Livestream mass

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: I’ve been stumped by one of my RCIA candidates. Can you give me an answer to share? Here’s her question:

Sorry I know it is late…

In these times, if going to mass is allowed via live stream and we are told it is the same as mass in person right now…then wouldn’t wine and a communion wafer placed in front of my TV be blessed at the same time the father blesses his bread and wine? 

If I can receive a blessing via TV, why can’t the whole transubstantiation thing happen?

Honest question. You guys know my brain has loose wires. 

Thank you so much. Happy Easter. 


A: Watching a livestream is not the same as being at mass any more than watching a baseball game is the same as being there. Although the Pope gives the Urbi et orbi blessing to all those who watch him live, the same is not true of the sacraments. The only bread and wine consecrated are those sitting on the altar that the priest intends to have consecrated.

In these days when Catholics cannot attend mass, they are dispensed from the obligation to participate. They can watch a mass on TV, but that does not fulfill the obligation. There is no obligation. It has been removed under these circumstance.