Livestreaming liturgies: logistics, permissions, “spiritual communion” prayer

If you have access to the Internet, electricity and a smartphone, it’s possible to provide your parish’s Masses and other liturgies to those who can not come to the church in person. This post has some tips, tools and resources for you to do so well.

Copyright permissions for online usage

Those who created and own the texts of the liturgy and Scripture and the music used during our liturgies have rights of ownership, or copyright. A quick overview of how copyright permissions are being obtained for livestreaming:

Music: In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, (which represents most major music publishers) was offering gratis permission for music used in live-streaming Masses. That permission ended April 15.  Now they are offering a special discounted license. Our diocese is currently pursuing a diocesan wide agreement with One License, so before purchasing any online licenses, please check with Helen Osman, director of diocesan communication, on the status of the diocesan agreement. Please do indicate for your livestreaming liturgies if you have permission to use music and the source of that permission.

Scripture and liturgical texts: The USCCB Permissions Office has confirmed that the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and the USCCB have waived the requirement to request permission to use readings or Mass prayers — in English and Spanish — for livestreamed liturgies.

No permission from the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) is required to stream or record liturgies. If you wish to put a transcription or guide alongside the recording, this is permitted (assuming the usual conditions about the text being reproduced correctly and the acknowledgement is placed somewhere appropriate) for the duration of the pandemic.” For the text of the usual acknowledgement, please visit

Prayer for a Communion of Desire

While many are using a prayer attributed to St. Alphonsus of Ligouri, the brief section of his writing being used does not provide the depth and breadth of St. Alphonsus’ teaching on a “spiritual communion,” and, taken out of that context, can be confusing regarding the teaching of the Church that the Eucharist is intended to build up and deepen our spiritual relationship with Christ. The Sacrament is a primary, though not exclusive, means to the real goal of spiritual union with Christ and with His Body, the Church. The following prayer is offered as an alternative to provide that missing context.

Prayer for a Communion of Desire

My Jesus, I believe You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, renew my heart now with the power of Your Spirit. I embrace You and unite myself wholly to You. Unite me more closely to Your Body, the Church. And never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Oración para la Comunión de Deseo

Jesús mío, creo que estás presente en el Santísimo Sacramento. Te amo por sobre todas las cosas y deseo recibirte en mi alma. Como no puedo recibirte en este momento sacramentalmente, renueva mi corazón con el poder de tu Espíritu.  Te recibo y me uno completamente a ti. Úneme más a tu cuerpo, la Iglesia y nunca permitas que me separe de ti. Amén.