iPads banned at altar: how about at the ambo?

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The bishops of New Zealand have banned the use of iPads as Missals in the liturgy.  Noting that "iPads and other electronic devices have a variety of uses, e.g. playing games, using the internet, watching videos and checking email," the bishops have decided that, "This alone makes their use in the liturgy inappropriate."

From the bishops' statement:
The New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference has made the following decision about the use of electronic devices in place of the Missal.  This decision applies to all priests in the dioceses of New Zealand:

With the publication of the Roman Missal has come the release of a number of Missal applications for the iPad and other tablets, for mobile phones and e-readers.

While these applications are excellent for study purposes, the iPad (and its equivalents), e-readers and mobile phones may not be used by the priest at liturgy.

Only the official printed copy of the Roman Missal may be used at Mass and at the Church's other liturgies.

But how about an iPad at the ambo for preaching?

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I have a teleprompter app for my iPad which I hope to use at some point for preaching.  I've just not had time to practice with a scrolling text, outside the liturgy, at the ambo.

Here's one blogging pastor's experience of iPad preaching, with interesting comments following his post.

Are you a preacher who uses an iPad for this purpose?
Your experiences? 

Have you seen/heard a homilist preaching from an iPad?
Your experiences?


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  1. I haven't seen it done. I suppose it's kosher for the homily, but I'd think the reasoning that applies to the Missal would be valid for the Lectionary.

  2. I've used it a couple of times to give retreats, though not in teleprompter mode -- not enough practice time with it yet. A large font is a must for me, so is making sure it doesn't shut itself off too soon.

    I'm still using paper more often than the iPad - but I do like the ability to edit on the fly in print I can read (rather than scribbled between the lines!).

  3. but, recording a homily for posting on a blog is still okay, right?

  4. I presume so - recording homilies was not a question here.

  5. Oh good Lord, this boggles what's left of my mind.

    Quite a few (most?) of the pastors who participate in the weekly church social media (#chsocm) chat on Twitter use an iPad at the pulpit. Yes, pulpit, because they're Protestant clergy and apparently those denominations do not find technology tainted by possible use for secular purposes.

    Oh and they report that it's easier to see and read on the iPad. No, no one processes holding an iPad aloft.


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