Glaring errors in the churchy stuff (ongoing updates)
watched all of the first season and a bit more so far and the following errors appear consistently:
- Fr Brown's cassock is the wrong sort. his cassock should have a shoulder cape. the 1974 series had it right.
- when fully vested for mass, the vestments lack the maniple. this is not optional in the period.
- he also lacks a biretta all the time.
- 'St Mary's' is a rather unusual name for an RC Church.
- the Stations of the Cross are, very oddly, about head-height and supported on poles from the ground. Stations are usually high up on the walls. this clearly shows it's an Anglican church and they couldn't put up the Stations, possibly due to preservation orders or suchlike.
- the statue of Christ with the Sacred Heart is placed on an odd plinth, clearly not part of the church.
all these errors are pretty egregious, considering they have an RC priest advising them and reading the scripts.
now onto specific episodes i've seen so far:
- rite of confession is wrong for the 50s setting.
- one of the two nuns in the diner is wearing a huge rosary around her neck. rosaries are never worn around the neck, and a huge rosary of that sort is looped around the belt.
- Fr Brown wears purple vestments for RC requiem. purple vestments are impossible, black was the only option before 1967, except in the funerals of infants. again missing maniple.
- Fr Brown asks husband of murdered woman if he'd like to give funeral eulogy. again, eulogies strictly forbidden in this period.
- scene of organist auditions in the church, the altar candles are lit. altar candles are never lit outside of services.
- in the last scene, Fr B recites the De Profundis - this is BCP, ergo Anglican. the De Profundis is not in the RC rite.
- the Latin is mispronounced.
- scattering of ashes is forbidden for RCs, and memorial service could not have been done over ashes in the 1950s.
- German priest celebrating 'mass for peace' is in choir dress (cassock, surplice, stole of the colour of the day). if he's merely preaching at someone else's mass, that'd be the right outfit. if he's supposed to be celebrating mass, completely wrong outfit.
- Fr B, hearing Susie is joining Kalon's sect, doesn't remind her that this places her soul in great peril? not very likely for a 1950s RC priest, but perhaps possible for a Church of England priest in 2013…
- opening scene of mass all wrong. missal shows canon, and the nuns are JUST coming in? they'd have been in chapel since Matins+Lauds+Prime, and kneeling, as the canon is midway through mass.
- chalice wrong shape for the 1950s, as it lacks a foot and a knobby stem.
- Fr B turns to say 'Dominus vobiscum' with outstretched arms and looking at the nuns. 'Dominus vobiscum' is said with hands at shoulder width, and eyes downcast.
- that's not a convent chapel. these are nuns, and the chapel should have choirstalls arranged facing each other, not pews facing the altar.
- final scene, Fr B baptizes baby with the formula ' in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit'. in 1950s everyone said 'Holy Ghost', never 'Holy Spirit', and baptism would have been in Latin, not English!
- Fr B pours the water over the head of the baby with his hand. in baptism by pouring, the baptismal water is poured over the head of the candidate with a metal vessel, never with the hand.
- Mrs McCarthy, church secretary quotes Old Testament chapter & verse. this is a most glaring error: Catholics can't do that, lol. if it were a New Testament verse, maybe, but not likely an Old Testment bit about ritual purity.
- Fr B prays alone in church, outside of services. inexplicably the candles on the altar are lit, as are a few standing candles lining the walls. altar candles are never outside of services. clearly some set dresser got 'creative'.
- additionally, the candles on the altar are two candelabra of five candles each. these never appear on the altar in RC churches, it's always the big six.
- giving absolution to the dead mayor, Fr B says the correct formula 'ego te absolvo...', but then incorrectly crosses himself instead of the body.
- hearing Flambeau's confession, Fr B is dressed in cassock, surplice and stole. but missing the biretta.
- toward the end, being asked to give an emergency absolution Fr B starts 'God, the Father of mercies' before being told by Flambeau 'the short version'. absolution was never given in English before the 1970s, and this prayer did not exist at all before the 1970 reforms. the long pre-1970 version starts 'Dominus noster Jesus Christus te absolvat'.
- exorcism scene. exorcisms would not have been done in English. also, Fr B is clearly reading from the wrong book. what he has is an altar missal, as the leather tabs are a dead giveaway. what he should be holding is a Rituale Romanum, which is much smaller, but one supposes someone in the production team wanted a bigger book.
- Elspeth's funeral. finally Fr B wears correct black vestments (albeit with odd purple orphreys), but still no maniple. tsk.