Bishop Burbidge has announced that effective June 26th, the general dispensation of the Sunday and Holy Day obligation associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, will no longer be in effect (lifted). Bishop Burbidge has made this decision based on the Governor of Virginia’s Executive Orders, the increasing percentage of people vaccinated, the low (and falling) infection rate in our region, and the low risk to children.
The bishops’ statement said the obligation to return to Mass “does not apply to those who are ill; those who have reason to believe that they were recently exposed to the coronavirus, another serious or contagious illness; those who are confined to their home, a hospital or nursing facility; or those with serious underlying health conditions.” The statement also said, “One should consult his or her local pastor if questions arise about the obligation to attend Mass.”
In the Diocese and Here
Every church in the Diocese of Arlington, prior to June 26th, can celebrate Mass and other liturgies at full capacity and with no social distancing limitations.
Our parish will continue to Live Stream the 5:30 pm Vigil Mass on Saturday and then make the recording available afterwards. The outreach of “drive-by” communion will no longer be offered after June 6th.
Beginning June 13th
5:30 pm, live streamed *
12:30 pm (Spanish, live streamed*)
Confessions: Saturday 4:00 pm until 5:00 pm (English and Spanish)
Receiving Holy Eucharist
Bishop Burbidge writes that “Each communicant retains the right to decide how to receive, either on the tongue or in the hand.” For now, we would ask that you consider that Holy Eucharist is also being distributed to unvaccinated people, children not eligible for vaccination, and others. To that end we simply request that, for the time being, please choose to receive the Holy Eucharist in the hand. We will honor your choice. If you choose to receive on the tongue, please wait until the end of the communion line (giving the priest an opportunity to sanitize).
Limitations that remain in effect
The lifting of the dispensation is a recognition that civil society has made great progress in its battle with the Covid-19 virus – not a signaling that we have returned to “normal.” Recognizing that, Bishop Burbidge has directed that Communion be offered under the one species of the Precious Bread only.
At the pastor’s discretion, liturgical elements that were suspended or modified may be slowly reintroduced. This includes Holy Water in the fonts, hymnals and worship aids, the sign of peace, extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers, and other items. St. Francis will prudently and slowly return these items to their proper place in the weekend liturgies.
*Photo/Audio/Visual recording notice:
During any event in the parish church which is Live Streamed, by entering and by your presence here at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, you consent on behalf of yourself and/or your child(ren) to be photographed, recorded or live streamed during the liturgy (celebration of the Mass, Baptism, Wedding, etc.), event, or conference taking place. This consent is given to the parish and the Diocese of Arlington. If you do not agree, please do not enter. Thank you.
In concert with diocesan policy and Virginia Executive Orders
- Fully-vaccinated persons are no longer required to wear a mask while celebrating Mass at St. Francis; however, if you are apprehensive or have some level of discomfort regarding this directive you are more than welcome to continue wearing a mask during Mass, even if fully vaccinated.
- Those who are not fully vaccinated are asked and encouraged to continue wearing a mask, for their own health, safety, and well-being – as well as that of other people in the worshiping community.
- Note: no one will be asked about their vaccination status – we will rely on people of good will who follow the guidelines intended for the common good.