Tuning into Catholic Mass online is an important part of spiritual life these days, but we know that people struggle to make the transition. Or perhaps you’re looking for ways to make virtual Mass more meaningful when you’re at home.

The Oblates of the Virgin Mary (OMV) have live streamed Masses at St. Clement Eucharistic Shrine in Boston for many years, and we’re grateful for the outpouring of interest in our services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve also learned a lot about how to participate in online Mass and make the most of watching remotely.

FAQs: Catholic Mass Online

As more people look for ways to maintain a relationship with God but aren’t able to gather in person, we hear a lot of the same questions about watching Mass at home. We’ve put together our answers with insight from Br. Jorge Sanchez, OMV seminarian and our live stream expert.

Where can I watch Mass on the internet?

We hope you’ll join us for weekday Mass at 8:00 a.m. ET and Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 a.m. ET. You can watch on the St. Clement Shrine website, on our Facebook page, or through our YouTube channel. We also offer live streams of our special services throughout the year, like during Lent and Advent. Here’s what a few of our viewers have to say:

  • “My daily Encounter with Jesus is with your Mass at any hours of the day and it is a source of great Joy. Thank you, Fathers. Love to listen to your simple but encouraging HOMILIES! May your office be a continued blessing to all the seminarians as well.”
  • “Thank you for such a beautiful daily mass. My family and I are in the Chicagoland area and have been watching you since the quarantine began. Your mass and prayers are keeping us motivated through these trying times… We are planning on making a trip to visit everyone after all of this is over just to say thank you!!! May God bless all of you!!! Thank you, once again!!! Keep up the good work.”
  • “You have been spiritual fathers and brothers to us in a very real sense, and I for one don’t know where I’d be in my spiritual journey without you all. I pray for all of you to stay safe and healthy, and I can’t wait to return!”

Does watching Mass online count for my Sunday or Holy Day obligation?

Most dioceses have lifted the obligation to attend Mass due to the pandemic. You’re still encouraged to attend Mass in whatever way you can during this time. Depending on what works for your schedule, you can watch a live streaming video of Mass as it happens or watch a recording.

Should I participate in Mass like I normally would?

We suggest trying to actively participate as much as you can at home, including sitting, standing, and kneeling when possible and as you are able. Learn more about creating a space in your home for Mass and prayer in our tips below.

How should I practice spiritual communion at home?

We’ve heard from many people who greatly miss Holy Communion when they can’t attend Mass in person. To fill this hole when watching Catholic Mass online, try a period of silence for spiritual communion. Pray to one day receive him again in Holy Communion. He desires to abide in your home and your heart. 

Our OMV priests and seminarians continue to pray for all those who are unable to receive Christ in person. Br. Jorge offers you this message:

“‘Fatherhood is only visible in its absence.’ I don’t remember where exactly I heard or read this quote, but maybe this insight applies to those who are unable to receive Holy Communion. We understand the true meaning of receiving Holy Communion when we miss it. Then it becomes visible! I pray that those who are feeling isolated from God to ‘Be firmly resolved never to let yourself be troubled by anything in the world. Present yourself humbly and with complete confidence to the Lord in prayer, and he will not fail to have compassion on you.’”

How to Best Celebrate Mass at Home

Wondering how you can make watching Catholic Mass online feel special? Whether it’s a holiday or a normal weekday Mass, here are ways to prepare for a live stream or recorded online service. Start putting together a routine that works for you!

  • Create your space. You can dress up your outfit if you want, but step and dress up your surroundings, too. Gather a candle, flowers, your Bible, a cross or religious art to make your environment feel ready for worship.
  • Remove distractions. It’s not just kids that find their eyes and minds wandering. Be sure to turn off electronics and disable notifications on the device you’re using to watch Mass. Consider putting food and drink aside. Focus on the items in your space, like a candle, if you need to recenter yourself during Mass.
  • Carve out some quiet time. Prepare yourself by having a few minutes of silence before Mass begins. The Oblates of the Virgin Mary usually display a prayer before we begin so that people can enter this Sacrifice of the Mass in a prayerful way.
  • Be intentional. When you’re getting ready for Mass at home, always have an intention going into Mass. Ask for the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary. In the words of our founder, Venerable Bruno Lanteri, “Think of Mary, Call on Mary!”
  • Join in. People watching live-streams of Catholic Mass online can participate by joining in parts of the service such as the responsorial. This can help in immense ways! You might feel silly at first, but it will help keep you engaged with His word.

How you spend your time outside of Mass can affect your experience as well. In addition to prayer (which is also an encounter with God!), reading spiritual books or revisiting homilies can bring you peace or offer meaningful reflection until the next time you tune in.

Staying Connected in an Online World

It’s challenging to maintain relationships with God and your parish when you are limited to virtual Mass services. Br. Jorge Sanchez notes that “These are very challenging times. We have had to adapt to a new way of life. We all desire connection. But through your day remember to talk to God. He is always listening.” Br. Jorge also reminds us of the words of Venerable Bruno Lanteri, who said, “Remember to lift up your heart often to God, but gently and with peace.”

Online Mass might not be your preferred format, but it does open some doors for us to connect in new ways. We recommend helping others receive Jesus in their home by sharing online Masses. There are so many people today looking for hope, and we pray that our live streams of Mass at St. Clement Shrine will bring Christ and encouragement into living rooms around the world.

Br. Jorge suggests that you call someone (a rare thing in today’s world!) to check in on them and share your thoughts about a homily. We can all play a role in offering a word of hope to others.

What questions do you have about watching Catholic Mass online? How do you make the most out of attending Mass from home? We appreciate your comments and thoughts below.

Support Online Mass Services

The Oblates of the Virgin Mary are committed to providing virtual Masses and ministries. During these challenging times in our communities, please consider making a Mass offering.

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8 comments on “Catholic Mass Online: Common Questions and Helpful Tips”

  1. 1
    Paula Burnett on June 14, 2021

    I have attended Mass online every Sunday since the beginning of Covid. It is helpful to go to the same church every Sunday. You get familiar with the priests, laypeople who are reading and singing, It begins to feel somewhat like community,

  2. 2
    Mike on August 3, 2021

    Does an online Mass have to be live for it to count or can we attend a daily Mass online but at a later hour ?

  3. 3
    Gregg on August 5, 2021

    My wife is ill and I obtain Holy Communion for her from the priest who places the eucharist in the pyx. She would like to watch catholic mass online and take communion from the pyx at the same time the eucharist is celebrated on catholic mass online. Is this an acceptable practice.

  4. 4
    Paul Selva Raj on September 6, 2021

    Is it ok to attend recorded masses instead of livestream masses?

  5. 5
    Julieta Sison on October 16, 2021

    During this Covid times, I often attend Sunday mass on-line. I would choose the ones recorded a few hours earlier (due to time difference). I recently discussed it with my friend who also attends on-line mass, and she said to me that it should be live-streaming I should attend. Are pre-recorded masses not valid?

  6. 6
    Susan on June 16, 2022

    God bless my wonderful family!

  7. 7
    Sharon Sibenaller on December 10, 2022

    Every since Covid I watch Mass online faithfully. My partner attends Mass in person. I get panic attacks when I go in a crowd. He knows I have trouble with going out. Does watching Mass online count as attending Mass? I have always gone to Mass before this virus shut everything down.

  8. 8
    Maria Sevilla on December 12, 2022

    I had a mild stroke 5 years ago and loss my hearing on my right ear. Since then I cannot focus and understand what the lector is reading & the Homily of the priest plus some distractions like noise from small kids. I also have asthma and not feeling comfortable wearing mask. I am 67 1/2 years old. When I started watching the Mass online during the pandemic, I fully understand the details of the Mass and can focus and feel the message of Our Lord. The only thing is I missed receiving the Holy Bread. Please advise. 🙏🙏🙏

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