Celebration of the Mass in the Extraordinary Form in the Diocese of Arlington

In light of the motu proprio as clarified by the Responsa (issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship on December 18, 2021), Bishop Burbidge issued initial guidance to pastors and is consulting with the pastors of the 21 parishes in the Diocese which celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

After the promulgation of Traditionis Custodes last summer, Bishop Burbidge explained that Mass and the celebration of the Sacraments in the Extraordinary Form could continue while he studied how best to implement the motu proprio. Mass in the Extraordinary Form may still continue and has not been interrupted in the 21 parishes throughout the Diocese in which it is celebrated. Newly suspended, in light of the Responsa, is the scheduling of new celebrations of the Sacraments (such as baptisms and weddings) in the Extraordinary Form. Those which have already been scheduled are permitted to continue as planned.

Moving forward, Bishop Burbidge will work to create a diocesan draft document of the implementation of the motu proprio in light of the recent Responsa and review it with all pastors of parishes where the Mass in the Extraordinary Form is celebrated and will consult with them before a final version is issued. 

Bishop Burbidge's initial study of the Responsa indicated that Traditionis Custodes allows a bishop to grant permission of the use of the Rituale Romanum only to a personal parish established for the celebration of the Missale Romanum of 1962. Nevertheless, he remains committed to further consultation with his advisors and pastors to discern other possibilities within the scope of the Holy Father's motu proprio.

Bishop Burbidge also addressed the Responsa, which was very new information at the time of the recording, on his podcast on Monday, December 20. That can be heard here: https://www.arlingtondiocese.org/walkhumblypodcast/

As always, particular pastoral situations or sacramental questions should be discussed with pastors as they arise. Please reach out to your pastor with additional questions or for pastoral guidance.

While dealing with this sensitive issue, Bishop Burbidge hopes and prays that we continue to foster unity and fidelity. May we continue to pray for one another and may Our Lord fill us with his peace.