During this time of plague, may priests live-stream the blessing of sacramentals? A priest has asked parishioners who want to have these objects blessed to prepare water, salt, etc., view the blessing ritual online, and presumably follow any instructions given. Would such a blessing be efficacious? The area of this parish is under lockdown and people cannot bring the objects to the priest for blessing.
I am convinced that this would result in nothing.
There is a difference between an invocative blessing, that calls a blessing down on people or perhaps critters, and a constitutive blessing or consecration, that results in a lasting state. We can bless or consecrate some things and places and some people (in the case of religious, priests) such that they are sacred things, places or persons.
The blessing of water, salt, oil, etc., is meant to remove these things from the realm of the Prince of this world and hand them over to the King. They are constituted as blessed things so that they can be of use in putting to flight demons and to help the state of our bodies and souls. To do that, they first need to be exorcised. Then they are blessed with a constitutive blessing.
That can’t be done over the internet.
I’m afraid that attempts to do this will result in nothing special. However, people will use things that haven’t been blessed, and that’s problematic in itself.
It would be wrong to offer such a blessing and, in a lasting way, harmful for our understanding of what sacramentals are and what they are for.