Response to Coronavirus Public Celebrations of Mass Diocese of Arlington



Response to Coronavirus Public Celebrations of Mass Diocese of Arlington


November 13, 2020 Guidelines for mass for the Diocese of Arlington during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Date Created

November 13, 2020


Diocese of Arlington








Informational flyer



extracted text

R esp on se to Coron av i r u s
P u b l i c Ce l e b r a t i o n s of M a s s

G u i d e f o r t h e L ay Fa i t h f u l
Nove mb e r

1 3 ,

2 0 2 0

Changes based upon amendments made November 13, 2020
to Executive Orders 63 & 67 and Sector Guidelines.

All the faithful of the Diocese of
Arlington are dispensed from the
obligation to attend Mass on
Sundays and holydays of obligation
until further notice.
Those Who Are Vulnerable · If you or those for
whom you care are “vulnerable” to infection
or the serious effects of coronavirus, please
avoid gatherings of the general public.
Those who are “vulnerable”

are over the age of 65,

have existing heart or lung conditions,

have diabetes, &/or

are otherwise immuno-compromised.
Those Who Feel Sick · If you feel sick in any way,
are coughing, or are sneezing frequently,
please avoid public gatherings, including
liturgical celebrations.
Livestreamed Masses · Parishes will continue to
livestream Masses as they are able. If you are
vulnerable, sick, or concerned with your
safety or the safety of those whom you
regularly encounter, please continue to unite
prayerfully to the Mass via livestream.
In-Person Participation · Your parish will
coordinate in-person participation for the
Mass & other liturgies. Each parish has
different capabilities. Please be charitable &
understanding with your pastor & parish
staff. Contact your parish for details.

Person-Per-Gathering Limits · The Diocese
requires every parish to follow person -pergathering limits set by public health authorities,
which may vary by locality. Contact your
parish for details on in-person participation.
(Revised) Individuals attending “religious
services” must be seated at least six feet
apart at all times and must practice physical
distancing at all times. Family members may
be seated together.
If the number of participants exceeds the
limit, the priest or a minister will have to ask
individuals to leave. Please avoid putting our
beloved priests & ministers in this unfortunate
position. Above all, exercise charity!
Social Distancing · The Diocese requires every
parish to ensure social distancing with due
respect for the reverent enactment of the
sacred rites. Kindly follow the directions of
ministers, as well as posted signs & markings.
Disinfection & Ventilation · The Diocese requires
every parish to ensure disinfection &
ventilation before & after each liturgy. The
church may be closed briefly, if necessary.
Please follow the directions of your parish.
Holy Water & Hymnals · The Diocese requires
every parish to remove holy water from all
fonts & hymnals/missalettes from pews.
Porters · For each liturgy, parishes are
encouraged to assign at least one “porter” —a
minister who keeps watch at the doors.
Porters ensure that capacity limitations &
related safety practices are observed. This
ministry is especially challenging at this time.
Please be patient, understanding, & kind in
following the directions of all ministers.

Making Plans · During this time and due to
capacity limits, please do not plan to attend
liturgies at any parish at which you are not
Face Coverings · (Revision) All persons aged 5
and older are expected to wear a face covering
in accordance with the revised Executive Orders
63 & 67.
Hand Hygiene · You are expected to disinfect
your hands when entering the church &
encouraged to do so again immediately
before receiving Communion. Please bring
your own hand sanitizer, which should
contain at least 60% alcohol.

Processions · Ministers will maintain social
distancing during processions. Please also
remain six feet from ministers in procession.
Presentation of the Gifts · The Diocese requires
that the presentation of gifts by members of
the assembly be omitted.
Collection · A collection may take place. Please
be attentive to the directions of your parish.
If available, please consider supporting your
parish through online giving.

The Diocese suppresses the distribution of
the Precious Blood until further notice.

At this time, priests, deacons, & instituted
acolytes shall distribute Communion. The use
of EMHCs is left to the discretion of the Pastor.
EMHCs cannot be in a vulnerable category, and
they must be properly trained for ministry
during the pandemic.

All present who are in a state of grace may
receive Communion. Those who have health
concerns are not obliged.

Please follow the procedures of your parish
for the distribution of Communion.

Please maintain social distancing in the
Communion Procession.

You are encouraged to disinfect your hands
immediately before receiving Communion.

You retain the right to decide how to receive,
whether on the tongue or in the hand. Please
prayerfully consider temporarily receiving
reverently in the hand.*

It is not permitted to receive Communion in
the hand while wearing gloves. If you are
wearing gloves and will receive Communion
in the hand, please remove your gloves for
the reception of Communion.

Ministers are encouraged to disinfect their
hands immediately after each & every
communicant who receives on the tongue,
even if no physical contact has occurred.

Ministers are also encouraged to disinfect
their hands immediately if accidental contact
is made with a communicant’s hand.

Lord’s Prayer · The Diocese prohibits holding
hands during the Lord’s Prayer.
Sign of Peace · The Diocese requires that the
invitation “Let us offer each other the sign of
peace” & the exchange of peace that follows
be omitted.

* Information available in U.S. Center for Disease Control, Interim
Guidance for Leaders of Faith Communities (23 May 2020) https://
guidance-community-faith-organizations.html; & World Health Organization, Guidance for Faith Communities (7 Apr 2020) https://

This revision dated November 13, 2020, supersedes the
previous Mass Guide for the Lay Faithful dated June 30, 2020.