Projectors and Projector Screens
  • Dear Folks,

    Because I do not have the experience, therefore, I do not know about the pros and cons of having large screens in the church for Mass, and I want to remain open minded about this, and I would greatly appreciate your feedback from your knowledge, experience, and opinions.

    One of our neighboring parishes has gone completely to large screens, removed all hymnals and missalettes, projecting all text of dialogues and music on the screens, including some rather cheesy graphic effects as well. Although I am far from ever giving this consideration to take such a move based on my own convictions, again, I do want to remain open minded and would love to hear your comments.

  • Like any other tool, Bob, used with discretion.....
    Our newest (Sept) and fourth church opened with two screens flanking the faux sanctuary. We do employ OCP Unidos paperback hymnal/missals, but have also supplemented repertoire "deficits" via AV. I have directed the various leaders who lead there towards avoiding text only; I only do three of four Sat. Vigils, and when I employ AV (SEP!....ICEL Mass!) in addition to OCP titles (LicenSingOnline) I use lead sheet projection, no other adornment or variation.
    I think it could function well to adorn both music and Word, and have visited local AV church pro's and there are amazing arrays of software. But, OTOH, just it's "all about timing," the other thing is "location, location, location, both witin the structure of liturgy and the physical environs of the church. One size doesn't fit all, f'sure.
  • The difficulty is that there is no school of training that, after years of study, certifies people to create and run projection equipment as part of the sacred liturgy.

    I sat in a balcony with a live podcast crew as they flipped between cameras during a liturgy. They talked, drank from water bottles and generally behaved as if they were not in a room that a liturgy was underway.

    It is the same with "sound crews".

    The more technology you put into a liturgy, the more it can take over the liturgy.

    I attended a liturgy of readings and music. The sound crew had the system up and running so that the readers, no matter whether they used a microphone on the left or right, all came booming through the entire system, so that everyone in the room could hear every syllable clearly.

    The choir and organ unamplified, thank goodness, when they sang and played sounded so different that it was like a TV station with LOUD commercials.

    This in a new building designed for liturgical worship, with sound for a modern auditorium worship.

    This could be solved by only hiring professional sound people, projectionists, and musicians...but the pay scale in the RC varies from cheap to non-existant.

    How about this: each parish gets an allotment from the diocese for employees. It is either spent or lost if not spent. Churches today who have great music with volunteer musicians (all too common) could pay...

    Projecting pictures on a wall has been popular for a long time and avoided by the Church for good reason. Why change?
  • They are really a bad idea, in my opinion.

    It seems to me that people would pay attention to what is flashing on the screen as opposed to the Holy Sacrifice on the altar. While one can make the same argument about sticking one's nose in a book, at least you can scan it and then look up. With the screens, the focal point is what's being projected, rather than Who we are worshipping.
  • Maureen
    Posts: 675
    I thought it was totally forbidden to show movies during Mass, in canon law. Power Point projectors are movies. (Albeit at a very slow frame rate, similar to the slideshows and filmstrips back in school in the day.) If it's forbidden to show filmstrips, it's forbidden to show projected lyrics.

    If I went into church and saw a permanent projection screen, I'd assume it wasn't a Catholic church, if it were a strange church.

    If it were my church, I'd leave and not come back.

    (And no, I'm not joking. When I was still in high school and spent several weeks in a summer program at Ohio State, and I found out that the campus parish used an overhead projector, I found another parish to go to Mass the next week. If I wouldn't put up with it in 1986 when I had no concrete reason, why would anyone put up with it these days?)
  • Y'know Maureen, I really don't have a dog in this hunt despite my account above. But once you go to the fundamentalist polemic as your primary objection you risk losing all credibiity in arguing, in the classic sense, pro or con. By your maxim, every time there's a megaMass or even superEvent like the election or appearance/performance (again, just a convenient term) of and by a pope, tell me that young Marini has banned the use of a JumboTronFlatScreenInstantReplayBigArse Television screen projecting the digital image and sound for the convenience of the people passed the first twenty rows doesn't violate that maxim's fundamental principle. Nope, sorry.
    People "receive" the import of these tools in many and varied ways, my putting the SEP Introit in toto on a screen when they would otherwise not have any access under the restrictions with which I must contend,, is not some cosmic deal breaker if it advances the noble objective of chanting the Introit, and NOT intended or otherwise done to draw attention to how with it i am by my use of PPT. In point of fact, when I put up SEP on our newest facility's screens, the PIPs are afforded their very first exposure and introduction to the mere existence, much less viability and beauty, of a native Roman Rite art form. Using PPT with that discipline is not at all akin to showing "Steamboat Willie" the movie at Mass.
    Now, OTOH, if I wasted time cutting and pasting the lyrics of "LET THE VALLEY'S BE RAISED" within the visual software context of a really cool scene where there's a road that moves the viewer from within a mountain pass gradually to a road coursing straight through a vineyard valley, that fails just as does any other "art" that is self-serving and calls attention to its craft, besides making a statement of how cool I would be and all of us going "ooh, ahh."
    But I would hope, but not wager, that a fully engaged and disciplined liturgical program would avoid such displays of egoism.
    Noel, you're right on all counts if the liturgical shot callers at said parish felt it necessary to install and maintain PA and AV systems that would require the constant attention of the Ministers of Sound and Sight in their cockpits of control. The existence of such, and I've seen it here in my diocese, bespeaks the puny and malformed theological understanding of living liturgy that led to such people saying "yes" to the contractors or salespeople when they were given the pitch at the pastor's behest. I can't count the number of times I've responded to well meaning subordinates who've begged me for mixers and monitors with "teach your singers HOW TO SING properly. And, no, we will not be using those." I like good PA's, the one's that have a power switch Period.
    And if a screen eventually shows an antiphon from the Latin Roman Graduale from which the schola sings the proper or the PIPs chant an ordinary, won't bust my existential, purist chops. YMMV
  • Music in the Catholic church began a dive when catholic musicians began being called ministers. Tv screens were not long to follow....
  • Noel
    Pick one watermark when things went south for THE CHURCH, and stick to that. You keep changing lines in the sand that are each absolute and insoluble.
    I think you understand my point. Like it or not, we dwell in time, and it does a'change. We do, as Mark Searle coined, remember into the future, but the future is inevitable, and we don't regress or digress. Should you adhere to man's absolutes, then I'd put my lot in the Mayan calendar from where I'm perched. That doesn't bother me particularly. But, our redemption and salvation isn't premised upon our recognizing the attributes of worship, but the object of our worship. That is actually, IMO, a very clear distinction.
  • Isn't it curious that the insistent request for one to be 'broadminded' usually accompanies something really tasteless, tacky, and grotesque that one is being asked to accept? On the other hand, 'broadmindedness' does not seem to be an issue regarding matters sane and artful; indeed, attention to these will usually bring the wrongful label, 'narrowminded'.

    It is astonishing that these destracting and cheap devices
    are making inroads in the worship of the Holy Catholic Church.
    This is not broadmindedness: it is absence of mindedness.
  • I have a wonderful idea that would solved the priest shortage and many other diocesan concerns too! Let's also have a central 72" or extra large TV screen and the bishop, (or his assistant), of a diocese can broadcast himself to all the parishes at a specified time to say Mass. The bishop can send or mail already consecrated hosts and wine to all his churches beforehand; thus all we need are multiple extraordinary Eucharistic ministers for distribution (Oh, we already have that). No more need for priest for him to deal with, no stipends, no housing and or staff problems, etc. WOW! What A Wonderful Life! His Reverance, Buddy Bishop just has his centralized, televised mass with text and music all simultaneously broad-casted via the internet. LOL He can also "Cam" each parish and keep an eye on whats going on during each mass. Just have each parish paint a little "All Seeing Eye" up in the front or ceiling and install his Cam via the pupil. LOL
  • Began the dive....many things can happen during a dive, including arresting the dive.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    Sounds like a "diver"sion to me. :)
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,175
    Some time ago, I came across a document that commends the idea of bishops sending recorded homilies out to remote churches, so I can't call for the total banishment of electronic media in churches, much as I might like to! :-)
  • I have a genuine question: De Musica Sacra, in paragraph 73, states, "The use of any kind of projector, and particularly movie projectors, with or without sound track, is strictly forbidden in church for any reason, even if it be for a pious, religious, or charitable cause."

    Has this instruction been overruled at any point since the document was issued?
    Thanked by 1PurpleSquirrel
  • Mike R
    Posts: 106
    Frogman, I like the idea of each parish getting an allotment from the diocese. Having been a diocesan employee for three years, I wouldn't have much issue with going with an almost completely collectivist approach to funds (or at least putting in strict guidelines for how money is spent at the parish level). I was discussing with a friend the other day how I saw a parish's suggested tithing scheme, that 5% of income should go to the parish, 1% to the diocese, and 4% to charity. If our (diocesan) ministry had ONE tithing "parishioner," our programs budget would double. And that's not even to mention the fact that almost any diocesan employee (probably with the exception of those on the money side of things) could get a similar position at one of the larger parishes in the diocese and make considerably more money.

    And then you have parishes that won't (or legitimately can't) pay anyone anything.
  • Well, it is well established from numerous studies, isn't it, that modern persons hands are much weaker and underdeveloped than those of even their grandparents time. This means that by only great effort can they hold a book, flip the pages, and then read it with eyes that have been shown in other studies to not be able to read the print in books while in church. This is a grievous pastoral problem which can only be redressed by introducing the novely of large screens, making the mass experience much easier... since all the poor people will need to do is stare at the large messages on the walls and respond as feebly as they are able in the XXI. century. And, justice be done, the liturgy SHOULD be as easy as going to a movie! They are just not up to the rigours their ancestors endured at liturgy.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,164
    +1 MJO
  • Plus, I want to add that -

    It is a very bad omen when people start reading handwriting on the wall in the temple

  • Mene, tekel, peres?