Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Intersection of the Mass and Technology

An Italian priest has developed an application that will let priests celebrate Mass with an iPad on the altar instead of the regular Roman missal.
This story has been around for a while. I didn't comment on it. Tom, ever thoughtful of the historical side, pointed out that the Church has to adjust to technology occasionally, as we all found out after Gutenberg gave the push to printing books rather than hand copying them. My own thoughts were that a book doesn't need to be charged or rebooted if it runs out in the middle of Mass, which would be a horrendous thing to have happen.

Other than that I didn't give it much thought. The Curt Jester, iGeek supreme (and I mean that in a good way), has been mulling this over to some purpose, however, and has a thoughtful piece that is worth reading. For instance, his photo of electric candles took me back to a downtown church in Chicago with those innovative items ... which were tacky beyond redemption and just didn't have the same feel as a real candle.

Here's a bit and then do go read his reflections.
In a Church with sacraments and the sacramental view of things the types of materials used at Mass are not insignificant questions. The type of material used for the chalices should be made of solid and noble material that is not easily breakable or corruptible, is another example of how the Church takes seriously these questions.


  1. Tante Leonie6/30/10, 2:06 PM

    Ugh! It's enough to make me want to become Eastern Orthodox!

  2. David said, "I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing." I think some of the point of having a real candle is that lighting a real candle costs you something. You light it, the wick burns and the wax melts, and it's gone. It's a sacrifice, albeit a small one, and a very visible sacrifice: once that particular candle is gone, it cannot be reused for another other purpose. It is a burnt offering.

  3. I totally agree with Joi. We have them at our church and I gave up lighting a candle forever. Tho we do use real ones on the altar.