Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mass Media: Using Social Media to Pray

St. Isidore of Seville, Patron Saint of the Internet.
In a movement where bodies are often small and dispersed, technology often comes to the fore in bridging distances and building partnerships.  There are numerous blogs and Facebook groups in addition to pan-ISM directory sites such as the Independent Sacramental Movement Database. There are numerous Flickr galleries and YouTube videos showing off our communities.  (We have probably all heard the joke that no ISM ordination is valid until pictures of it are posted on the internet.)

All of these are important, but I’ve wondered for some time how we can use technology as a resource for prayer and building community, as a way not only to talk about how we should pray or to show pictures of our communities in worship—not that we don’t all love seeing those—but to use social media to support and create worshipping communities.

The two best examples I’ve found come, somewhat ironically, from the more traditional end of the worship spectrum.

The first is the streaming mass from Msgr Jerome Lloyd, OSJV on UStream.  Here the viewer, will find a traditional Mass with sermon streamed daily.  For those cut off from physical community, this apostolate is a godsend. 

The second ministry I recommend is without video, but is a bit more interactive.  Fr. Michael Shirk of the Independent Catholic Christian Church coordinates that body’s Divine Infant King Apostolate for Traditional Liturgy.  Every Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, this body offers Vespers and Compline via conference call according to the Sarum Use.  A Yahoo group offers updates on service times as well as a documents section where the liturgies can be downloaded in a handy booklet format.

If you have any other examples of how people in the ISM are using technology to foster prayer and build community, drop me a line at