Saturday, January 07, 2006

DVD/VHS Review: Gate of Heaven: The Solemn Consecration of St. Mary's Oratory

The Institute of Christ the King is a society of priests dedicated to the solemn celebration of the liturgy according to the classical liturgical books of the Roman rite.

From watching this video, it becomes clear that the Institute operates on the principle that the liturgy ought to be a representation of heaven meeting earth. Likewise is it obvious that their sense of sacred architecture is also imbued by this spirit. From the sacred vestments to the sacred music, the Institute presents the traditional liturgy of the Roman church as it ought be. Hence, the title of this DVD/VHS, "Gate of Heaven" is an appropo title and indicates the experience that viewers will come away with.

The video is an opportunity to witness an event in ecclesial life seldom witnessed by most people: the consecration of a church. To see this done, and done well, in the context of the classical liturgy is of particular delight. Led by Archbishop Raymond Burke, and with the presence of the Institute's schola cantorum (coming all the way from Italy for this event), viewers will be delighted in the quality of the sacred music and liturgical solemnity.

The video itself is not a verbatim presentation of the event, which if left unedited, would take over 5 hours. Instead, this video packages this into under 2 hours, giving the relevant highlights of the consecration and the solemn high pontifical Mass which followed. In addition, viewers are treated to an inside look at the Institute's seminary in Italy at the beginning and end of the video -- worthwhile in itself.

From a technical perspective it should be noted that this was obviously professionally filmed and edited. The quality is as such as you'd expect from a DVD production -- as opposed to a "home video" quality.

Good liturgy is rare, but even more rare is it to find good liturgy, with good architecture, high quality sacred music and appointments put together into one package. I have no doubt that this video is of use, not only for your personal library and interest, but also as a means to introduce others to the experience of "cosmic liturgy" : where Heaven meets Earth.


$25 for the DVD

$15 for the VHS

Plus handling & shipping

Technical Synopsis:

The DVD (NTSC) has the following features:

You can listen to the ceremonies as if you were there at the Consecration,
or enjoy it with commentaries explaining the rites in English, or in French.

The DVD is "Zone Free" as it may be played by any DVD player supporting NTSC format.

The VHS (NTSC) commentaries are in English.

For more information:

Institute of Christ the King

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