Question on iPhones during Mass


I have used a tablet during the Divine Liturgi when we celebrated the St John Crysostom liturgi that is centuries and a Millenia old. It just felt wierd when they were using animal skins to write on during that century. On the other hand we had no idea how many who would come so it was easiest with electronic devices.

People showing that they have made an electronic money transfer during the offertory make me think of the phones as the “new teddy bears”.


I do it frequently. It’s generally not a problem.

Make sure that you don’t shine your screen light into anyone’s eyes, especially if it’s a dark church for some reason. Also make sure your phone is on silent including for any ads or videos that might pop up - often these are on a different volume setting than your regular phone.


Totally fine. But be aware others can see if you are playing candy crush instead


I know of more than one priest that use their iPhones to record their homilies. One is quite obvious as he fights his vestments to get it out of his pocket, turn the recorder on, and place it in the right spot on the ambo. It’s nice to be able to listen whenever I’m away or go to another Mass/go elsewhere.


I have been doing it at daily mass for years. Never have gotten a single strange look.


But that assumption rests on those making it.


Unless the parish has a rule against it, I would assume it’s fine. There’s all kinds of reason to use a phone or tablet rather than the missal. The only downside I can see is that you might get unintentionally distracted if someone tries to message or text you during Mass, or if it’s a candle-lit Mass and the light bothers people.


I now use an iPad mini when I sing in our Gregorian schola. The others still print out the score and put them in a chorister’s music binder. I used to work in the paper industry, I’m trying to expiate the sin of killing so many trees :wink:

I also like the fact that my iPad has an illuminated screen. A couple of years ago we were singing in a very poorly lit choir loft and I was the only one who could properly read the score! The guys around me (all men schola) were craning their necks to try to read off my iPad.

I have my iPad in a (fake) leather case, so when I use it, it looks like I’m holding open a book. I’ll never go back to messing with paper.

But, otherwise, for liturgy I still use paper misallettes, and my now well-worn Graduale Triplex. I suppose I could get the readings off the 'net, but for the Graduale, there’s a lot of flipping back and forth from the Propers to the Ordinary (and the Commons for saints), and that’s less convenient with an iPad especially since the only known scan of it that I can find, is just a series of image files, not searchable, and you can’t bookmark properly as a result. For choir use I simply arrange the score sheets into the order I’ll need them.

If the sermon runs past 8 minutes, I reserve the right to respond to CAF posts :wink:
(just kidding!)


Flipping through the pages is really not as difficult as you ar making it. There is a note at the bottom of the page if you need to go to a different section.

You may get some dirty looks, as it is easy to presume someone with their phone out is doing something other than attending to Mass. Is it wrong? I am not going to cross that bridge, but I would say it is unwise and unnecessary.


It is possible. But if someone tries to call you, your phone will ring and disturb others. It is best to turn off your phone during Mass. But this is ONLY my opinion. Bless you!


If you are the cause of others making uncharitable assumptions, that is on you. There are missals in the pews in most parishes. Given the number of times in each day someone can be seen on their phone talking, texting, or looking something up at inappropriate times, it is no wonder someone else would assume you are doing the same.

it isn’t all that difficult to act like a grownup and use the missal.


You don’t cause other people to make certain assumptions. The assumption one makes is entirely their own doing. The definition of an assumption is when a person chooses to believe something based on inconclusive evidence and decides not to investigate further. If a person observes another person looking at their phone in Mass, they probably aren’t going to investigate further because unless the person is their own minor child, it’s none of their business. Therefore, they will probably make an assumption. They can choose to assume the person has a good reason to be looking at their phone. (There are any number of possibilities in this day and age.) They can choose to assume that the person has no good reason to be looking at their phone. (Also any number of possibilities.) The main thing is that once they have come to a conclusion, they realize that either way, it’s none of their business and go back to what they are supposed to be doing. (Praying the Mass.)


It also isn’t all that difficult to act like a grown up and not watch what others are doing at Liturgy. If you are watching those around you and judging, I guess maybe it’s safe to assume that you aren’t paying full attention to the Liturgy.


I use the my phone to follow the mass, daily. Two suggestions. . . Make sure all sound is muted before you even enter the church. If your app allows it, change the display to white or grey text on a black background. It will be less noticible to those around you.


It isn’t all that difficult to act like a grownup and mind your own business.


Even old « dumb » phones had a silent mode…


True, but so many people do not use their silent mode. Over the last year, I have heard many ring tones during Mass. The safest thing is just to turn the phone off. Again, this is solely my opinion. :pray::pray::pray:


No. The lack of charity is on the person failing to assume the best.

And as for “acting like a grownup,” many grownups have vision issues that are helped by using a digital device. Perhaps the truly grownup thing to do is focus on the Mass, not on what your neighbor is doing.


I agree with the statement about vision problems. It’s nice to be able to enlarge print.

I suspect that in the very near future, almost everyone will use an electronic device to follow Mass and to do lots of other tasks.

I still use a flip phone. Sigh.


What? So you’re saying anytime we do something a busy body doesn’t care for, it’s on us? That’s absurd.

A truly mature thing to do would be call or email the parish staff member who puts the bulletin together and ask that a short paragraph listing the apps or links for various missals be recommended for those who prefer or need an electronic device to follow along at Mass. If ran in the bulletin for a few weeks at the onset and then once a month afterwards, it should clear up the assumptions made by people overly concerned with others. Problem solved.

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