The internet has made it easy for the homebound to participate in Mass from a distance.
Often circumstances out of our control will prevent us from attending Sunday Mass. Whether it is extreme weather like a snowstorm, a debilitating illness, or the risk of infecting others with a sickness, there are times when it would be dangerous, uncharitable, or impossible to physically attend Mass.
In those special situations, the obligation to attend Mass is suspended, but of course it is good to try to keep holy the Sabbath in as many ways as we can. This can include participating in Sunday Mass through the internet or television.
Over the years churches have been known to broadcast live Masses (as well as pre-recorded Masses) on local and network TV channels — the first televised Mass went out from Boston, in 1949 and the Vatican’s Christmas Mass has been broadcast live every year since the first, Europe-limited broadcasts of the 1950’s — but with the introduction of the internet the possibilities have only increased.
Catholic broadcasting networks such as EWTN and Catholic TVmake it possible to watch Mass on a daily basis through their YouTube channels. This allows the homebound and sick, or even non-Catholics curious about the Mass, to participate in the Holy Sacrifice from anywhere in the world. They can view it from their computer, TV, or phone, and engage spirituality in the Mass being celebrated elsewhere.
Passionist Communications has been broadcasting “The Sunday Mass” since the 1970s and their videos can be viewed each week on their website, in addition to local cable and radio broadcasts. This site is convenient as you don’t need to find the Mass at a particular time, but can play it whenever you want.
Sometimes even your local parish or diocese may have a live feed of the Mass on their website or social media pages.
If you are homebound and unable to attend Sunday Mass, these alternatives provide an opportunity to participate in and be consoled by the Mass and still “keep holy the Sabbath day.”
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