SEATTLE – On the first Sunday that public Masses were suspended in the Archdiocese of Seattle due to the coronavirus outbreak, Catholics in Western Washington joined themselves spiritually through livestreamed Masses and other forms of prayer.
“I stopped by St. Louise (Bellevue) for private prayer and streamed the Mass celebrated privately at St. Louise by Bishop [Daniel] Mueggenborg,” said Mary Curtis, a member of St. Louise de Marillac Parish. “Comforting to be, even if electronically, with my parish, my pastor,” she said.
Curtis and other Catholics around the archdiocese responded to Northwest Catholic’s question, “What are you doing today to keep the Lord’s Day holy?” that was posted March 15 on its Facebook and Instagram platforms.
Dana Tonkin of Kirkland said she livestreamed the Mass that Archbishop Paul D. Etienne celebrated in a chapel at St. James Cathedral, then took a walk “in the beautiful sunshine, admiring God’s glory.”
At one point, approximately 2,400 people were viewing the livestream of the archbishop celebrating Mass. (Archbishop Etienne plans to livestream daily Masses at 8:30 a.m. beginning March 17.)
Other local Catholics said they watched Masses on EWTN TV, Pope Francis celebrating Mass at the Vatican, or Masses livestreamed from their parishes — including St. Charles Borromeo in Tacoma, Blessed Sacrament in Seattle, St. Michael in Olympia, St. Monica on Mercer Island and St. Pius X in Mountlake Terrace.
Watching Mass wasn’t the only way local Catholics set the day aside for God.
“We live streamed Mass as a family and are opting for Catholic programming instead of secular programming,” said Enjoli Carter of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish in Renton.
Marrissa Cornia of St. Joseph Parish in Chehalis said her day included prayer, meditation, online Mass, the daily readings and abstaining from meat.
After watching Mass online, Carol Wilcox of Immaculate Conception Parish in Arlington said she “prayed my novena prayers, researched some Sunday devotions for my grandchildren and friends.”
Andrew Casad said he set up a prayer corner near the TV, “prayed Lauds as a family, watched/participated in virtual Mass with candles, a ‘well’ of water, crucifix, etc., then had a nice brunch … during which we prayed the Office of Readings, and now are putting out St. Patrick’s Day decor.”
“Prayers for all domestic churches,” added Casad, who is steward for Christian Initiation and Matrimony at St. Michael Parish in Olympia.
The archdiocese has also provided a list of recommended resources to grow closer to God while public Masses are suspended.
How to participate in livestreamed Masses
Here are some parishes that are livestreaming (or recording) Masses and posting video of the Mass for later viewing. Check parishes for times:
Christ Our Hope, Seattle (English and Spanish)
Church of the Assumption, Bellingham (English and Spanish, also daily Mass)
Holy Cross, Lake Stevens/Granite Falls (also Monday, Wednesday, Friday evening Mass)
Holy Family, Kirkland (also daily Mass)
North American Martyrs, Edmonds (extraordinary form)
St. Anthony, Renton (English and Spanish)
St. Brendan, Bothell (English and Spanish)
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Bothell (English and Spanish, also daily Mass)
St. Louise de Marillac, Bellevue (English and Spanish Sunday Masses, also daily Mass in English)
St. Olaf, Poulsbo (English and Spanish)
St. Pius X, Mountlake Terrace (also daily Mass)