I know we’ve been doing this “watching Mass on our screens” thing for several weeks now, but some people still have some questions. This is your lucky day, because I have the answers!
Q. It was hard enough keeping the kids in line when we were physically present at Mass. Any tips on keeping them engaged when we’re watching it in our living room?
A. With kids, it’s the little things that cue them in, so make some effort to supply some strategically-chosen touches to make it seem “really real.” For instance, tell them to get nice clothes on, and then just before Mass begins, discover that their Sunday best does not include underwear, just like at regular Mass. You can also let them sit on your lap, ostensibly so help the see better, but actually so you can obsessively inspect their scalps and ears for ticks the whole time, just like at regular Mass. And if they have to use the bathroom during Mass, let them go, but make them do it in the basement, and set up a table of donuts they have to walk past. In this way, your eventual reintegration to regular Mass will be seamless, and you won’t have COVID-19 or ticks.
Q. I know that if we have a dispensation from Mass, that means we don’t have an obligation to go, and live streamed Mass wouldn’t fulfill our obligation anyway, so there’s no way in which we can be obligated to live stream Mass. So I’m not some kind of rigorist or anything. My question is, should we turn the laptop so it’s facing in such a way that, when we kneel during the consecration, we’re actually facing the actual altar, which is two towns away?
A. I mean, the world is round? And Catholic churches are everywhere. So if you’re kneeling, there’s a 100% chance you’re kneeling toward an altar somewhere. This may be the best thing you hear all week.
Q. Our Mass is broadcast live, but you can also watch a recorded version of it later in the day. If, hypothetically, I accidentally stayed up until 2 a.m. watching Buffy and eating questionable salami, is there anything shabby about sleeping in and catching Mass on the liturgical flippity flop, as it were?
A. No, but you’ll be missing out on your chance to be the first one to see your pastor’s astonishing new look after he broke down and cut his own hair on Saturday night. So, make your choices.
Q. I am fairly new on The e-Internet. I want to keep up with The Cyber and participate in an appropriate “virtual” way! Can you teach this old dog some new “online” tricks?
A. Absolutely, and thank you for your service! If your liturgy is being broadcast on the Book of Faces that your handsome grandson set up for you, you will see a row of faces along the bottom of the screen. These are called “Sacramenticons,” and Pope Francis has promised a partial (7/8) indulgence for anyone who times them exactly right, under the usual conditions (no attachment to sin, fast modem, etc.); i.e., during the Memorial Acclamation, it is right and just to respond to “Christ has died” with a “sadface,” “Christ is risen” with a “wow face,” and “Christ will come again” with a “happyface.” It is not essential that you do this, but I guarantee it will give your handsome grandson some enjoyment if you do.
Q. As a representative of the humble flock who have been abandoned in this vale of tears by a weak and faithless episcopate, I am willing, in my humility, to patiently await the restoration of the most precious sacrament, even though I have every right to get as much body, blood, soul and divinity as I want, when I want it, under the exact conditions under which I feel like getting it. I am, as I say, humbly willing to endure this current scourge, and I have been strongly suggesting to the Holy Spirit that he use my intense sacrifice for the conversion of sinners, especially my pastor, who has squandered this incredible opportunity to give one of those really blistering sermons about modest and Marylike attire, because I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that those same hussies who used to show up to Mass with their squalling brats and their collarbones hanging out for all and sundry to see are probably at home right this minute wearing God knows what, probably elastic bloomers and one of those so-called t-shirts promoting satanism, and I’m not there to do anything about it and it’s KILLING ME.
So my question is, how many poor souls do you think I’m releasing from purgatory with my humility? I’m estimating four hundred.
A. At least. Have you considered asking the Holy Spirit to sign your petition? Assuming he’s not too intimidated by your spectacular humility.
Q. Can I drink coffee while live streaming Mass?
A. Yes, but in a very counter reformation way, no.
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