I wrote yesterday about online faith and an article on the subject in which my my Facebook friend and Catholic blogger Fran is quoted.
The article veered from online faith to a discussion of a Catholic parish in which multimedia is used in worship: "During liturgies, prayers and song lyrics are now projected on a screen. Videos and images are displayed during homilies." I cringed. I really, seriously cringed.
The technique conjures up images for me of huge, evangelical mega-churches with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of multimedia equipment and multi-million dollar church budgets. (Here's a humorous video look at such worship.)
I realized, after I got done cringing, that this is nothing new. This was happening in the late sixties and early seventies in churches. And who was doing it then? The progressive churches. Probably churches that were also involved in the antiwar and civil rights movements.
The director of media ministry at the church mentioned in the article was quoted as saying, “What I’ve noticed from this is that more people are praying and singing aloud during the Mass; it keeps their attention rather than distracting them from the real reason we’re all there: Christ.”
Wow! Really interesting.
Still, as high tech as I am, I just don't want to see multimedia becoming part of my Episcopal Rite II liturgy. At St. John's, I appreciate the convenience of the entire liturgy being printed in a single worship booklet, but honestly, I'd really rather have the Book of Common Prayer in my hands, even if it does mean flipping from one section to another, and switching back and forth between the prayer book and the hymnal. Adding multimedia? Not for me. Not in that environment. Please.