The “stay at home” order and the necessary isolation of these days can serve as an opportunity to learn to appreciate the Mass in new ways. Although the vast majority of us are unable to go to Mass at the church, the livestreamed Masses here at Holy Cross and other churches can, nonetheless, offer us a rich experience of the liturgy. Try to see that technology is coming to our aid, though there are new challenges with at-home participation in the Mass. Here are some pointers or tips which you may find helpful:
Try not to “attend” Mass alone. If you can be with others, especially family members, it not only helps in maintaining concentration, but it can also reinforce the communal experience.
Prepare the space where your screen or monitor is located: put a Cross there, or an icon of St. Mary or another saint, and light a candle if you have one.
Follow the Mass as you would in the church on Sunday: stand at the reading of the Gospel, kneel at the Consecration, etc. Gestures are important!
At the time of Communion, pray a prayer of Spiritual Communion: for example, “My Jesus, I believe that you are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace you as if you were already there and unite myself wholly to you. Never permit me to be separated from you or your people. Amen.”
Do not be in a hurry. The Mass is a prayer that has incredible power and grace. We can use moments like these to expand and deepen our experience of prayer. Stay for a time after the final song of the Mass to pray for those who have died, the sick, healthcare workers, the government, and, of course the Church, the Holy Father, our Church leaders, and our parish community.