With parish dispensations being pushed back again due to COVID-19 concerns, the need for live streaming Masses isn’t going away any time soon. With more time expected to offer spiritual communion to online attendees, it’s a good opportunity to make that the experience is as close to fulfilling as it can be. Following are four points for parishes to consider when live streaming Mass.
1. Update your website
The key to ensuring that members and visitors alike will login to your livestreaming Mass is to make sure they know where to find it. If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to take a quick audit of your website and social media channels so that times and links are up to date.
A link front and center of the parish homepage will help people find the times to login. If streaming through Facebook Live, encourage followers to sign-up to be notified every time your page goes live. In addition, you’ll also want to update your parish page on www.parishesonline.com to include a link to your live streaming Mass.
2. Do You Have the Right Equipment?
When churches were first required to stop all public Masses, most of us had to make do with whatever we had to stream. Smartphones and wireless mics became standard, but now that COVID-19 cases continue to grow in various areas of the country, the number of people logging in hasn’t gone down, either. Make sure you give them a suitable streaming experience.
From cameras, switchers, tripods, and encoders for streaming, you’ll find a ton of equipment to fit any budget out there. Boxcast offers a great list of things to consider when it comes to planning your own virtual Mass experience. Check out The Best Live Video Streaming Equipment for Your Church. Broken down into beginner, moderate and intermediate categories, you’re guaranteed to find a list of everything you need for Sunday Mass online.
3. Offer Them Familiarity with the Sunday Readings
One thing missing from the Sunday Mass (online!) experience is Roman Missal. From the Penitential Act to the Nicene Creed to the weekly readings, it’s hard to get out of the habit of looking for the book when Mass begins. And because of COVID-19 regulations, parishes have opted to either print off one-time sheets of paper for parishioners or stop distributing them completely. Thankfully, the music resource company WorshipNow has come up with a simple solution to help parishes.
The Pew Edition App is a cost-effective and environmentally friendly resource for parishes that allow attendees to access to everything they need to fully participate in the Mass right at their fingertips. This free app for parishioners allows access to all of the Mass prayers, readings, 300+ songs, a personal Mass journal and a fully-integrated giving feature. Whether they’re worshiping with you from home or at church they can do so safely with all the resources they’ve come to love.
4. Remind them to Support the Parish
When it comes to members supporting the parish financially, it’s often “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to the collection basket. For those who rely on envelopes, often coordinating a drop-off at parish office or simply affixing a stamp and sending it through the mail can be difficult. That’s why recurring online giving has proven to be a valuable resource today.
Communicating your online giving platform is key to making sure people use it, but who has the time or the bandwidth to send out consistent messaging to parishioners on the importance of utilizing it? That’s where the WeShare Engagement Campaign can come in handy.
Our campaign is a multimedia program that reaches parishioners digitally and through print four times a year. Using email, postcards, flyers and social squares, we deliver tailor-made messaging to your parishioners detailing the benefits of online giving. The best part? It’s completely free for WeShare customers!