The obsession for photos at Liturgies


#1

The obsession for photos at Liturgies

The following excerpt is taken from a June 24 story on the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. website.
blog.adw.org/2012/06/concerning-the-obsession-for-photos-a-liturgical-and-pastoral-problem/

The Bishop has taken his place at the entrance to the sanctuary. He is prepared to confirm some twenty children. It is a sacred moment, a Sacrament is to be conferred. The parents are in deep prayer thanking the Holy Spirit who is about to confirm their children for mission….. Oops, they are not!

Actually, they are fumbling with their cell phone cameras. Some are scrambling up the side aisle to “get the shot.” Others are holding the “phone” up in the air to get the blurry, crooked shot. The tussling continues in the side aisle as parents muscle to get in place for “the shot.” If “the shot” is gotten, success! If not, “woe is me.” Never mind that a sacrament has actually been offered and received, the point was “the shot,” the “photo-op.” ...The picture is the point.
Actually I would propose, it is NOT the point. Real life and actual experience are the point. Further, in the Liturgy, the worship and praise of God, the experience of his love, and attentiveness to his Word is the point. Cameras, more often than not, cause us to miss the point. We get the shot but miss the experience. Almost total loss if you ask me.

For more of the article:
calcatholic.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?id=02c4a7c9-45b1-43ed-a7f7-56133a58daeb


#2

[quote="prettiefly, post:1, topic:290673"]
The obsession for photos at Liturgies

The following excerpt is taken from a June 24 story on the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. website.
blog.adw.org/2012/06/concerning-the-obsession-for-photos-a-liturgical-and-pastoral-problem/

The Bishop has taken his place at the entrance to the sanctuary. He is prepared to confirm some twenty children. It is a sacred moment, a Sacrament is to be conferred. The parents are in deep prayer thanking the Holy Spirit who is about to confirm their children for mission….. Oops, they are not!

Actually, they are fumbling with their cell phone cameras. Some are scrambling up the side aisle to “get the shot.” Others are holding the “phone” up in the air to get the blurry, crooked shot. The tussling continues in the side aisle as parents muscle to get in place for “the shot.” If “the shot” is gotten, success! If not, “woe is me.” Never mind that a sacrament has actually been offered and received, the point was “the shot,” the “photo-op.” ...The picture is the point.
Actually I would propose, it is NOT the point. Real life and actual experience are the point. Further, in the Liturgy, the worship and praise of God, the experience of his love, and attentiveness to his Word is the point. Cameras, more often than not, cause us to miss the point. We get the shot but miss the experience. Almost total loss if you ask me.

For more of the article:
calcatholic.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?id=02c4a7c9-45b1-43ed-a7f7-56133a58daeb

[/quote]

The photo or video is probably not a bad thing, but the taking of a photo during mass is distracting, when people run around during mass, not paying attention to the Sacred.

We should organize these things much better before mass takes place by setting up cameras, that don't need a camera man to run around. With the new technologies we can do so much, especially regarding automatic monitoring and multimedia.
Anyway Mother Teresa would say:
It's not so important to capture a picture, but to capture Jesus.


#3

Children’s liturgy annoys me.

20 children need 40 adults with them?

And when they return, instead of walking up to the front with their pictures they all have to run around and scream like they are in a playground.


#4

I wonder what Jesus would say if he were there instead of the Archbishop? How would He react to all of the commotion. Commotion certainly followed Him in His ministry, the Gospels are clear on that.

Curious thought…


#5

I agree that taking pictures can be disruptive. At the same time, these same pictures are what have made a lot of people curious about the TLM. How many people studied the Dominican Rite Mass on the New Liturgical Movement before deciding to attend the mass that was celebrated this year at St Vincent Ferrer. The place was packed!

So in this sense, the pictures attracted a lot of people who were curious about the Dominican Rite Mass.


#6

[quote="Nelka, post:3, topic:290673"]
Children's liturgy annoys me.

20 children need 40 adults with them?

And when they return, instead of walking up to the front with their pictures they all have to run around and scream like they are in a playground.

[/quote]

:confused:


#7

[quote="Nelka, post:3, topic:290673"]
Children's liturgy annoys me.

20 children need 40 adults with them?

And when they return, instead of walking up to the front with their pictures they all have to run around and scream like they are in a playground.

[/quote]

The article was discussing a confirmation, not a children's liturgy. And presumably, each child has two parents, so yes, 20 children should indeed need 40 adults.

Not sure who you think is running around screaming. Sounds from the article like the children (teens) were behaving fine, it was the photo-snapping parents who were causing the problem. :rolleyes:


#8

Photographs within reason do not bother me. I'm happy that the parents want to capture this special day.

One thing that does bother me is the taking of pictures during a child's first Confession. Many parishes have the child sit face to face with the priest in the church (I don't necessarily have a problem with this). But then the parent hovers maybe 30 or so feet away snapping pictures of the child confessing to the priest. Something about that rubs me the wrong way.


#9

[quote="anp1215, post:8, topic:290673"]
Photographs within reason do not bother me. I'm happy that the parents want to capture this special day.

One thing that does bother me is the taking of pictures during a child's first Confession. Many parishes have the child sit face to face with the priest in the church (I don't necessarily have a problem with this). But then the parent hovers maybe 30 or so feet away snapping pictures of the child confessing to the priest. Something about that rubs me the wrong way.

[/quote]

that rubs me the wrong was as well.


#10

[quote="prettiefly, post:1, topic:290673"]
The obsession for photos at Liturgies

The following excerpt is taken from a June 24 story on the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. website.
blog.adw.org/2012/06/concerning-the-obsession-for-photos-a-liturgical-and-pastoral-problem/

The Bishop has taken his place at the entrance to the sanctuary. He is prepared to confirm some twenty children. It is a sacred moment, a Sacrament is to be conferred. The parents are in deep prayer thanking the Holy Spirit who is about to confirm their children for mission….. Oops, they are not!

Actually, they are fumbling with their cell phone cameras. Some are scrambling up the side aisle to “get the shot.” Others are holding the “phone” up in the air to get the blurry, crooked shot. The tussling continues in the side aisle as parents muscle to get in place for “the shot.” If “the shot” is gotten, success! If not, “woe is me.” Never mind that a sacrament has actually been offered and received, the point was “the shot,” the “photo-op.” ...The picture is the point.
Actually I would propose, it is NOT the point. Real life and actual experience are the point. Further, in the Liturgy, the worship and praise of God, the experience of his love, and attentiveness to his Word is the point. Cameras, more often than not, cause us to miss the point. We get the shot but miss the experience. Almost total loss if you ask me.

For more of the article:
calcatholic.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?id=02c4a7c9-45b1-43ed-a7f7-56133a58daeb

[/quote]

My parish solved some of those problems by making me the official photographer :). I have all the necessary equipment to take professional photos (without flash). There are times when people complain after the Mass that no one got any pictures not realizing that I was so discreet about it ;).

Another reason they made me the official photographer? People were climbing on the altar! :eek:

-Byrnwiga


#11

[quote="anp1215, post:8, topic:290673"]
One thing that does bother me is the taking of pictures during a child's first Confession. Many parishes have the child sit face to face with the priest in the church (I don't necessarily have a problem with this). But then the parent hovers maybe 30 or so feet away snapping pictures of the child confessing to the priest. Something about that rubs me the wrong way.

[/quote]

That is wrong on so many levels. I'm surprised a priest would allow that.


#12

[quote="maltmom, post:11, topic:290673"]
That is wrong on so many levels. I'm surprised a priest would allow that.

[/quote]

When it comes to things like that they don't listen to the priest. I can count on one hand the number of times parents have actually listened to my "Father would like you to appoint one person to take pictures at the Baptism. Have him/her stay in the first pew and use the telephoto option. As you can see, you'll only be about 15 feet away. The photographer needs to be discrete so that the focus is on the Baptism, not him." At the last immersion Baptism I thought one grandmother was going to end up in the font.

I now avoid First Communion like the plague. The last time I attended the parents had the kids all over the sanctuary before Mass, snapping pictures like they were never going to see their precious darlings again. During Communion it was push and shove time for the best vantage point. It was nuts!

For 9 years we had the children go up for First Communion with their parents. It took care of most of that foolishness.

When my kids received their sacraments the parish had an official photographer and there was none of that disrespectful behaviour.


#13

When my oldest received first communion, the children were placed in a particular order and parents were also given a number so that they could line up along the side in order to get a picture. It was fairly civilized and orderly...though the dad in front of me decided to snap an extra and almost caused me to kiss my "shot".

The next year, my you gets received First Communion, and a parent arranged for professional photographer to be there. Much prefer that option.

In both cases, those pictures are treasured representations of a sacred event. Confessions took place in the confessional, so that solved that problem!


#14

[quote="Phemie, post:12, topic:290673"]
When it comes to things like that they don't listen to the priest. I can count on one hand the number of times parents have actually listened to my "Father would like you to appoint one person to take pictures at the Baptism. Have him/her stay in the first pew and use the telephoto option. As you can see, you'll only be about 15 feet away. The photographer needs to be discrete so that the focus is on the Baptism, not him." At the last immersion Baptism I thought one grandmother was going to end up in the font.

I now avoid First Communion like the plague. The last time I attended the parents had the kids all over the sanctuary before Mass, snapping pictures like they were never going to see their precious darlings again. During Communion it was push and shove time for the best vantage point. It was nuts!

For 9 years we had the children go up for First Communion with their parents. It took care of most of that foolishness.

When my kids received their sacraments the parish had an official photographer and there was none of that disrespectful behaviour.

[/quote]

Well, in the case I was talking about, I don't think the priest minded. My reasoning is that the woman who did this is a very well-known, faithful Catholic. And I mean faithful as faithful can be (part of the reason I was surprised to see the Confession pictures). Well-known because she has actually been featured on programs like the Journey Home on EWTN. She's incredibly nice and has a lot of respect for the clergy and everyone else too. So I would think that if the priest had told her not to do this, she would not have. It makes me think that is just accepted behavior at her parish, by clergy and faithful alike.


#15

I have to agree that picture taking has become an "obsession" for some families.

The parish I attend has, for the past few years made this announcement prior to the First Communion Masses-
"We understand that this is a big day for you and your families and we would also like to remind you that this is Mass,
so we ask the you respect the dignity of the sanctuary and to please refrain from taking any pictures during the Mass.

Both Fr. A & Fr. B will be available for pictures after Mass."

This seemed to be working, until this year. :(
I was at 2 different First Communion Masses and saw numerous family members completely disregard these instructions. :mad:
What a wonderful example to set for your children.:rolleyes:


#16

[quote="Oneofthewomen, post:15, topic:290673"]

This seemed to be working, until this year. :(
I was at 2 different First Communion Masses and saw numerous family members completely disregard these instructions. :mad:
What a wonderful example to set for your children.:rolleyes:

[/quote]

The only way to put a stop to it again is for Father to stop, stand there and wait until they return to their seats. He can look at them and shake his head no. Some would consider that mean, but to me reverence to our Lord is more important. They were asked not to do so. Some people seem to think that rules apply to everyone else but them.

In another thread on immodest dress someone posted a story about a priest who always warns a bride that if she and the bridal party are not dressed modestly there will not be a wedding. One tested him and he walked out.


#17

[quote="anp1215, post:8, topic:290673"]

One thing that does bother me is the taking of pictures during a child's first Confession. Many parishes have the child sit face to face with the priest in the church (I don't necessarily have a problem with this). But then the parent hovers maybe 30 or so feet away snapping pictures of the child confessing to the priest. Something about that rubs me the wrong way.

[/quote]

We had this happen last fall. It was my first year as DRE, and I had no idea what to expect. There was constant talking; the pastor had to get up from his seat, go to the microphone and tell the parents to stop talking so the priests could hear the kids.

The photos were just as bad. One parent asked me to pose for a photo w/ his child while his child was 2nd in line for confession!

Next year I'll know. I expected to make a no photo announcement at First Communions, but not Confession.


#18

At our parish, we make it well known that it is a Liturgical celebration first, and a photo op second, before Mass begins.

Our previous pastor (we got a new one 4 weeks ago), allowed photography of baptisms, confirmation, etc., but the person with the camera was not to use a flash, would not go past the first pew, and would remain low, as to not block the view of others. Our ushers, and myself (RCIA director) are in place to stop/prevent anyone from not following the guidelines.

If we stop anyone, and I have, we simply ask them to speak with the pastor after Mass. I haven't gotten in trouble yet...:D

We have also started streaming our regular Masses as well as confirmations, weddings, funerals, etc. live over the internet, and use 4 remote cameras. We are able to get all of the "shots" that most people want. We provide complimentary DVD's for the weddings and funerals, but other events, we ask for a donation to recoup costs. (very minimal)

So far, so good, and no blood shed yet either :p


#19

We're very fortunate in our parish to have a professional photographer as one of our parishioners, and he captures some amazing moments in liturgy. When he's not snapping photos of high holy days and other parish events, he's the official photographer for our local professional NFL football team (and has been for 30 years). He's amazingly humble and non-obtrusive, and as the main person working on our parish website right now, I'm thankful to have such a great pool of photos to use for graphics. :thumbsup:


#20

It would be easier for special occasions, to have a designated person (or persons) available take pictures that is either paid or a volunteer then ensure the pictures are given to the family/families. Too many people bring out their cell phone or digital cameras and using them like that during mass to snap a picture (or more) of their relative's child being baptized as an example is distracting to others nearby. Perhaps for a baptism, designate a family member to snap pictures discreetly may be better as too many flashes can be a pain.

When my sister's kids were receiving the Easter Vigil sacraments 3 years ago, I was personally a bit irritated (but could not say anything) at my mother trying to get into the way of others to get pictures of her grandchildren then again for any church occasion involving family my mother can be that way if she has her camera. My sister was given my camera ahead of time and was much more discreet to get pictures of the children.


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