Should The Divine Liturgy Be Live Streamed?

SamCru

Chicken
Might as well live-stream it. Looking at the actions of the Church leaders throughout this Covid saga, the Divine Liturgy is meaningless to the people who perform it. So, who cares? They can dismantle their churches brick-by-brick while they're live-streaming.
 

Philonous

Sparrow
Protestant
I watch liturgies online. I follow TruNew’s New Zion Assembly. I watch it and do the vicarious communion in my apartment because TruNews will occasionally do homilies against modern Zionism, things that at least touch on the subject, whereas none of the churches in my area will follow suit. That includes the two Orthodox ones—the Greek and the Coptic.

The Greek Orthodox Church is literally across the street from my apartment. It’s a beautifully built sanctuary and somewhat large, but they will not do homilies—only singing liturgies of Bible verses and Orthodox prayers. And I know, because I’ve watched a lot of those online, too.

Then they have a sort of “adjunct church” outside of town—a sanctuary that is much smaller, and sandwiched in a strip mall storefront. They do homilies there, but they’re only about saints—nothing contemporary.

The Coptic church does homilies—but only about general theological matters.

Likewise, the three big Catholic churches in my area won’t even go near the subject of politicized covid vaccines. Likewise, they won’t bother talking about why they make a big to-do about “Black History Month” when brotherhood in Christ ought to take precedence over feting anyone’s race.

So they all like playing it safe. Which is fine—after having lived about a decade of my adulthood in poverty I happen to appreciate solvency. So I understand “not wanting to be broke”—not wanting Big Jew to take his revenge out on your wallet or bank account.

But I don’t need people to sing to me.

And the internet is just fine for learning about St. Nicholas and St. Spyridon (as well as a great many other saints).

And the blacks I grew up enjoyed a lot more government and cultural helpmeets than I did as a white.

And I don’t take covid vaccines.

Understand, I’m not going to go so far as to say the Holy Spirit makes no appearance at these lukewarm services, but rather, I think lukewarm expressions of faith attract only the most fleeting visitations from the Spirit.

And they also attract fake Christians. A fellow I knew from junior high who attends a Coptic church told me he fellowships every Sunday to please his family, but he doesn’t believe in God. I recommended he try reciting the AA Serenity Prayer once or twice a day just to see if his marriage improves.

Awful, isn’t it?!

A lot of people are scared of the noses. And it’s not even the noses per se, but the fact there are now so many cultural dictums against “white supremacy” that nobody wants to risk being branded with that label.

Being at the supermarket and running into a black lady in the bacon isle, and she’s like, “You’re that white supremacist who was in the newspaper”—and then having to explain, “Well, I’m not really a white supremacist, only an anti-Zionist, but our local paper tends to stigmatize those who criticize the power structure.”

And maybe that explanation will work, and maybe it won’t.

I get the feeling that once Israel goes ahead and bombs Iran—and at this point that’s probably just a few weeks away—I think once Israel gets us into our next big Mideast war a sort of political dam is going to burst, and then Americans everywhere are going to start talking about the noses. Start talking about what happens when we try to occupy a nation 3 1/2 times the size of Iraq—one that would require a massive personnel commitment to occupy, and therefore require activating Selective Service.

And then I probably will bother seeing what some of these local church services are like in person.

But for now each of them can just turn on that high-end camera their donations bought and save me the trouble of having to shower and put on a dress shirt.
 

nagareboshi

Woodpecker
Orthodox
It is clear, based on the teaching of pre-Vatican II theologians regarding hearing Mass over the radio or television, that one could not fulfill his Sunday obligation by viewing a Mass broadcast over the internet.

First, it is not a sin to miss Mass due to great distance or other serious excusing circumstances. It is a sin, however, to attend the Novus Ordo. It is also a sin, objectively speaking, to assist at an otherwise valid traditional Latin Mass that is offered in union with the modernist false “pope” and his hierarchy.
:hmm: :hmm:
 

PolishCalifornian

Robin
Catholic
I would have been near suicidal had I needed to heave my half-paralyzed dad in and out of the car for a year during the peak of the hysteria. We watched livestream masses for over a year between spring 2020-2021. Catholic churches were essentially closed in the Bay Area last year. The quality of the broadcasts vary widely, but IMHO yes Mass should be streamed, but with everyone encouraged to attend if they can (we have 100% masking besides the priest still, unfortunately).
 
Internet church services had their uses during the lockdown and I very much appreciated their existence when all the churches were closed. They are also not a new concept; Mass for shut-ins type programs have been on TV at least since the sixties. Such things need to be done in a certain way, though, in order to be spiritually uplifting. Speaking for myself, I found singing especially to be a great distraction on TV. A brief, sober, and intellectual liturgy with good sound and camerawork, on the other hand, seemed to me a very useful way of “keeping myself honest” during the early months of the pandemic by ensuring that there was some Sunday activity by which I could definitely consecrate and honor the day. I also tried very hard to recreate the in-church experience as far as possible. I went into a room by myself, set up a chair and a cushion for kneeling, then went through all the postures and said all of the responses just as if I had been there. I also took care never paused the video for any reason.

I recommend the Archdiocese of Denver’s prerecorded TV Mass (available on YouTube) as an example of how to do this “genre” right. I think at least part of the problem had to do with each parish’s insistence on doing its own livestream/recording instead of delegating to those who really knew what they were doing and had sufficient resources.
 

nagareboshi

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Suggestion: what if the Liturgy is streamed, but the link is private and the believer must individually message the priest to request access. The priest grants access only if it would be spiritually helpful to the believer.
 
Suggestion: what if the Liturgy is streamed, but the link is private and the believer must individually message the priest to request access. The priest grants access only if it would be spiritually helpful to the believer.
What if priests continued to celebrate the Mass/Liturgy, but installed punch code locks on the doors of churches, so that instead of just showing up for Mass, the faithful would be required to message the priest individually. He would then grant the code only to those individuals who would spiritually benefit by attending Mass? Or perhaps he could issue them a special key fob like they use at the gym?

In other words, I can’t see a lick of sense in what you are suggesting. Mind explaining your rationale?
 

nagareboshi

Woodpecker
Orthodox
@Cornfed Hillbilly : Well, in the ancient church, the mysteries were indeed kept as actual secrets, which is why the Orthodox liturgy has "The Doors, The Doors," indicating that the doors of the church should be shut and attended with guards to prevent barbarian invaders from entering.

But what I mean is: considering that many in this thread have correctly pointed out (1) the spiritual harm of frequent live-streamed liturgies for active parishioners, and (2) the spiritual benefit of live-streamed liturgies for inquirers and neophytes; it may just be a good idea for the priest to safeguard the links to prevent abuses.
 
@Cornfed Hillbilly : Well, in the ancient church, the mysteries were indeed kept as actual secrets, which is why the Orthodox liturgy has "The Doors, The Doors," indicating that the doors of the church should be shut and attended with guards to prevent barbarian invaders from entering.

But what I mean is: considering that many in this thread have correctly pointed out (1) the spiritual harm of frequent live-streamed liturgies for active parishioners, and (2) the spiritual benefit of live-streamed liturgies for inquirers and neophytes; it may just be a good idea for the priest to safeguard the links to prevent abuses.
I don’t see the harm in live-streamed Masses for the faithful who cannot not otherwise attend. It’s not a replacement for actually assisting at Mass.

http://www.fathercekada.com/2008/11/01/internet-masses-spiritual-benefits/

Granted I don’t speak for EO liturgies or their particular situations, I’m sure it’s a completely different dynamic. My own thoughts on this matter are only concerning the many Traditional Catholic faithful scattered far and wide, who often do not have a priest or Mass center in the area, and must travel great distances to attend the Traditional Latin Mass and receive the sacraments. Personally, I live over two hours away from the nearest valid Catholic Mass, so I cannot attend most Sundays. I try to go about once per month, but with gas prices being what they are now (let’s go Brandon!), even that isn’t presently feasible. And I’m very fortunate and blessed to live THAT close to a genuine Catholic Mass center.

Speaking of the ancient church, inquirers and neophytes were the very people the “mysteries” were kept secret from, which is why the first part of the Mass in the Traditional Roman rite is called the “Mass” of the Catechumens and the second part (the actual Mass) is the called Mass of the Faithful; because in the primitive Church, catechumens were dismissed after the scripture readings and sermon, and only the baptized faithful were permitted to be present for the Eucharistic sacrifice. So if anything, live-streamed Masses should be done chiefly for the benefit of the faithful, not for inquirers and neophytes.
 

pathos

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
Broadcasting religious services has been done for decades. I don't see it as inherently wrong. Often those broadcasts catered to the sick and elderly in hospital who couldn't attend in person but saw in these broadcast a way of fulfilling their Sunday obligation anyway.

However, as to whether those broadcasts or streams are a viable substitute to physical attendance, clearly the answer is no, especially if you're actually able to attend. Even less so for Catholics or Orthodox who are supposed to believe in the Real Presence.

That's why, during the lockdowns, I never managed to bring myself to watch any live-stream, especially knowing that they deliberately closed down their parishes and in doing so prevented perfectly healthy parishioners from receiving the sacraments. They made it all seem like a joke.
 
Broadcasting religious services has been done for decades. I don't see it as inherently wrong. Often those broadcasts catered to the sick and elderly in hospital who couldn't attend in person but saw in these broadcast a way of fulfilling their Sunday obligation anyway.

Well it cannot fulfill the Sunday obligation, but a sick or elderly person in the hospital is not obliged to go. However, there are certainly many spiritual benefits to be had by viewing a broadcast Mass by those who are unable to attend physically.

QUESTION: What benefits do I derive from watching the traditional Latin Mass on the internet? I know I don’t get the full benefit I would if I were there in person.

RESPONSE: It is clear, based on the teaching of pre-Vatican II theologians regarding hearing Mass over the radio or television, that one could not fulfill his Sunday obligation by viewing a Mass broadcast over the internet. The law requires physical presence at the Holy Sacrifice, or at least being part of a group that is actually present (in the case of a congregation so large, for example, that it spills out beyond the doors of the church into the street).

So, if you were able to be physically present at Mass under the usual conditions on a Sunday or a Holy Day, you would be obliged to go to it. You could not choose instead to remain at home glued to your computer— or indeed, to remain in the church parking lot, hovering over your I-Phone — and still fulfill your duty to assist at Mass.

Thus the question of the obligation.

However, the spiritual benefit of a broadcast Mass is another matter — you can indeed benefit from it. This is clear from the comment of Fr. Francis Connell, a well-known moral theologian at Catholic University in the 1950s, who addressed the question of hearing Mass over the radio:

“One may participate in the benefits of the Mass without being actually present — namely, by directing one’s intention and devotion to the sacred rite. By hearing Mass over the radio one can certainly foster his devotion, and thus profit considerably from the offering of the Holy Sacrifice. Indeed, it could happen that one who participates in the Holy Sacrifice in this manner will gain much more benefit than many of those who are actually present.” (Father Connell Answers Moral Questions [Washington: CUA 1959] 75–6)
So, in these days when true Masses offered by real priests are few and far between, Catholics can at least have the consolation of knowing that a facet of modern technology so often used for evil can also be used to foster their own devotion — and indeed, to bring to them the benefits of a true Mass, wherever it is offered.

Deo gratias!
 

pathos

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
Well it cannot fulfill the Sunday obligation, but a sick or elderly person in the hospital is not obliged to go. However, there are certainly many spiritual benefits to be had by viewing a broadcast Mass by those who are unable to attend physically.
Yes, exactly. It's basically like a personal act of piety in that case. I was in that situation once or twice. I was in hospital and couldn't attend so I looked for a broadcast on TV and was lucky enough to find a decent Mass on a foreign channel. It's no substitute but it's better than nothing.
 
Yes, exactly. It's basically like a personal act of piety in that case. I was in that situation once or twice. I was in hospital and couldn't attend so I looked for a broadcast on TV and was lucky enough to find a decent Mass on a foreign channel. It's no substitute but it's better than nothing.
I recommend live-streaming the Traditional Latin Masses from St. Gertrude the Great Church in Cincinnati. SGG has many “virtual parishioners” all over the world!
God bless.
 
Originally posted on RooshV.com

live-stream-home-liturgy-1024x576.jpg

When the coronavirus lockdowns first hit, churches scrambled to live stream their services. In April of 2020, microphones, cameras, mixers, and computer HDMI adapters were either impossible to find online or prohibitively expensive. Most churches went on to figure things out and live streaming became commonplace, but how useful have they been in strengthening the faith of the flock? From my experience, live streaming the Divine Liturgy hurts more than helps.

I was in charge of setting up live streaming for my Armenian church before joining ROCOR in May 2021. The task was more complicated than my home setup because, for the Armenian Liturgy, there were four different locations that needed a microphone: the priest, the deacons around the altar, the reader in front of the altar, and the choir pit. In a complicated setup that involved dozens of feet of microphone wire, I ended up using two mixers, five microphones (including two wireless microphones), one camera, and one computer running Streamlabs software.

Once our live stream was up and running, I began to receive many thanks from the community for allowing an average of 20-50 people each week to watch the Liturgy from home in decent quality. I felt like I had done a good deed, and was proud of myself, but in hindsight I realize that I may have inadvertently damaged the spiritual development of the parish.

The first sign I knew something was off was when my Armenian mother remarked that she kept the live stream running in the background while cleaning the house and doing laundry (she did not regularly come to church with me). She never made comments on the priest’s sermon, but instead asked me questions about who the tall man was, or who the lady in the hat was. During the live stream itself, I saw comments in the chat of people asking me who was singing in the choir. There were also complaints about the sound or video. “It’s not loud enough!” “I hear static in the background!” The first thought in my mind when I encountered them was, “If you want high quality, you should come to church!” There were some individuals who did not come for many months on end but would often watch at home.

camera-live-stream-event-church-1024x683.jpg


Attendance was heavily depressed for a year. There were many people who watched the live stream but stopped coming in. Unless they met with the priest privately, they did not confess their sins sacramentally through the Armenian Church’s public confession process, they did not receive the Eucharist, they did not participate in communal prayer, and they did not receive spiritual guidance. The live stream was the excuse that allowed them to stay home and still feel that were close to the church. Instead, they were deepening their dependence on technology and the comfort of an easy Christianity where their fears and anxieties about a pandemic were indulged, and I say this not only of the Armenian parish I was in, but all Christians who may have used live streams as a pretext to stay home instead of claw tooth and nail into the church to heal their souls by taking the Body and Blood of our Savior and then participating in fellowship afterward.

Does the live stream hurt the faith or does it merely reveal those who are lukewarm? I would guess a bit of both, but if the live stream wasn’t available, at least those who are lukewarm would feel a tinge on their conscience that they should be in the church. With the live stream, however, they can rationalize their lack of attendance by watching the Liturgy on their phones and deceive themselves that they are an active Christian who is “close” to their parish.

A couple of days after I was received into ROCOR at the monastery in Jordanville, New York, I caught a cold. I asked my godfather, a monk, if I could still attend the Liturgy even though I was sick. He replied, “You need the Liturgy even more when you are sick!” And are we not only sick in body but also in soul, in need of continual healing and grace? I can think of very few valid excuses to ever miss the Divine Liturgy on Sunday. To believe that an electronic simulacrum of the Liturgy can be a suitable substitute is the height of folly.

The parish I currently go to does not have a live stream. Not coincidentally, it’s usually packed, and sometimes I hardly have enough space around my body to do the sign of the cross without whacking the person beside me. I don’t go to Church to feel spiritual, or to be a Christian for only a couple of hours, but to participate in the healing sacraments and draw nearer to God. I go to engage in dialogue with my fellow Christians in a state of post-Communion grace, which I certainly cannot do from home.

If the current head of my parish asks me to set up a live stream, I would probably obey, but first I would warn him that it will likely decrease church attendance, enable a lukewarmness of spirit, hurt fellowship, and for some, trivialize how they view the sacraments, because if you really believed that the Body and Blood of Christ come forth from the chalice, how could you miss it because of the fear of catching what for most people is no worse than a cold? I had one whole year while in the Armenian Church to witness how live streaming ultimately bore no fruit that I could discern, and should be rejected by Christians as a suitable means of worshipping our Lord God.

Read Next: 9 Signs You’re A Barbarian
Permalink
Gentlemen greetings.
Christ is among us.
This article describes exactly how this have been at my perish here in the Orthodox desert of Southern Idaho.
The only thing O can add is when the "lockdown" first hit close to 8%of our perish stopped coming to Church and have never returned.
Lord have mercy on the Orthodox everywhere.
 
Top