Live-streamed Mass and online presentations are proving an enormous hit as Queenslanders search for a life-affirming message during the COVID-19 lockdown.
More than 100,000 people attended virtual Masses over Easter, with live streams from St Stephen’s Cathedral and parishes across the Archdiocese of Brisbane.
Parishes reported a surge in Mass numbers, with some Catholics using live streams to return to daily Mass for the first time in decades.
“It is over 50 years since I attended church and stations of the cross but listening to this has just touched my life and I’m open to all this again it’s so relevant in today’s life. Thank you,” commented one viewer.
In Burleigh Heads parish, one of the largest parishes in Australia, three thousand onliners viewed Fr Morgan Batt deliver his Easter vigil homily.
“Resurrection after all belongs – to those who have died; to those who have known despair; to those who have grown tired; to those in self-isolation; to those who have been betrayed – and yet have left those tombs to begin again,” Fr Batt said.
“Easter therefore belongs to those who have come to realise that no tomb is final, and so can celebrate life even while carrying the holes of crucifixion.
“Those who really celebrate the resurrection know that there will be other tombs from which they must rise from.
“They know there will be other consuming bushfires and flooding rains.
“They know there must be others who will need help to leave the tombs that mental health traps them in.
“But we pray that they will continue to rise with others more often, much more than once a year at Easter. For resurrection comes every day.”
Stations of the Cross streamed from St Stephen’s on Good Friday attracted 10,180 views, while 10,339 watched the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday night.
Mass of the Lord’s Supper from St Vincent’s Hospital Chapel attracted 12,100 views.
Stations of the Cross reflection presented by Evangelisation Brisbane’s Carole Danby was published on the archdiocesan website on Holy Thursday night and was viewed by more than 23,660.
“Watching this beautiful clip, I feel I can continue to adhere to the practices of the faith. Thank you,” one viewer said.
Parishes across Brisbane also recorded big online Mass attendances – some attracting more than one thousand views across the Easter period.
Notable amongst parishes attracting big online Mass attendances were Burleigh Heads, Guardian Angels, Wynnum, Ipswich, and St Therese and St Anthony, Kedron.