You can tell people are worried right now. We’re living in pretty unprecedented times as a result of Covid-19. Our daily lives have been turned upside down. So I think we could all find some solace in maintaining some daily norms. One such norm for many is going to mass. While people of all ages around Ireland are religious, the elderly who are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 may take extra comfort in their spirituality right now. With indoor mass gatherings of 100 people or more to be cancelled, mass around the country is being cancelled. Step in technology. Here’s how to watch mass online.
The Current Situation
We’re living in pretty unprecedented times right now. I’ve been reluctant to write too much about what’s going on because largely, like Jurgen Klopp says, “my opinion is really not important”. But there are specific things happening right now which show us how important technology can be in maintaining ordinary life during extraordinary circumstances. Just Eat has announced contactless delivery so people in self-isolation can still get food delivered. Microsoft is offering Teams for free to people working from home for the first time.
All of these things are about maintaining norms in very unusual times. Maintaining norms, whether they be silly, trivial or important can reduce panic so we should try to maintain as normal a daily life as possible. Yes, even if that’s a cheeky takeaway.
Now, given my current attempts to leave the catholic church through GDPR, I can understand why many would see the irony in me encouraging people to attend digital mass. However, for me, this is a fantastic example of what I love most about technology.
It’s technology overcoming the worst and helping the most vulnerable in society.
Why Watch Mass Online?
We stream everything else these days, so why not mass?
Around the country, bishops are cancelling mass for three weekends to comply with Covid-19 restrictions. So far, the dioceses of Galway, Meath, Limerick, Tipperary, Donegal and Armagh confirmed that no mass will take place until March 29. The remaining dioceses are expected to cancel too, but regardless social distancing should be observed.
However, with the nations most vulnerable also likely the most worried being the elderly, this comes as a hammer blow to many weekend routines. But with the science of community transmission taking on religion right now, even Lourdes has closed healing pools. So, if you’re reading this, I do strongly recommend that you do not attend a church service in person right now.
Also, if you’re religious and self-isolating, I’d imagine a mass might be of some comfort.
How To Watch Mass Online
I might be trying to leave the church and I may have just said don’t attend church in person, but I would encourage the religious out there to stream mass online. After all, maintaining your daily routine as best as possible is important.
There is a website dedicated to the streaming of mass. Church Services TV streams mass from various locations throughout the day. Church Services TV was started back in 2005 and streams services over the internet helping parishes and other religious organisations expand their reach across the globe. The service helps parishes stream mass, weddings, funerals and more. While these services have had niche appeal until now, with Covid-19 services like this take on new importance.
some cancelled masses will still be streamed behind closed doors
While this may not be the case for all churches, I got in touch with some of the below streamers to ask if they would stream from behind closed doors. Fr. Jim Noonan of St. Teresa’s Claredon Street promptly replied, stating that owing to “the new norms promulgated by the Irish Episcopal Conference, and our duty of care to our regular worshippers, visitors, staff, volunteers and our community, we have taken the decision to cancel all Masses at St. Teresa’s for Sunday”. He also told me told me they would be streaming two masses online, namely the Vigil Mass at 6.00 pm on Saturday and 11.00 am Mass on Sunday.
So whether or not this is your local church, the good news is that Church Services TV streams from plenty of locations. I’ve had a quick look and found streamed mass in
- St. Teresa’s, Claredon Street, Dublin
- SMA Parish, Blackrock Road, Cork
- St. Augustine’s, Limerick
- St. Mel’s Cathedral, Longford
- St. Mary’s Priory, Tallaght, Dublin
- Church of the Assumption, Mooncoin, Kilkenny
So not only can you still attend mass, you can even travel around a bit. These are just the Irish masses but the platform does stream mass from around the world. You can simply find a mass which is on right now or search for your preferred church. Not all are on there naturally, but you’ll find something to your liking I’m sure. You can like their Facebook page too to receive further updates.
Like I said, this is the ultimate display of technology helping the masses for me. Pun intended.
On a personal note, I would encourage you not to be worried about Covid-19. It’s crucial that you take steps to protect yourself and others by social distancing, washing your hands and following advise from health experts. You can find the latest advice and news on the HSE website.