Recording the Mass – Updated

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  In our staff meeting last week we discussed a parishioner, who is a shut-in, who inquired about getting a recording of the Mass so they could view/listen at home. This person referenced a non-Catholic church that provides a video recording of their services. I was told and confirmed that you post your homilies online (on your website)- both written and audio recorded. My question is, does the church give direction/philosophy about recording the Mass or parts of the Mass with the intention of dissemination? I suppose I want to consider any consequences. Is there a liturgical philosophy to consider? Does the church see this as a ministry to the homebound?

What is your opinion on:

  • The entire Mass be recorded and disseminated vs. just the homily?
  • Do you recommend posting these recording on a public location i.e. the parish website or merely provide it to a specific group of people i.e. shut-ins?

I am sure I am over thinking this, but want to be as informed as I can before making quick decisions.

Thank you for all you do Paul,


A:  I record my homilies either through the church’s sound system or on my iPhone. I publish both the written and the audio on my web site.

I don’t know of any legislation on this. The texts of the mass are copyrighted by ICEL, but it is nearly impossible for the commission to give permission for all broadcasts. The same applies to copyrighted liturgical music.

Personally, I’d prefer a live broadcast to a recorded one. I’d put it on the parish web site so that interested persons can see more of what the parish offers. It’s OK to do the whole mass.


Additional input from readers:

Here is some information on the weekly Mass our Archdiocese produces for shut-ins. :


Just out of curiosity, I went to the EWTN Website to see what they do. Today is July22; I was able to watch the Mass from yesterday, July 21, so it was obviously not a live broadcast (though it was originally broadcast live).

I agree with you that I would prefer a live broadcast to a recorded one. Sometimes, however, a person who is unable to get out to attend Mass, is also unable to view it at the time it is celebrated.