WORSHIP

    FrEQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS  


    Questions on Liturgical Seasons

                  

    Should you place flowers on the altar for funerals during Lent? 

                  

    Questions on Baptism

                  

    Who can be a sponsor  (godparent) for baptism?

    Can a non-Catholic be  a godparent?

    Can a person have more  than one godparent?

    How can I go about  locating my baptismal certificate?

    Can Catholics be  godparents for a baby being baptized in a non-Catholic ecclesial community?

                  

    Questions on Confirmation

                  

    Where can I obtain a list of Confirmation dates?

    At what grade/age do children receive the  Sacrament of Confirmation in the diocese?

    I am an adult, and I have never been  confirmed.  How can I receive Confirmation?

    What are the requirements to be a sponsor for  Confirmation? 

                  

    Questions on the Holy Eucharist

                  

    Where can I attend a Mass celebrated  according to the 1962 Roman Missal?

    Can a person serve as a lector and an  extraordinary minister of Holy Communion in the same parish?

    How can I serve as an extraordinary minister  of Holy Communion?

    What options are available for someone to  receive Communion who has an allergy to wheat products or suffers from  Celiac-Sprue disease?

    May a Catholic receive Holy Communion more  than once a day?

    What is the Eucharistic fast?

                  

    Questions on Marriage

                  

    I just got engaged. What do I need to do to be married in the Diocese of Arlington?

    What sort of resources are available  for Natural Family Planning (NFP)?

    What is a divorced person's status with the Church while seeking an annulment?

                  

    Additional Questions

                  

    What are indulgences and how do I obtain one? 

    What is the meaning of fasting?

     Where can I attend an Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite Mass? 

    If there are conditions such as illness or severe weather, am I still obligated to attend Sunday Mass?

     

    Q: If there are conditions such as illness or severe weather, am I still obligated to attend Sunday Mass?

    A: All baptized Catholics are obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.  However, there are particular circumstances or conditions that may excuse a Catholic from this obligation.  If you are ill, homebound, or if there are severe weather conditions that make attending Mass dangerous to your safety or that of others, you are excused from the obligation.  In such cases, if you are unable to attend Mass, the Church recommends making a spiritual Communion and spending some time in prayer.

    Remember that the Sunday TV Mass allows for those who are homebound to spiritually participate   in the Catholic Mass. The Mass airs on Sundays from 10:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. on the WDCW (“The CW”). To locate which channel the Mass airs on in your area, please read this channel list.

    Q: Where can I attend a Mass celebrated  according to the 1962 Roman Missal?

                  

    A: You can find a  listing of parishes within the diocese that offer the extraordinary form of the  Mass (celebrated according to the 1962 Roman Missal) here.

                  

    Q: Can a person serve as a lector and an  extraordinary minister of Holy Communion in the same parish?

                  

    A: Yes, a person can  fulfill both ministries in the same parish.   However, the same person normally should not fulfill both ministries at  the same Mass – that is, there should be one person who proclaims the  Scriptural readings and another person who serves as an extraordinary minister  of Holy Communion (if necessary).

                  

    Q: How can I serve as an extraordinary minister  of Holy Communion?

                  

    A: The best approach is  to speak to your pastor and let him know of your interest.  Some pastors personally select extraordinary  ministers, while others request volunteers.   Anyone who is invited to serve as an extraordinary minister, however,  should attend one of the diocesan training sessions, which are usually held in  the spring.  Information about these  training sessions is sent to pastors and others early in the new year and is  also posted on the diocesan Web site (visit here).

                  

    Q: What options are available for someone to  receive Communion who has an allergy to wheat products or suffers from  Celiac-Sprue disease?

                  

    A: Persons who cannot  receive the Host because of a medical condition have the option of receiving  Holy Communion from a chalice in the form of the Precious Blood.  Another option is the use of a low-gluten  host.  However, gluten-free hosts (hosts  from which gluten has been entirely removed) are invalid matter for Mass and  may not be used. 

                  

    Q: May a Catholic receive Holy Communion more  than once a day?

                  

    A: Yes. A Catholic may receive Holy Communion twice a day. The second time,  however, that one receives Holy Communion, according to current Church Law, it  must be received during a Mass and not outside of Mass. Of course, if a Catholic is dying, he  or she may receive Viaticum outside of Mass and no matter how many times he or  she may already have received Holy Communion.

                  

    Q: What is the Eucharistic fast?

                  

    A: This  observance of a Church law is intended to helps us give greater respect to the  Holy Eucharist. Before receiving Holy Communion, a Catholic is obliged to  abstain from all food and drink for one hour. Water and medicine, however, do  not violate the Eucharistic fast. If a person is sick, he or she is not  obligated to observe the Eucharistic fast.

                  

    Q:What are the requirements to be a sponsor for  Confirmation?

                  

    A: The requirements are  the same as those for a baptismal sponsor (or godparent).  These requirements are listed here.

                  

    Q: I am an adult, and I have never been  confirmed.  How can I receive Confirmation?

                  

    A: Each year, on  Pentecost weekend, the bishop administers the Sacrament of Confirmation to  those adults who were baptized as Catholics but who have never been previously  confirmed.  Information about Adult  Confirmations is sent to your parish and is posted on the diocesan Web site  shortly after the beginning of January.

                  

    Q: At what grade/age do children receive the  Sacrament of Confirmation in the diocese?

                  

    A: In the Diocese of  Arlington, children may be confirmed either in the fall of their eighth grade  year, or the spring of their eighth grade year, or the fall of their ninth  grade year.  The pastor is responsible  for selecting one of these three options for his parish.
                  

                  

    Q: Can Catholics be  godparents for a baby being baptized in a non-Catholic ecclesial community?

                  

    A: Just as non-Catholic Christians may fulfill the role of a  Christian witness at the baptism of a Catholic, in the same way a Catholic may  be admitted as a Christian witness (but not as a godparent) at the baptism of a  non-Catholic.

                  

    Q: How can I go about  locating my baptismal certificate?

                  

    A: Baptismal records are kept at the parish where a person was  baptized.  To get a copy of your  baptismal certificate, you can call or write the parish of baptism.

                  

    Q: Can a person have more  than one godparent?

                  

    A: Canon 873 states, “There is to be only one male sponsor  [godparent] or one female sponsor or one of each.” 

                  

    Q: Who can be a sponsor  (godparent) for baptism?

                  

    A: Canon 874 lists the qualifications for fulfilling the role  of sponsor (godparent).  These are: (1)  the person to be a sponsor must be designated by the one to be baptized, by the  parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor  or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;  (2) have completed the sixteenth year of age (an exception can be granted for a  just cause by either the pastor or the minister of baptism); (3) be a Catholic  who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the  Eucharist and who leads a life in keeping with the function to be taken on; (4)  not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared; and (5)  not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

                  

    Q:Can a non-Catholic be  a godparent?

                  

    A: A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial  community may be admitted as a Christian witness, but may not take on the role of  godparent (sponsor).
                  

                  

    Q:  Where can I attend an Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite Mass?

                  

    A: You can view a listing of   parishes within the diocese that offer the  Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite Mass here.
                  

                  

     Q: Where can I obtain a list of Confirmation dates?

                  

    A:  You can view a list of confirmation dates by visiting here
                  

                  

    Q: Should you place flowers on the altar for funerals during Lent?

                  

    A: No, because Lent is a time of penance and of self-denial, therefore we wait to   place flowers on the altar until Easter when we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.

                  

    Q: What are indulgences and how do I obtain one?
                    

    A: You can learn more information about indulgences by visiting here.
                    

    Q: What is the meaning of fasting?

                  

    A: You can learn more information about fasting by visiting here.