From a reader…
I’m not a registered user of your blog but I do “lurk” on a daily basis. I would appreciate it if you could comment on the following which was written up in our Sunday (Nov. 8th) Bulletin.
“Next Weekend is “Text to Give” Weekend- Don’t leave your cell phone at home or in the car. Bring it with you to Mass. Next Sunday is “Text to Give” Weekend throughout the Diocese. Parishioners who haven’t made a pledge or a gift, or who wish to increase their gift, will be able to do so by texting on their cell phones to support the ministries made possible by the Annual Appeal. Open your heart. Share your gifts. Text “GIVE” to the Annual Appeal.”
I went to the Diocesan website to see whether this was just a local parish thing or for the whole diocese. Apparently there are follow-up bulletin inserts for next Sunday (Nov. 15) for all parishes in which they say “TEXT the word “Give” to 64600″ I was taken aback when I read the insert and can’t believe that they actually want people to “Bring it with you to Mass.” I don’t know if we are going to be asked to do this during Mass or not (I already sent my contribution by snailmail several weeks ago) but, I’m just struck by the fact that nothing is sacred anymore. I can only pray. Please comment.
I’m on the fence. I guess so.
How the Church adapts to modern technology has been controversial. There were probably protests over the first uses of electric lights in churches. “If candles and whale oil lamps were good enough for our parents, they’re good enough for us!” “Codex? No! The scroll forever!”
Some uses of modern technology don’t fit with Mass. I have in mind the dreadful use of a projector to project the words of the hymns on blank walls… although how different that is from the medieval Exsultet roll, I’m not sure. Congregations were not expected to sing the Exsultet, for one thing.
People are not used to seeing new-fangled things in church. Someone following the texts or chants of Mass are thought by others (of a certain age) to be “playing with their phones”.
Fewer and fewer people carry cash these days. They pay for their coffee in the morning, their lunch, their theater tickets, their hotel rooms, with smart phones. Once upon a time, instead of bringing bottles of olive oil and live chickens for the offertory, they started giving small round pieces of metal stamped with images. Pretty edgy.
Why not make it possible for people to make donations using smart phones? As a matter of fact, you can give me donations using your smart phone. And you should! And, if you meet me in person, using my phone I can take credit cards. We have to move with the times. The technology is neutral.
On the other hand, the immediately more human is the preference in our sacred worship. For example, the unamplified human voice is preferable to the electronically amplified. Music produced by people, rather than recorded music, must be used. Wax candles, not electric. Pipe organ rather than electronic. Et cetera.
It would be at least cheesy were there to be a “ceremony” involved with taking electronic donations… “When the deacon raiseth on high the bronze serpent, press ye then the “send” upon the iPhones.” A collection basket icon appears on your screen, you put in the amount you want to give and… swoosh!
I don’t see anything sacrilegious about it. Just keep it short and clean.
While we are at it…
And remember… it takes 4 iPads for the Traditional Latin Mass. Think beyond the Missal to the altar cards:
Here’s a Passiontide set up.