Mass on tv, PBS or Otherwise

So PBS won’t accept any new religious programming. This is something of a lament, but perhaps less so than it appears. Where do Catholic shut-ins view televised liturgy? It’s been a discussion at my new parish, as we’ve relied for years not on PBS, but on cable public access. Adding to the discussion is our outdated and failing video equipment. Among some, the thinking is that we could upgrade to digital video on Saturday night, burn a few dvd’s, and send any of them out with Sunday Communion ministers to the sick. One could head off directly to cable access on Monday.

Our pastoral associate doesn’t think that bringing dvd’s to the elderly is such a big deal. We could afford to buy a $25 dvd player and install it for anyone who needed one, she thinks. Our pastor is concerned it might be a problem, and that the current proposal to switch to digital video won’t be completely without road bumps.

I consider the problem of the cable company airing Sunday liturgies a week late. Or sometimes later. This isn’t an ideal situation. For our parish, we’ll also have the easy capability to throw up Sunday Mass on the web site, and people can watch as they wish–even the faraway readers of this web site.

Mass on television: I wonder if it will become mostly obsolete. Not tomorrow, but in twenty or thirty years, likely, don’t you think?


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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7 Responses to Mass on tv, PBS or Otherwise

  1. Fran says:

    Our diocese (<a href=";)of Albany produces a half hour program, Table of the Lord. It is taped midweek and airs on Sunday morning at 6.30am on the local Fox affiliate.

    I was using it as a catechetical tool with my 12 year old step-daughter who was in the process of preparing for (late) First Eucharist.

    The dvd idea appeals to me a lot.

    And I never heard of a PBS station airing a mass!

  2. Anne says:

    Those who are home bound with computers would have access to Catholic TV and/or someone could copy the mass to a DVD:

  3. kelly says:


    I watch CatholicTV on sky angel, and the Mass is also on iTunes of all places! that way you get the Mass of the day if you don’t have CatholicTV on your cable system. But you can watch it live on the computer from their website like Anne mentioned.

  4. Mollie says:

    I like the idea of watching live-on-the-Web better than watching on DVD. When you can watch the Mass on demand, it loses the tiny bit of community-prayer atmosphere that exists when you have to tune in on TV. Even though the TV Mass is pretaped, when you watch it as it airs you know that you’re sharing the experience, somehow, with other “shut-ins” tuning in at that same moment. Seeing it on the Web as it happens would be even better; putting in a DVD when you can makes it entirely a private devotion. On the other hand, if it’s a DVD of your own parish’s liturgy, I guess the community factor is pretty significant.

  5. lewiscrusade says:

    I heard once that JPII ruled that live broadcast of Mass or another blessing still carries the blessing, but recordings do not (it would be the equivalent of just reading one’s own missal).
    DO shut-ins not have missals?
    Why not just give shut-ins a book of homilies?
    We have high speed internet, partly because our jobs depend upon it, and partly because it allows us to do video.
    You’ve got EWTN, CatholicTV, and SQPN, as well as and various parish webcams.
    I’m not really sure what the problem is here.
    The homebound are not obligated to attend Mass, but the parish is obligated to provide sacraments to the homebound.
    Yes, it’s nice to be able to watch Mass on TV, but there would likely be more graces involved in just leaving open on the computer.
    In our house, on Sundays we can’t make it to Mass because I’m not feeling well or there’s a bug in the family, we just do an hour, minimally, of family prayer.

  6. Liam says:

    It’s the live broadcast (in any electronic form) of the Urbi et Orbi blessings (Christmas and Easter) – which include a special Apostolic Blessing to which a plenary indulgence may be attached – that suffice for reception of the benefits of the Blessing, with the usual conditions for indulgences generally.

    Courtesy of Wiki is the text:

    Latin text:
    Sancti Apostoli Petrus et Paulus: de quorum potestate et auctoritate confidimus ipsi intercedant pro nobis ad Dominum.
    R/ Amen.
    Precibus et meritis beatæ Mariae semper Virginis, beati Michaelis Archangeli, beati Ioannis Baptistæ, et sanctorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli et omnium Sanctorum misereatur vestri omnipotens Deus; et dimissis omnibus peccatis vestris, perducat vos Iesus Christus ad vitam æternam.
    R/ Amen.
    Indulgentiam, absolutionem et remissionem omnium peccatorum vestrorum, spatium verae et fructuosae poenitentiæ, cor semper penitens, et emendationem vitae, gratiam et consolationem Sancti Spiritus; et finalem perseverantiam in bonis operibus tribuat vobis omnipotens et misericors Dominus.
    R/ Amen.
    Et benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti descendat super vos et maneat semper.
    R/ Amen.

    [An English translation – there is no official vernacular translation because this blessing is always given in Latin]:
    May the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, in whose power and authority we have confidence, intercede on our behalf to the Lord.
    R/ Amen.
    Through the prayers and merits of the Blessed Mary ever-virgin, of Blessed Michael the Archangel, of Blessed John the Baptist, and of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, may Almighty God have mercy on you, and with your sins forgiven, may Jesus Christ lead you into everlasting life.
    R/ Amen.
    May the Almighty and merciful Lord grant you indulgence, absolution, and remission of all your sins, time for a true and fruitful penance, an always repentant heart and amendment of life, the grace and consolation of the Holy Spirit, and final perseverance in good works.
    R/ Amen.
    And may the blessing of Almighty God, + the Father, + the Son, and + the Holy Spirit, descend on you and remain with you always.
    R/ Amen.

  7. there are bargain dvd players that are sold in our area. i think they are generic low cost dvd players :;,

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