Livestream: Keep it, or Can it?

December 23, 2021  •   LPi

person watching church on iphone

Since the start of COVID-19, words like “zooming,” “streaming,” and “virtual options” have slowly been integrated into our vocabulary. But today, as our churches open their doors (safely!) to the community, many options to tune-in virtually are slowly declining — but should they?

Livestreams could still be valuable connection and engagement tools within your church. From regular Sunday Mass to Eucharistic adoration and all-parish events, here are some valuable points to keeping livestream going at your church.

People Are Venturing Out … Somewhat

We are now at a point where we know more about COVID-19 than we ever did before. Vaccinations are readily available, masks and hand sanitizers are the norm, and it’s relatively easy to keep your distance during Sunday Mass. So, we can safely stop recording, right? Not so fast.

There are still a number of reasons why many of our parishioners are hesitant to venture out to Mass just yet. From immunocompromised, to those who work with young children or elderly adults, there are many reasons why they don’t feel as safe as others may. And that’s the benefit of having a livestream option for your parish — it’s there for those who need it!

It Lengthens the Shelf-Life

How many times have our parishes spent hours preparing for a faith event or presentation, just to have it all end? When you livestream it, you also have the option to hit the record button and make it available “on demand” for those unable to make it in person, or in some cases, want to watch it again.

Consider offering and recording a series of simple talks, such as a 20-minute reflection with the pastor followed by a recitation of the rosary, or a nine-day novena to Blessed Mary. You may find that you’ll have more attendance by offering an online option, especially for families with young children, and you can also have it available for those to watch on their own time.

It Shows People What their Missing

A big argument for ending the livestreaming of Mass is that many feel it keeps people from coming back to Mass in person. However, it’s the job of the parish to convey just how important it is to receive the Eucharist — as a church, are you letting your parishioners know what they’re missing?

Don’t forgo those who truly can’t come to Mass, in an effort to reach those who can. If your diocese had a dispensation in effect during the pandemic, make sure that your parishioners know that the obligation to attend Mass is in effect. We shouldn’t think of it as “having” to go to Mass, but rather that we “get” to go to Mass!

Need a refresher course on the art of livestreaming? Check out “How to Create a Better Livestreaming Mass Experience” for great points to consider.

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