Live Stream Catholic Masses can unlock shut-ins from a lonely existence and allow for their local parish to reach into their homes, lives, and souls.
Live Stream Catholic Masses,
Benefit to the Homebound
When the Covid-19 Virus hit world in 2020, many Catholics for the first time were forced to watch live stream Catholic Mass online, instead of being able receive the Holy Eucharist in person. There was no interaction with other families and no ability to be in Communion with our Lord, Jesus Christ physically.
The one thing keeping many Catholics afloat, was the ability to live stream Catholic Mass, offered by their parish priest, online.
Many now know what it feels like to be homebound.
There are many parishoners part of Catholic churches who are shut-ins. They used to go to Mass regularly phyically and now cannot because of illness or other reasons.
Imagine that you have been going to Mass and volunteering at your parish for your entire life. Your family grew up there, so there are endless memories of the joy shared among friends, as you and your family grew and celebrated the sacraments. Your faith life has always been important, so you try and live out your faith more fully by devoting your life to serve and help build the Catholic community. Your life is a life of service in ministry at your church.
But then one day you are struck with an illness that makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for you to get to Mass and the church. The longer you are away, the harder it is for you to remain in touch with the people you knew. Also, several of your older friends have moved away and your children have as well. Additionally, the pastor you knew so well has been transferred and the new pastor has no idea who you are and that you helped build the church. The community you once had has slowly disappeared.
There are so many people who feel like they do not matter anymore or their community has forgotten them, and because they are homebound, they have no way to feel connected to their church and their community.
If they cannot physically come to church and be with their local Catholic community, is it not ideal to have some way to help them feel like are part of the church?
This is the way to reach out to the lonely and sick in a way that was not considered before the virus struck. While watching Mass on EWTN is wonderful and a definite option for a shut-in, there is something deeply significant about being able to stream the Mass from their parish where they can see their beloved statues, stained-glass window, bell tower, portraits, high altar, and Eucharist in the place that is familiar to them.
It is strongly encourage that all priests offer live stream Catholic Mass as a way to reach out to the homebound. They should locate those in their flock who are sick and stuck at home and send someone to their house so they can learn how to live stream Catholic Mass from their local Church. This would be an incredible service to the forgotten souls who often can feel as though they do not matter. Many times, unless they call the parish themselves and ask for Communion to be brought to them at their residence, homebound parishioners may never receive again. Local parishes can and should do more to find these forgotten ones and help them feel like they are still a part of the community. Imagine the spiritual strength it could give the homebound parishioners to witness the consecration of the Eucharist online and receive the same Eucharist when the Extraordinary Minister visits them at their home to give them the Holy Sacrament.
Many people worry that non-homebound people will opt to watch the Mass streamed instead of physically coming to Mass. Any Catholic who would justify doing this, probably doesn’t come to Mass very often anyway. Furthermore, it may actually help with evangelization. Perhaps it will reach someone who has been away from the Church for a long time and is afraid to come back to Mass. Maybe the person has misconceptions about the Church because it has been so long. One day he/she may decide that instead of going to Mass at the church, he/she will just stream the Mass at the church down the street to check it out.
What if the person sees a reverent and solemn Mass, dedicated to the glorification of Christ? The person does this a few times and then decides to finally come to church in person. I think this is very plausible. I think it could lead many to repentance and conversion.
The benefits of live streaming Catholic Mass are many can be used to do an incredible amount good.
Here is a resource from the USCCB and imply doing a live stream. Just ignore their Sign of Peace idea.
Tony and Kendra