Caceres introduces Online Mass, but is it valid?
The Archdiocese of Caceres through the Caceres Commission on Communications (CCCom) has started the live streaming on Facebook the Sunday masses coming from different parishes of the archdiocese.
Under the direction of Mr Dadoy Bien and the Bicollente volunteers, the coverage team has religiously brought live every Sunday the holy mass. During the episcopal ordination of Bishop Rex Andrew C. Alarcon, last March 19, it registered almost 100K viewers.
Now the question is raised, does this fulfill our obligation to attend mass every Sunday?
As a general rule, Catholics are obliged to attend Mass each Sunday. This is in fulfillment of the Second Commandment. Simply watching Mass on TV does not fulfill the obligation. A Catholic who can reasonably do so must attend Mass at a parish church or oratory.
However, these general norms do not always apply. For example, sickness can impede one to attend Sunday obligationt, or severe weather may lessen or cancel the obligation to attend Mass at church. Likewise, those taking care of the sick, or those working abroad and do not have any access to any catholic church, can excuse one from the requirement to attend Mass.
Considering the above circumstances, the Church has obligations to maximize the possibility of bringing the eucharist to them.
Indeed, during online masses or TV masses, we can hear the prayers and the readings as well as the homily. We can follow in prayer the liturgy of the eucharist. All this is good even if it is not the same as actually attending a Mass.
However, the CCCom still encourages everyone to be physically present during the mass and receive Jesus who is substantially present in the sacred host during the communion.