As it slowly dawned on us that the COVID crisis was beyond anything that we could have imagined, we found ourselves in a very strong position. For a number of years we had already been streaming our Masses for the sick on Friday and Mass on Sunday. The equipment was in place and we had a certain amount of experience. That setup was to develop over the months to give us a good solid internet connection to the Church and the quality of the live streams were worked on.
I include in this team those who are involved in the technical side of our live transmissions, but also those who look after the sacristy, the flower arranging, the coordinators of the readers and ministers, the publicising and communication of times and events, all those involved in the actual celebration of the Eucharist and the other sacraments and times of prayer in our Church.
It has been great to be able to reach out through the year and build a parish community that goes way beyond our borders. Not only is the make up of our liturgy important but also the inclusion of others through social media, taking on their prayers and intentions, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries and mourning the dead.
There is plenty of discussion at the moment about whether we should cease streaming – get back to the “real” thing. For me the question is how can we improve our worship of God – the style, the music, the decoration, the preaching – all aspects. Eucharist and community belong together. It is my belief that without a strong community celebrating – the Eucharist does not reach its full realisation. I really want to get people back into Church – but there is so much we can learn through this year of distance and streaming as to how we can connect the community at large.
I really thank God for the Tech – but above all thank him for the people who put that tech to good use.