The Archdiocese of Goa and Daman has conducted two workshops to help photographers to properly record church services. The programs, primarily intended to foster an appreciation of the photographer's role, streamline certain practices that hinder “meaningful celebration of the liturgy,” said Father Afonso Mendonca, director of the Diocesan Centre for Liturgy that organized the program. Some 150 professional photographers, including some from other religions, attended the workshops held yesterday at Margao, the state’s commercial hub, and at the state capital of Panaji two days earlier. Fr Mendonca said the programs reminded the photographers that they should not merely work for their clients, but participate in Mass and other services in “a true Catholic spirit.” Melwyn Mesquita, a journalist, found the workshop “extremely fruitful” as the organizers listened to several suggestions from the participants for a uniform policy in the archdiocese on photography in churches. Some parish priests have a “lopsided and partisan attitude” in allowing photography in churches, he said. He said the workshop explained to participants “sacred moments” such as the time after communion when they should avoid photography. Photographers normally take pictures at this time during weddings but it distracts people, Mesquita explained. The organizers also asked photographers to avoid videotaping people doing the readings and homilies. The organizers also agreed to consider another suggestion to form an association of church photographers, Father Mendonca said. The participants also asked the priests to respect the cameramen’s role in the liturgical set-up. They also want churches to install proper lights at strategic positions to avoid disturbances from arc lights photographers use during liturgy. Father Mendonca’s center has organized similar programs in the past two years for priests, sacristans, altar decorators, choir members and Mass readers. The priest said the workshops were part of the center’s agenda to animate various groups associated with Mass. The Diocesan Centre for Social Communications Media also collaborated in the latest workshops. ID13740.1646
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