Five tips to enjoy a digital celebration to the fullest

Published on 07 Apr 2020
A person with a laptop, with some palms next to them.
For the past few days, Facebook seems to be a great liturgical space. Full of Eucharists and all kinds of prayer celebrations broadcast digitally. Often in a very prayerful way, but at times not so... Nikolaas Sintobin SJ considers how to make the most of our digital celebrations.

A journalist asked me what I thought about the fact that this year there would be no celebrations during Holy Week. I replied “Of course, there would be a lot of celebrations. Only, most believers will not be physically present. However, the Internet will allow them to participate in a different, new and unusual way for many.”

Social networks are now proving to be a blessing. Digital has ceased to be virtual for a long time. Digital is real. This applies at all levels of our societies. We are now discovering how much this also applies to the life of faith.

Many people feel uncomfortable with this sudden change. Here are five tips for full digital participation in a celebration.

1.       Consciously choose the celebration in which you are going to participate. Don't let things depend on chance. That way, you can prepare yourself mentally for it.

2.       Pay attention to your environment. If it helps, light a candle, place a cross, Bible or icon next to the computer or tablet. If you are used to using a missal or other prayer book, do it now too. Avoid having coffee or tea during the celebration. We don't do this in Church either.

3.       Use earphones or headphones. Good sound quality helps concentration. The larger the screen, the better you can follow the celebration. Close other sites and programs on your device, especially email, WhatsApp and others. This prevents distractions.

4.       Decide with other family members beforehand. This creates an atmosphere conducive to prayer.  Perhaps you will follow the celebration together. If this is the case, you may want to do a Gospel sharing beforehand using Pray as you go, or This Sunday. Remember that sharing by phone or WhatsApp is also a real sharing!

5.     Say the prayers aloud, stand or kneel, as if you were celebrating in your church. It's not weird. You also pray with your body.

Nikolaas Sintobin SJ 

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