Services are sacred events.Please remember that, while you are certainly covering a newsworthy event, it
is first and foremost a liturgical service to which people have been invited to
pray. Nothing that you do in your coverage of this event should detract from
that, or distract those who are nearby.
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Common sense is your best guide.
Do not speak more loudly in Church while covering a Mass or prayer service than
you would speak in a judge's courtroom while a witness testifies.
Keep descriptions concise. If
you describe an action that is taking place during a service, keep your
descriptions concise and leave the discussions and color commentary to those in
Let the ceremony speak for itself.
One of the most common complaints we hear from viewers or listeners who are
trying to "pray along" at home is that there is too much talking over the hymns
and prayers. Try to strike a balance between describing what is taking place
and letting the ceremony speak for itself. For instance, at the start of a
Mass, you might describe Pope Francis moving down the center aisle towards the
altar and the reaction he is receiving. Next, you might identify what the choir
is singing but then please let the music be heard for a few minutes so that the
audience can feel as if they are participating.
There are particular moments when it
is best not to speak at all:
the readings from Scripture.
the Pope, the main celebrant, is delivering his homily or address.
a Mass, during the "Eucharistic Prayer," especially when Pope Francis holds up
the Eucharistic wafer to the congregation and then the chalice.
a Mass, when the Pope consumes the Body and Blood of Christ (the Eucharistic
wafer and the wine from the chalice), and then turns to offer Communion to the
Deacon who has been assisting him at the altar.
you absolutely must speak during these moments, please keep your voice to a
whisper, out of consideration for those who may be near you and to respect the
solemnity of what is transpiring.
If you have a question at any time
about what might be appropriate, Archdiocesan or USCCB staff will be nearby at
all events to answer your question.
For more information, see How to Cover the Mass.