I read recently a comparison between early Christians forced underground to Mass in the catacombs, and modern Catholics relegated to Mass on the Ethernet (Internet?). It made me wonder: There may be some similarity, but the analogy is quite a limited one, and in fact, like most analogies, they are more different than alike.
For some, watching Mass on a screen may be pious, uplifting, a relief, a substitute and a solace. But it is not ‘Mass’, nor what we might call ‘attending Mass’, for which, as the saying goes, one has to ‘be there’.
The sacraments – and especially the sacramentum sacramentorum of the Holy Eucharist – are incarnational, operating through our senses, through which God gives His grace. They are also relational, requiring a real, live interaction between the minister (usually a priest) and the recipient.