The Irish broadcaster RTE’s website posted a strange story on Saturday: “Children celebrate a virtual First Communion via video link.”
At first I couldn’t understand the headline. How can you receive Holy Communion via a video link? Did RTE mean that the children made a Spiritual Communion?
But no. It turns out that, since the children had been due to make their First Holy Communion, their parish priest decided to allow them to do this at home. “Fr George consecrated the hosts at an earlier mass today and then families were given different time slots to collect them.”
They received Holy Communion in the course of watching a live-streamed Mass. The priest commented:
The parents of ten pupils took up the offer of a virtual Communion. It gave me a real sense of what the early Catholic church must have been like, when people gathered for mass in each other’s homes.
Except, of course, that it has nothing to do with having Mass in a private home. Mass took place in church, without the people. The only thing that happened in their homes was the reception of Holy Communion.