The New Ritual – Radharc

Irish Culture, History
Directed by:
Father Joe Dunn
Produced by:


7 mins

In this Radharc documentary, Father Joe Dunn looks at the changes being made to the sacramental rituals of the Roman Catholic Church in 1962.

In the 1960s far-reaching alterations in liturgy, theology and ecumenism were promoted by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) and the laity was given a more central role in church governance. One of the biggest changes made under Vatican II was the use of the vernacular (the native language of any country) instead of Latin during mass. This was a major turning point for the church as ceremonies would now become more accessible and easier to understand. In weddings, for example, old-fashioned terminology was modernised and the priest now made a direct address to the bridal couple and congregation. The baptismal ceremony would also now conducted through English except for the moment of baptism and anointing with oil which would continue to be delivered in Latin.

Radharc was an independent production company established by Father Joe Dunn, Father Desmond Forristal and other like-minded priests to make programmes for television and non-theatrical exhibition. Between 1961 and 1996 they made over 400 films in 75 countries on social, political and religious issues.

To see more of The Radharc Collection, click here.

With kind permission of The Radharc Trust.