The joy and merriment of the holidays and (for some) vacation time about in the middle of winter. It’s the most wonderful time of year, until things go south and you’re unable to fulfill our Sunday and holy day obligations of attending Mass.
You and/or your child can become too ill or are physically unable to leave your home. You lack transportation (and/or the funds to call for a taxi) during frigid temperatures. The weather is so bad, you may put your safety at risk attempting to drive to and from Mass. There are a number of reasons why you’re unable to go but your heart still yearns for it.
Instead of fretting over it, you can try to still get your fill of the Mass. The following are four great methods to get your Sunday (or daily) dose of Mass if you’re homebound at all this winter or, really, any time of year.
I’m sure you’re all familiar with EWTN but few people know you can access the daily and Sunday Masses through different mediums. Of course, you can always watch it with your cable or satellite subscription (if your provider carries the channel). You can stream it online, through the EWTN app for your TV (via a Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire player), or on the EWTN app on your phone.
And if you have an Amazon Alexa player, you can even ask to hear the daily homily if you can’t watch it on a screen. Want to watch, not simply listen to, the priest giving the homily? You can catch it on EWTN’s YouTube Channel when it’s uploaded later in the day.
According to their website, “CatholicTV is a beacon of Hope and a unique Herald of the simple, yet profound Message of Jesus Christ, Who is made truly present among us in the Breaking of the Bread.”
Much like EWTN, you also have the option of watching the daily Mass on CatholicTV, though both offer different options. Of course, of your cable or satellite provider carries the channel, you can simply watch it through that method. You can also stream it (or any other past Masses) online through their website, on your smartphone or tablet, or streaming via a Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire players.
If you have a Samsung Smart TV you can also watch the Mass on it. Unlike EWTN, CatholicTV’s YouTube Channel offers their entire daily Mass for you to watch whenever you’re able to, not just the homily.
If you’re a Latin Mass attendee, fear not! We’ve got you covered. Or, we should say, the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter‘s Live Mass website and iMass app have your back. The iMass app was created by Fr. James Fryar, FSSP. You can watch the Latin Mass from a number of locations around the world throughout the day, every day. You can even watch a previously recorded daily or Sunday from the four different locations: Sarasota, FL, USA, Fribourg, Switzerland, Guadalajara, Mexico, or Warrington, England.
Furthermore, you can also access the Liturgical Books of 1962 for the Mass and use their search feature to find the nearest Latin Mass to you, wherever you are in the world. The app is available for iOS and Google Play for $1.99. If you choose to stream on your computer, you can do so on the website which provides the same features as the app.
4. Local over-the-air channels
If you’re fortunate to live in a big city or town that has a large Catholic population, there is a good chance that you may be able to catch a live feed of a Mass on a local channel. For example, there are two channels, including the Spanish-language El Sembrador channel, on which you can catch the Mass in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, you’re more likely to catch mostly/only Sunday Masses on your local stations but it’s a great option if you can’t physically make it to Mass and don’t have an internet connection. Check your local listings for a possible hidden gem in them.
If you can watch the Mass, it’s worth doing so. However, if you’re far too ill or have no electricity or internet connection to watch it on TV or stream it, here are two more tips on what you can do.
Offer up your sacrifices
We all know the state of the Church today. With so many controversies and divisions threatening our faith, you can always offer up your maladies and obstacles up for the Church and the good, faithful priests who dearly love our Church.
Pray the Rosary for priests
If you feel you don’t have much to offer up (e.g. you’re not too ill and its something like inclement weather keeping you from safely attending Mass), you can always pray the entire Rosary (or a decade) for priests. Whether you choose to pray it for your favorite priest, for those in your diocese, or for those who’ve brought scandal and division within the Church (praying for their repentance), you can never go wrong with praying for our clergy when you’re unable to attend Mass.
Please remember that not attending Mass due to any reason that is not considered serious is a mortal sin. Paragraph 2181 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states that “the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants). Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.”
Now you have no excuse to miss any Mass. You’re welcome.