One of the main purposes of our organization is to facilitate the streaming of Masses for devotional purposes. But often times the question arises as to whether or not this live-streaming is a good practice. Some say that it diminishes the integrity of the Mass because it gives people the experience of being at Mass but without the real thing: the Eucharist. The ontological difference is essential, yet we can forget this. But an argument can also be made that having virtual "mass" is better than having no Mass, especially for those who are homebound.
Kephas does this streaming for devotional purposes. That must be emphasized: it is not a replacement or even a partial substitute. The difference between the two is like the difference between 0 and 1, not between 1 and 2: virtual Mass is not halfway attending Mass. It may seem strange that we are posting here an article which is generally opposed to the streaming of Mass, but the article poses many good points for discussion that we should be willing to engage and are discussion worthy:
"From this reflection on signs and the sacramental encounter with God, it becomes possible to understand Pieper’s concern about transmitting the Mass on TV and more importantly, what is taking place when we broadcast the Mass via live stream. Whatever someone knows through the Internet is at his disposal, able to be accessed according to his will. One does not need to wait for someone to reveal herself to me. Rather, someone can know about another without that person even knowing. The screen does not demand patient conformity to that which one desires to know. I remain comfortably in my world, where I reign. And that which I know becomes a commodity, wholly in my control."
Read the rest here: https://www.hprweb.com/2021/02/on-live-streaming-the-mass/
A key takeaway is to never choose a virtual mass over the real thing, but only consider it in cases when the real thing is truly impossible.