The “New Testament” of Churchgoers: Virtual Mass

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By Jessica Pedone
Staff Writer

On March 21, the Sacred Heart University community received an email stating that the Chapel of the Holy Spirit is pleased to bring you a video of weekly mass every week through Easter Sunday.

Due to the coronavirus, elements within the church are not the same during Livestream. There is no holy water, the sign of peace is exchanged without physical contact or community around, and communion cannot be shared.

Joseph G. Farias of Campus Ministry said, “People need spiritual connections, and many seem to be doing this by ‘showing’ mass. But Eucharist (mass) is by nature a sharing – sharing of the word of God which can be done even streamed. But it’s also a sharing of the bread and wine, the Body and Blood of Christ with Christ’s invitation to feed on him. That can’t happen by streaming.”

There are many differences between Livestream mass vs. attending mass in person. There is no feeling of community and sharing. Elements are missing from a Livestream that you would get in person.

“Mass is a full community, it’s not the priest’s activity. Most of the streamed masses during this crisis involves the priest, and often only men. That makes it a big stretch to say that the mass is a celebration of the whole church by the whole church,” said Farias.

The Chapel of the Holy Spirit is working hard to try to keep Mass as normal and regular as possible. However, it is not the same due to the circumstances. The Chapel of the Holy Spirit and other churches across the country are still offering weekly masses that include a Mass program so you can follow along with the readings and music.

Sophomore Victoria Eger said, “Mass use to be held only on Sundays, where sometimes I couldn’t always make the times. Having Mass live-streamed not just by Sacred Heart but internationally, nationally, and in local churches makes it easier to attend and from anywhere I want.”

Campus Ministry has been putting in great effort to keep up with this challenging time by doing things such as sending out daily positive emails about having unity, staying strong, and to believe, and posting daily quotes to their Instagram page, being an outlet for people.

“I think Livestream mass is a good alternative to regular mass. Going to mass, even if it’s online, gives people the opportunity to clear their heads, talk with God, and feel a sense of connection during this time. Everyone’s lives are getting flipped upside down, it could be a great way to give people the opportunity to keep their heads in a good place and continue to grow their faith,” said Eger.

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