A Distanced Eucharist in Bits and Bytes. Creating a True Encounter in Online Celebrations of the Mass during the COVID-19 Crisis
Keywords:Eucharist, lockdown liturgy, encounter, pandemic, presence
Since the beginning of 2020, liturgical life in many countries around the globe has changed due to COVID-19 lockdowns or other measures related to the worldwide pandemic. While churches had to close their doors to the faithful, or only allow a limited of people to attend mass, communities brought their Eucharistic celebrations online in livestreamed or Zoom services. This phenomenon has raised questions about the authenticity of online celebrations of the Eucharist. Can those online services be considered as ‘real’ liturgy? In this article, I will address this question by focusing on embodiment and presence in the liturgy and how these key concepts of liturgical studies are being established in a new existential context of the online realm.