Live Streaming Masses: Changing the Way We Worship

Wednesday 1 April 2020

Communications Office

Mass online has become the new frontier of spiritual outreach for many communities in the Archdiocese of Melbourne through these unprecedented times of physical distance.

So far, the reception has been positive.

Live streaming of Sunday Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral has risen from approximately 150-200 viewers to 7,500 viewers. This number continues to trend upward, with daily Mass attracting over 1000 viewers.

‘This doesn’t just create a spiritual connection but a connection with the outside community,’ says Peter Edans, Office Manager at St Simon the Apostle of Rowville who has recently started making Mass available online over YouTube.

Peter mentioned parishioners Elaine and John, a couple in their seventies who cannot leave their home as John is ill with cancer.

‘It creates a connection with people outside the walls of their home,’ he says, recalling how Elaine called the Parish office to thank them for making Mass accessible online, given their vulnerable position.

Having only just begun airing Mass online, Peter mentions that the Sunday Mass recordings attracted 770 views with the weekday Masses surpassing 100 views. He expects this number will climb.

‘Our Parish Priest is quite committed to getting the word out,’ he says.

Fr John Dang of Our Lady of La Vang Shrine in Keysborough agrees. ‘The parishioners are very happy with it and I believe it very much responds to their spiritual needs.’ 

‘Every morning when we say mass about 80 people attend online,’ says Fr John.

While acknowledging the numerous priests online offering Mass, he wanted to provide something specifically for his Parish of 1,500 people, to continue their connection with their parish.

St Matthew’s Fawkner North Parish has a flourishing online presence, as well.

‘Fr Galdo gets about 30 comments on Facebook a day,’ says volunteer John Butera who also mentioned that quite a few people from Fr Boy Galdo’s home country of the Philippines were also tuned into his online mass.

While online masses will be shaping the future of worship and spiritual connection, many will still be planning or considering if a recorded Mass is the right avenue for them.

If you’re considering live streaming Mass in your Parish, here are some simple tips to help along the way:

  1. Choose a small room for filming to avoid echo. If you choose the right space, you don’t need the most expensive sound gear to achieve decent quality audio.
  2. Ensure the space you’re choosing to film can accommodate another participant (e.g. cantor or reader), keeping in mind the 1.5 meter rule while filming, especially if you have only one camera or smartphone to film with.
  3. Remember you can always pre-record and schedule the Mass for streaming at the desired time. This will ensure the idea of filming a live Mass is less daunting.  

If you wish to plan which Sunday Mass you wish to attend online, there’s a listing available on our website to assist you with your needs.

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