My parish has fielded several negative comments about our livestreaming Masses the past three weekends of our “soft reopening.” We also see our numbers dropping in both attendance and in the internet experience. The reason given? The poverty of the Mass with hardly any music. It really does pale in comparison with what we were able to do with the almost-private Mass with a mostly full set of acclamations and songs. One of my choir members said that during lockdown, she could pull out her songbook and sing along. Now, nothing much.
My parish’s situation is complicated. Even though we have three priests available, all are elderly and semi-retired. One is now in isolation for virus testing. Another has had a serious medical condition worsen and sap his energy. Dropping in an extra “closed” live Mass on Sunday for a better internet experience would be extremely difficult. I suggested to my boss today that perhaps we could record Sunday Mass at an off time–Saturday morning or during the week on a day we aren’t offering a reopening liturgy. I could tell she’s thinking about it. But she also acknowledged the uncertain situation and lack of priest personnel from the archdiocese is hurting us very badly.
Sit in the purple chair and render judgment. If your parish could only do one livestreaming Mass, what would it be?