(Click the banner photo for the Sambuhay TV mass link.)
For most overseas Filipinos, it's not always possible to take time off at work to attend religious events and practice the faith. Also, churches and places of worship are sometimes few and far between where the overseas Filipinos stay - such as in the Middle East. With the Holy Week approaching, plan to spend a few hours to relive the Catholic tradition - right on your computer.
With overseas Filipinos in mind and other people who can't otherwise be present at Mass due to circumstance (the sick), the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines makes possible an online Visita Iglesia. Be awed by grand Philippine Churches - from Batanes to Marinduque - through video walk-throughs and virtual tours. You can even perform a "Way of the Cross", complete with recorded prayers. You can also access YouTube-recorded Lenten sermons to reflect on this Holy Week.
Meanwhile, back in Manila, the Society of St. Paul, who also run TV Maria, hold (and upload) Catholic Masses for a YouTube audience. Watch the Sambuhay TV mass from this YouTube channel.
The Masses are shot in a chapel complete with choir and lector volunteers. Unlike some TV broadcasts, the camera work does not distract and help maintain the solemnity of the event. Also regularly recited in each Mass is a special Paulinian prayer for overseas Filipinos. Learn the words here:
Prayer of Overseas Filipinos
St Michael, the Archangel
I am about to leave my family
and the physical and emotional
distance affects me.
The physical distance means
I will be living in a totally different
culture where everything will be new.
The emotional distance implies that
no longer will I be able to embrace
my loved ones when I want to.
You have done special mission
for God and you did it confidently,
trusting that everything will be
alright because our Creator has
everything in His hands.
Share with me the same faith.
Make this travel a part of my
mission here on earth.
I have to leave for the good
of my family and lvoed ones.
I have to leave to do God's will.
While I am away from them,
protect them from dangers.
Let them feel my presence through
my letters and calls.
Make us a strong family even though
we are far from one another.
St. Michael, through your
intercession, may Jesus be the
Light of the family and
Mary be our Mother, too.