Well, I hope everyone was able to have a peaceful and joyful weekend. It was very abnormal not to have public Masses on Saturday evening and Sunday – pretty quiet. Not really what a parish church is made for! (On a related note, Fr. Paul Scalia has written a good piece on this phenomenon. You can find it at ‘The Catholic Thing.’)
I was very encouraged how many people got their families together to ‘attend’ Mass via internet. There are live Masses all over the place on the web! Gracious! I know one family that was ‘in’ Atlanta at a cathedral, Birmingham at a monastery and Potomac Falls (Va) at a parish for three Masses! The live Masses are not a substitute for Mass in person, but in these times without public Masses, it is a pretty good option.
I spoke with one mother just south of Seattle. She, her husband and their two children dressed up for Mass. They followed along with the Mass as well as sang along in the Mass.
I saw another family in Augusta, Ga. who had set up their own altar to follow along with a live streamed Mass. I was told that the youngest – 5 years old – was not in the picture because he was preparing to ‘offer’ his own ‘Mass’.
One local family had their altar set up with the screen right in the middle of the altar!
One child thought a miracle occurred at the Consecration as he could only hear the bells being rung and not see where the sounds were coming?!
In keeping with the season, one five year old boy had a very creative recounting of the Passion of Our Lord. He was overheard telling his younger siblings: “By mistake, Jesus almost died on the thief’s cross, without the ‘King of the Jews’ sign!”
Oh, the young! I would hope there are many more stories that all of you have during these trying times. Our Lord still gives us grace to see the joy in the simple events of life!
I am sure there are many who used their creativity and imagination to make Sunday a holy day as we are all called to do.
That said, I still think we will have to get back into a few habits when the day comes for our public Masses to begin again. For instance, wearing shoes to Mass; Or, not drinking coffee during Mass; Or, not wearing pajamas during Mass! As I said, imagination . . . .
Hope all of you are spending more time together -many games, many stories, more activities together, and especially, more prayer time together. Please consider plugging in for a daily Mass and daily Rosary. We hope to have regular daily times beginning soon. It is Lent. How about Stations of the Cross?
Finally, we should not overlook the tremendous opportunity all of us have to receive a plenary indulgence during these times. Pope Francis, using his papal authority given to St. Peter to ‘bind and to loose’, has granted a special indulgence for these times. Those who suffer from the coronavirus and those who care for them may receive a plenary indulgence without being able to receive Holy Communion on the particular day yet desiring to receive -normally, one key condition is to receive Holy Communion on the particular day. All the particulars can be found on vatican.va or zenit.org.