Is It wrong to take pictures and videos during the Holy Mass or Benediction
As a Catholic, we should know that the moment of consecration during the liturgy is the highest moment of intimate worship by all who is involved in the Mass likewise the moment of benediction.
Therefore, it would be devastating to distract people from focusing all their attention on the transubstantiation that is the transformation of the bread and wine into the true presence of Jesus Christ in his body and blood.
And let’s not forget that the main purpose for a liturgy is to worship God not for picture-taking. Because during the Holy Mass, we need to show some respect to Jesus, who is present in the Eucharist and in the tabernacle.
He is present so that you can worship Him; not so you can get a really good picture of Him!
How would you feel, if someone you invited to your party came, took a bunch of pictures of you, and never said a word to you. Wow, Pretty disrespectful!
Holy Mass, as well as the Holy Eucharist is a sacrament, and by definition Sacrament is an outward sign of an invisible reality. The outward sign is truly important, for as physical-spiritual beings we need to be united with God in the physical-spiritual manner which the sacraments alone provide.
However, the invisible reality is the more important of the two, for without it the outward sign won’t be effective. Further, the outward sign exists to lead us towards the invisible, supernatural reality-the mystery-that is the heart of every sacrament.
Moreover, the supernatural union with Jesus Christ in his mystical Body and the infusion with his grace is the essence of sacrament, and needs to be the focus of attention during sacramental celebrations.
So, since this is an invisible reality, it is impossible to take photographs. So that the invisible union with the Body of Christ cannot be the focus of any picture taken during the reception of a sacrament.
In some places where diocesan directives give room for discretion at the parish level, leaders can lead the faithful to a deeper understanding and experience of sacrament by encouraging them to “photograph” the moment in their hearts rather than with a camera.
Because, the heart is the only place where the invisible reality of divine grace can be stored, enhanced, retrieved and shared.
Meanwhile, photographs can capture the joyful expressions of the day, but only the heart can process the actual event.
There is this old joke of what Jesus said at the Last Supper, “Everyone who wants their picture to be taken, sit on this side of the table.” Imagine, if that comment seems not appropriate for that sacred occasion, consider whether it belongs in our sacramental celebrations today.
Nevertheless, it is hard to restrict this 20th generation from taking photographs during the Holy Mass or during benediction all in name of memories.
But below is the Golden rule
“THOU SHALT RESPECT, AND NOT DISTRACT, WHEN TAKING PICTURES DURING LITURGIES!”
And below are the little guidelines you need to consciously heed to while taking pictures during Mass.
TURN OFF your flash!
DON’T MOVE around all over the place! (Unless you have permission)
TURN OFF the camera’s sound!
TURN OFF the ‘focus assist’ light!
Lastly, TURN OFF the camera’s LCD!