In the history of television there are some titles we instantly recall as being survivors — Four Corners, Play School, Neighbours and Home And Away, to name a few.
But there is one program that is often omitted from the history books — Mass For You At Home.
The weekly Mass has featured on the Ten Network since 1971, making it the longest-running program on Australian commercial television. The program started on Sunday, 1 August 1971 as a live-to-air broadcast on Melbourne’s ATV0, presented by Father Michael King — a well-known local media identity whose television appearances also included In Melbourne Tonight and even a guest appearance (as himself) in an episode of Homicide.
The program, aimed at viewers isolated from attending regular Sunday Mass, was launched at a time when all television stations were obliged to run a certain amount of religious programming each week.
Although the broadcast obligations no longer apply Network Ten has continued to support the program by donating production facilities, music licencing fees and airtime across the network — with the program being broadcast without commercials.
The program has aired on a weekly basis almost uninterrupted since 1971, having to miss only the occasional Sunday morning due to network sports coverage or other commitments.
From this Sunday morning, Mass For You At Home makes a move from the main Ten channel to digital channel Eleven at the new time of 5.30am.
Replacing the program on Ten at 6.00am is syndicated religious program Life Today With James Robison from the US, while the Australian Hillsong continues on Ten at 6.30am.
Mass For You At Home is also broadcast on pay TV channel Aurora.