Since I started attending the Traditional Latin Mass on Sundays I thought it was time to get a good 1962 Missal to use. I had considered buying the one from [Baronius Press][press]. For one I have other of their books and they are super high quality so I knew I could not go wrong. Still I took the question to social media and got several suggestions including Baronius Press’s offering.
One suggestion surprised me, using an app called iMass. This was suggested by several TLM goers of whom I have respect for. Now I am pretty geekly and use technology a lot, but did I want to use it during Mass? Plus there was the dichotomy of using a phone app during the TLM. Are you allowed to only use technology developed up to 1962?
Plus there is a vanity in me that doesn’t want to stick out. I figured if I started using a phone app during Mass the other Mass goers would be all like this:
Still I have noticed that more and more people are using phone apps during Mass for the readings. Something not confined to just younger people, but something I have observed across age groups. Still my first reaction when I see somebody holding a phone during Mass is:
Couldn’t they wait to text later on! Oh wait they have a app with the Mass readings.
So I decided to give the iMass app a tryout.
Now this app contains a full Missal along with the Breviary in multiple languages including Latin. You can even view live streams of Latin Masses and Liturgies.
So previously while attending the Latin Mass I used the booklet they hand out that helps you to follow along to an extent. The iMass app lets you fully follow along.
The app is used in landscape mode so that you can see both the Latin and the English text. I have an iPhone 7 Plus so the screen size is pretty much perfect for this. Mostly you just scroll along as you coordinate what the priest is saying to where you are in the Missal. Mostly I was able to do this despite the priest being soft spoken. I also found that I was able to read the English text as I was doing this and stay in place. The rubrics also help you to identify where you are in the Mass based on what the priest is doing. Besides just using the scrolling there is also quick navigation to the top or next section.
So I was pretty impressed with how useful this was since if I was using a Missal I would have been skipping around more. So mostly I was able to stay focused on the Mass and to see the translation.
So when it comes to using technology for prayer I have a simple test. Does it actually help me pray or is it a distraction? Or a distraction to others. The iMass app passes this test for me.
I once suggested the iHALO a visual indicator showing you are using a Mass appropriate app.
Speaking of Mass related technologies. Recently Apple came out with Theater Mode on the Apple Watch. This is different than just the mute button. In addition to muting, the watch would not light up when you moved your wrist.
So I now call this Mass mode and I now always put my watch in this mode before entering the church along with muting my phone. I wish the watch could mute both. Now I am pretty good about remembering to mute my phone before entering the church, I just usually forget to un-mute it later on. The “Mass Mode” provides me a reminder that I am muted and to remember to turn off “Mass Mode” and to un-mute my phone.