Video taping a Mass

I cringe every time I see a video taped mass on Youtube, because I can’t imagine the person sitting next to me whipping out his video camera in the middle of Mass. Am I alone on this? It doesn’t seem very reverent.

If done discreetly and for legitimate reasons, it can be OK. Think of all the Papal Masses, EWTN Masses, and Masses for diocesan TV stations that are videotaped.

Yes, I agree. Discreet video taping (i.e. EWTN) is fine. I meant those YouTube masses that are very obviously someone in the congregation filming it.

If all of those things, and a few others like the priest is aware you are taping and has consented, the musicians are likewise aware and have consented (most musicians consider it extremely rude to record without consent, though you tend to assume at weddings that it will happen anyway) and that you have all appropriate permissions for recording any music at the Mass that is still within copyright. EWTN Masses etc will have all those things squared away.

I agree completely. Especially when it is someone filming a choir member. Where is your mind and your heart–are you there to worship Jesus or are you there to worship a choir member? It seems a lot of people are in the mindset that Mass is a concert.

I find it very bizarre & extremely disrespectful and irreverant towards the Mass. If someone is taking the time to videotape something, I don’t believe their heart is in the right place about Mass.

But that’s the culture we live in! Yep, you have the Lord Jesus right there present in front of you and you have all your attention focused on something else.

Let me add my own two-cents and change, if I may.

The worst ones, in my opinion, are those who show up with camcorder in hand for First Holy Communion and Confirmation. There are times when I have felt like Jesus and take the whips and chords, especially when a parent is standing near the ambo and filming his child as he is proclaiming the readings, or moseying up close to the aisle if she is bringing up the gifts. It is as though the paparazzi have been let loose. .

Weddings and Quine Anos are worse. Sometimes the folks from the society page of the local newspaper will come and take pictures, shooting everything from the procession to the readings and to Holy Communion. It is very distracting.

I think that this is how some of these Masses wind up being on YouTube, especially if you have one of the new Kodak HiDef camcorders that has an automatic hookup to YouTube.

I will say this much. When the late Peter Jennings visited Laredo back in 2002, he arrived right before the start of the Mass for the feast of Pentecost. We had everyone there: Catholic Daughters of the Americas and the KofC. Jennings and his crew moved stealthily around the cathedral (I was their guide) and I took them to the choir loft. You could not tell that we had a full blown camera crew from ABC News. Our bishop was rather star-struck, especially when Jennings addressed him as “Your Grace”. I figured, if this man had been covering the Vatican on many occasions, he knew how to conduct himself in a Catholic Church. I was right. I even got to talk to him a bit and found that I did not have to explain much to him about what went on because he knew a good deal of it. We did talk about the history of our Cathedral and the history of Laredo. In fact, he used some of what I told him in his opening story. :smiley:

Do you all feel the same about photography during Mass???


Many’s the time I’ve had a flashbulb popped right in my face as I’m trying to lead a hymn or sing an appropriate solo and quite aside from the fact I can’t then see the music for the next 5 minutes, it’s a completely inappropriate distraction for everybody else as well.

Many’s the confirmation or first communion where the priest has had to demand constantly that the cameras be put away, in spite of it being mentioned every single week in sacramental preparation AND in an announcement before Mass that photography is verboten during the ceremony and there will be a big wide-open photo op with the celebrant after Mass so please save the cameras until then. I have sat through many such Masses thinking the only time I’ve seen more flashes was at a press conference or Olympics opening ceremony.

I can understand people wanting photos and videos for posterity or for absent relatives but the cardinal rule is that the Mass and those participating in it “live” come first and that the process of recording momentos and souvenirs must never detract from the first or distract the second.

As many other here are saying, it’s technically permitted. However, permitted does not necessarily mean appropriate.

What seems to be a serious problem in our modern culture is an extreme distaste for mystery. We tend to want everything to be very scientific and empirical. The Mass the most holy liturgy on the face of the earth, and a great mystery. Videotaping seems to be an attempt to decrease the mystery. There’s also a website that has a “virtual adoration chapel” where you can view a streaming video of the Holy Eucharist in the monstrance. Again…permitted? Yeah. Appropriate response to Our Lord’s great condescension in meeting us in this form? Eh.

In the early Church, the Lord’s Prayer was considered to be so holy and sacred that non-Christians were not permitted to hear it. Catechumans left Mass before the Consecration, so that they would not be witness to either that or the Lord’s Prayer. All of this was to protect them as mysteries. Now we videotape them.

If we’re maturing in faith, we need to move beyond the simple question of “CAN we?”, and start asking, “SHOULD we?”. It’s a legalistic mindset that says, it’s allowed by the Church, therefore we can. We need to look at the underlying mindset behind our actions and ask if they’re really appropriate responses to Our Lord and Savior.

I know (or knew) someone who had a “Virtual Adoration” site and I asked because it didn’t seem appropriate to me; I knew this woman to be faith-filled and devout. She explained that one thing that many elderly and shut-ins said they missed was the ability to go to Adoration. Her site is a service to them. Although they can’t often go to a real Adoration chapel, they can at least have the image before them as they pray and this helps them keep their thoughts focused. This makes sense to me and for this purpose, I find it acceptable. For those who “don’t have time” for real Adoration, and just click on a site to feel better about blowing it off, no. (And by putting “don’t have time” in quotes, I’m referring to people who do have time but would rather be spending that time doing something else, so they say they don’t have time.:()

Edit: I should have included this before, but as I recall, she does also give some of them rides to Mass and Adoration.

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” --Francis Bacon

In certain situations, I’d say it’s very appropriate. See this thread:

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