EXCERPTS FROM LITURGICAL GUIDELINES

FOR THE YEAR 2020 DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

(Updated: April 19, 2020)

In order to help Priests perform their ministry with faith, prudence, and wise judgment, the Archbishop in consultation with the Auxiliary Bishops and the Council of Priests has established the following revised liturgical guidelines. These guidelines are to be followed until further notice.

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

• Parish churches, chapels, centers, and missions are to remain closed to the public until May 15, 2020, or until further notice.

• Church offices are to be closed to the public. Pastors may allow a minimal number of parish staff members (less than 10) to continue working in the office provided that social distancing is observed. For example, while the office is closed to the public, staff members can still answer telephones, answer emails, process payroll. If these functions can be performed remotely from home, this would obviously be ideal and diminish the risk of contagion.

• Social distancing requires separation of individuals at least six feet apart. Also, practice good hygiene by washing hands with soap and water frequently or using hand sanitizing products with at least 60% alcohol. Pastors should be vigilant in reminding parishioners and staff members to stay home if they are sick, especially having symptoms of fever or cough. Lastly, encourage frequent cleaning and sanitizing of premises.

MASS

• Archbishop José H. Gomez dispenses all the Catholic Faithful of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and all Catholics currently in the Archdiocese from the obligation of attending Sunday Mass for the weekends of April 25-26, May 2-3, and May 9-10.

• The public celebration of Mass has been suspended in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles until May 15, 2020 (inclusive), or until further notice. Priests are encouraged to continue celebrating Mass for their Faithful, but should take the form of a “Private Mass” (i.e. without a congregation) in their church or chapel and be livestreamed. One or two ministers may assist the Priest.

• Priests are to encourage the Faithful to keep the Lord’s Day holy. Some ways to do this include: reading the Gospels, praying with your families, and to join yourself to the sacrifice of the Mass by making an act of spiritual communion.

• Parishes are invited to inform their parishioners of opportunities to view Mass or other services via livestream.

• For more information on additional Mass broadcasts on TV and radio visit, lacatholics.org/mass-for-the-homebound.

EXPOSITION/ADORATION

• If a Priest wishes to expose the Blessed Sacrament for Adoration he should do so for the Faithful via livestream and in the presence of at least two people, namely the Priest who exposes the Blessed Sacrament and another minister who may assist the Priest (Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass, n. 86). Please be sure to observe physical distancing.

RECONCILIATION/CONFESSION

• Parishes are to suspend all regularly scheduled confession times.

• Priests may offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation only in danger of death or extremely extraordinary situations. Please observe social distancing, while at the same time ensuring privacy for the Penitent. There are no confessions by telephone, electronic means, or by “drive-up.”

• As Pope Francis reminded us in his homily on March 20, 2020, Priests are encouraged to remind the Faithful who are physically unable to attend individual Reconciliation of the Church’s teaching on Perfect Contrition. Such contrition arises when the penitent expresses a love of God above all else, the sincere desire for forgiveness, and firm resolution to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation as soon as possible when available. Perfect contrition obtains the forgiveness of sins, both venial and mortal. (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) 1452).

ANOINTING OF THE SICK

• Priests attending to the needs of the sick are to observe all proper sanitary protocols. If in a hospital setting, check-in with proper medical personnel and follow their directions before entering and upon leaving the room of the patient. For home visits, this includes but may not be limited to handwashing before and after the visit, wearing gloves, a facemask, and a gown to cover clothes.

• If you find out that you have been exposed to the coronavirus, immediately contact your health care provider. As a result, you may be required to quarantine yourself.

• Priests must clean and refresh their oil stocks before visiting each sick person.

BAPTISMS

• Unless an emergency, the celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism is to be postponed until further notice. This includes those baptisms which customarily take place at the Easter Vigil.

CONFIRMATIONS

• The celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation is postponed until May 15, 2020 (inclusive), or until further notice.

• All other parishes not affected by the postponement of their Confirmation Mass will proceed with their originally scheduled date, time, and Confirming Bishop.

WEDDINGS

• The celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony from now until May 15, 2020 (inclusive), or until further notice, are to be postponed. • A Priest may not assist at a wedding without a valid civil marriage license.

FUNERALS

• Funerals may take place only in the form of “The Rite of Committal with Final Commendation” (also known as the “graveside service”) at the Cemetery. If desired by the family, a memorial Mass can be scheduled appropriately at a later date.