Many of us have seen the usual clips: Cronkite's announcement of Kennedy's death, the live covearge of Oswald's murder by Ruby, the salute by young John Jr. (which wasn't actually captured live, or at least not in the way that we see it in retrospectives), the bugler cracking during the playing of Taps at the gravesite. But what interests me most, and has for quite some time, is the Kennedy Funeral Mass.
Very few clips of the Requiem Mass are shown in the standard retrospective, and until I got serious about digging through the hours and hours of online video, I'd pretty much dismissed the idea that I'd see more of it. Imagine, then, my surprise at finding almost all of CBS's live coverage of the Mass, on the YouTube network of JFK1963Videos. (David has mentioned to me that he has this coverage as well, but has not uploaded it to YouTube.)
This is a precious piece of footage, for it gives us one of the last glimpses of the pre-Vatican II Mass, the Tridentine (today known as the Extraordinary Form). The Mass is said entirely in Latin, with the priest facing the altar (ad orientem) for much of the time. For those who have no memory of the "old Mass," this may be a revelation. For those who do remember it, or who have attended an Extraordinary Form Mass in the last few years (as this Mass once again becomes more available), there may be even more eye-openers. For those who aren't Catholic, or even religious, there are many interesting aspects of the television coverage. Nevertheless, much of what follows could be seen as "inside baseball" aimed at the more liturgically-minded.