swept away.

    P.S. Julie – I get an error when attempting to view the video. Not sure if it is a Malaysian thing.

  3. Julie near Chicago says:

    Thanks, JG — will check it ous tomorrow. Paul, did you get the video OK?

  4. John Galt says:

    It is tomorrow Julie :-) It’s 2:41 in the afternoon! :-)

  5. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    Julie, great post, thanks.

  6. Kevin B says:

    I’m guessing the mass might have sounded a bit more like this

    OT. Since it’s a while since we had a four yorkshiremen computing thread, twitchy provides us with reaction to the latest Windows release. (The chaps make an appearance in the comments.)

  7. Mr Ed says:

    For sheer, awesome majesty, this Russian quartet from the Valaam monastery takes some beating, as Boney M said ‘Oh, those Russians!’.

    And for Basso Profundo blasters, these guys worked as drain clearers under Communism, and prbably moonlighted in the 1970s as Dr Who monsters.

    And for a more mellow Orthodox experience.

  8. Julie near Chicago says:

    Darn it, JG, I see I forgot to turn that little dial thingie that I use to keep track of what time it is. :(

    FWIW, I have no idea what the first music used for the Mass was, but Gregorian chant dates from the late 8th century (well, maybe that’s the first Church music there was)? However, real Gregorian chant is strictly á capella.

    Oh — I haven’t heard of anyone else who couldn’t get the video, so I’m afraid you got the short straw, JG. More :(

  9. Julie near Chicago says:

    Thanks, Acts. I’m very glad you found it worthwhile. As for the music, I thought the one false note (so to speak) was the drums. A false note — false to the music, that is. Enjoyable enough, I guess, but out of place. But I did like it, all the same. :>))

    Mr. Ed, some wonderful stuff there. Especially the last one, I don’t know which to prefer — the music or the images, many of which are also just beautiful, and complex, and beautiful again.

    In the playlist after the last one is Rachminanoff’s Vespers, by the way. Nearly an hour’s worth. :>))

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