Flashes of Insight Let's Talk Liturgy Can you send an apple by email? - Episode One
by Ray Lyons
I’ve never celebrated a ‘private mass’, or made a ‘spiritual communion’; to my mind, both are oxymorons, for ‘where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in the middle of them’ (Mt 18:21). So the invitation to ‘participate’ in the Easter Liturgies or Sunday Mass via the internet is equally nonsensical to me. I let the invitation pass on the other side of the road.
To some I’m sure they bring comfort. Watching. Yes. But is it participation? Do we participate when we watch a TV programme? No. We are an audience, not a congregation, still less the Assembly called together. We are gathered around millions of TV screens but we have not come together. We may laugh, or shout, or scream, but no one beyond those beside us hears us. We may believe what we see, but we don’t take part.
We are living through an extraordinary time, mostly confined to our homes, with shops, businesses, even churches closed, sacraments unavailable. Pastoral care from the officials of the Church is patchy at best, mostly non-existent.