by Clyde Ericson Nolasco
COVID-19 (or the Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCov, also known as the Wuhan virus) has already caused a great impact globally.
Health organizations have advised the public to wear surgical masks, observe proper hygiene and avoid crowded areas.
In compliance with the advice to avoid crowded areas, the Archdiocese of Singapore and Diocese of Hong Kong announced that public Eucharistic gatherings are suspended to prevent the spread of this viral disease.
However, to respond to the spiritual need of the faithful, Archbishop of Singapore William Goh advised the people to follow instead a broadcast of the Eucharistic celebration on the CatholicSG Youtube channel or on the CatholicSG Radio.
Here are some reminders, however, to help our Catholic brothers and sisters maximize the broadcast liturgical celebration, even if they are unable to celebrate in church and are forced to participate in the Eucharistic celebration through these channels:
1. It's a prayer, not a show!
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324:
The Eucharist is "the source and summit of the Christian life."
The Eucharist is the highest form of prayer. Thus, its nature as a prayer remains even though it is televised or broadcast. Proper decorum is expected as a sign of reverence. Keep a prayerful disposition.
2. It’s a prayer, focus!
Sacrosanctum Concilium 14:
Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led
to that fully conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations
which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy.
Because we are in the comfort of our houses or personal spaces, we might be tempted to multitask by “watching” the mass and do other things such as checking our phones or some chores and errands. Sit down. Listen to the prayers and the Word of God. If we can, sing with choir. This would remind us that the liturgy requires our full, active and conscious participation.
3. It’s a prayer, pray!
Lumen Gentium 50:
Our union with the Church in heaven is put into effect
in its noblest manner especially in the sacred Liturgy,
wherein the power of the Holy Spirit acts upon us through sacramental signs.
Televised or broadcast masses are for those who are ill, frail and faithful with no access to a physical Eucharistic Celebration. While virtually and spiritually “attending”, let’s pray for those who are sick and those who have no access to the Eucharist.
For more details on the Guidelines for Televising the Liturgy, visit: http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/frequently-asked-questions/guidelines-for-televising-the-liturgy.cfm