I was thinking about the different ways technology can be fruitfully applied to the celebration of the Mass. I am a huge believer in using all five senses when it comes to worship. Some parishes are already doing some of the following.
Soft, appropriate, pre-recorded music would play before and after Mass unless of course live music was available. I think this might help the talking problem in some churches.
I would have several very large flat-screen video panels that would display the stations of the cross and the saint of the day. In addition to original artwork the monitors could be used to display images of stations from famous churches around the world. A video window could be added to give historical information about the image and/or to explain the specific station. When the Mass procession began, the images would be electronically “veiled” so the focus would be upon the altar and no where else. The color of the “veils” could follow the liturgical seasons.
The entire church would be fairly well lit but the nave would slowly become less bright during the procession. The sanctuary would remain fairly bright with the ambo area being lit the brightest during the readings.
During the Liturgy of the Eucharist the lighting level in the sanctuary would be dimmed to match the nave except for the altar area which would be softly spotlighted. Anyone thinking this would be “disruptive” has never been to a well managed performing arts venue.
The church’s bells would ring remotely before and after Mass and possibly during the Gloria. One of the bells would be tolled remotely during the epiclesis and major elevations as allowed by the Mass rubrics.
During the Great Amen the entire church would be softly be re-lit to show joy and to make things safe for communion.
I suspect I might use very discreet video panels to display lyrics, the readings and prayers as well. This would take a lot of thought and diligence because far too many churches do this poorly and it can detract from the Mass. It would be nice not to need hymnals/missalettes anymore.
The tabernacle would be designed to focus people’s attention to it unlike any other tabernacle I have seen. It might be made of opaque bulletproof glass and lit from the inside (much like Old Mission Santa Barbara’s Tabernacle) or it might be conventionally lit with theatrical lighting to make it look awesome.
No question that it would have to be done right or not at all. Sometimes it’s nice to dream…