Q: I pray you and yours are well during this crisis.
A quick question about Mass on TV. In this CoVid 19 pandemic, the faithful wish to at the very least ‘watch’ Mass on TV or YouTube. I remember learning that if the Mass is live-streamed, you should consider yourself as part of the celebration. So, besides joining in the prayers, if you are able, you would make the appropriate gestures, sit and stand as if you were in the church building itself. However, if it a recorded Mass from earlier that same day (or prior), the recording should help you engage in the prayers and readings, but you are not “there” and would not be required to maintain the postures as at a live Mass. In either case you could make a Spiritual Communion, I think?
Is this correct, or can you give directions for distinguishing Live vs. Recorded Mass?
We pray this pandemic ends soon.
A: Here’s a recent article that may help you: https://zenit.org/articles/televised-masses-2/.
Whether the mass is live or recorded, you really are not participating in it fully. It’s not too different from watching a sporting event or a concert on television. If it’s live, you are experiencing a certain immediacy that you don’t have when it’s a recording. But you aren’t there, so your participation is always secondary.
Still, it’s better than nothing, and many Catholics find the spiritual communion of St. Alphonsus Liguori helpful.