Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Long Awaited Release of FSSP Training DVD and a Review

Perhaps no training DVD in the usus antiquior has been so anticipated as that which the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter produced in conjunction with the good folks at the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN).

The NLM is pleased to announce this training DVD has now been produced and will begin shipping very shortly. The NLM received an advance copy of the DVD and is pleased to provide you with a summary of what you can expect.

The DVD, it goes without saying, is remarkable in its production qualities. This is a professionally produced product in two DVD's, which also includes a Spanish language option. (An international edition is being planned for early next year which will also include audio tracks in French, German, Italian, Portugese, Chinese and Mandarin.) Notable is that it includes a number of features, not only a rubrical explanation of the Mass, but also conferences upon the liturgy, explanations of variations in the liturgy (such as Mass without a server), and liturgical gestures, to name only a few. The following screen shots come from the first DVD and give a sense of its contents:

Priests and others will be delighted to know the DVD covers such variations in the liturgy as how to handle commemorations.

Additionally, the vesting and vesting prayers are also covered, including what servers must do to set up the altar for the liturgy -- amongst many other elements.

Here are a few screen shots which shows some of the vesting.

(The washing of the priests hands and the corresponding prayer)

(The laying out of the vestments for Low Mass)

(The crossed stole and how the cincture is in relation to it)

Commentary is also provided throughout a demonstration Mass, explaining the rubrics along the way and giving textual cues for the student as he follows along. Further, slow motion views and repeats of actions are also provided, which will allow a priest or seminarian to observe and re-observe the liturgical action.

Production values as these cannot be shown via stills, but they are quite important as a learning tool.

It is already well known that the DVD includes an important introduction by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, where he reflects upon the intent of the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum.

Additionally, an introduction by the Superior General of the FSSP, Fr. John Berg, is provided, as is a treatment on the liturgy by Fr. Calvin Goodwin, FSSP.

Fr. Goodwin offers a particularly powerful reflection upon the ancient Roman liturgy, directly touching upon the concerns and hesitations which some seminarians and priests surely must express: namely, that learning the usus antiquior is no easy task with its precise gestures. Fr. Goodwin however, in an inspiring discourse, lifts his brother clerics up above these hesitations through a consideration of liturgical history, theology and spirituality.

In point of fact, this particular catechetical discourse is worthwhile in its very own right, even apart from the more explicit purpose of the DVD set.

The Second DVD

The second DVD provides a demonstration of the Low Mass without commentary, but it also provides a most useful feature:

The entire Mass demonstration may be viewed in total from four different angles, and viewers may choose to watch the entire Mass from one of those angles, or even dynamically switch their angle on the Mass as they watch.

This feature is revolutionary insofar as training DVD's for the usus antiquior goes and is another invaluable feature.

To illustrate this, here are views from the four different angles at approximately the same moment.

(Nave View)

(Epistle Side View)

(Gospel Side View)

(Overhead View)

Of course, the particular value of these angles will be found in viewing what a priest is doing at a given moment from a variety of different perspectives, and further, some perspectives may reveal more to students at given points in the Mass.

How To Order

Many priests have already taken advantage of the offer that was made to make this DVD freely available to them. A limited supply of free copies will be yet made available to priests on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Special bulk order pricing is also available for dioceses and re-sellers. contact Faye Trgovac at Fraternity Publications for more infromation: (570)842-4000 ext. 401 or email:

Finally, for those who simply wish to purchase the DVD, it is available for purchase at a cost of $29.00 USD.

Details on all these matters may be found on the FSSP Training website,

Moreover, sample video clips, and more information generally may be found upon that site.

This would make a great gift to priests who have expressed interest in learning the usus antiquior and would also be a great resource even for servers in refining their serving abilities from the sacristy to the sanctuary.


WDTPRS has also provided an advance review of the DVD which focuses on some of the other aspects of the DVD as well, so you may want to read that over in addition.

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