March 16, 2020 News

By order of His Excellency, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington: 

Public Liturgy & Sacraments

  • All public Masses (including Sunday, Holy Day, and weekday Masses) are suspended immediately until further notice.
    • Priests should celebrate private Masses daily for their parishioners and the intentions of their parish as well as for the relief and assistance to all affected in any way by COVID-19. Private Masses should not be offered at usual Parish Mass times. If at all possible, they should be celebrated in the Rectory Chapel. Priests are strongly encouraged to post written or recorded daily homilies on the parish websites.
    • Bishop Burbidge will make available his private celebration of the Sunday Mass. Any parishes who are able to livestream or post recorded private Masses are strongly recommended to do so. 
  • All Confirmation liturgies are suspended until further notice.
  • All weddings and funerals should continue only if absolutely necessary, with the attendance limited to immediate family members.  
  • Churches may remain open for individual private prayer, especially prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. However, no gatherings for devotions (such as Stations of the Cross) are permitted. If tabernacles are not already located in the main body of the church. No more than 10 persons should be present in the Church, according to the recommendation of the White House.
  • Individual reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation may be made available but not in large gatherings. No more than 10 persons should be present in the Church, according to the recommendation of the White House.
  • The number allowed in the Church is never to exceed the White House recommended 10 persons.  A porter (where possible) could be assigned by the Pastor throughout the day to ensure the number is not exceeded (such individuals should not be “at risk” according to the CDC). The interior of the Church building and pews should be cleaned and disinfected frequently. 

Pastoral Care of the Sick

  • Pastoral Care of the Sick should be limited to those who are dying and those with coronavirus who request the Sacraments.
  • Communion should not be brought to any other parishioner who is homebound or who cannot attend Mass. 
    • Priests are asked to find other ways of comforting and praying with the homebound, such as praying together by phone.
    • “Acts of Spiritual Communion” should be available on the parish website.
  • Deacons and lay volunteers should not be visiting the sick in any official capacity.