Friday, June 29, 2020

Amber Roseboom
Director of Media Relations
Catholic Diocese of Arlington

All 70 Parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington to Move to Phase 3 of Reintegration With Capacity Restrictions on Places of Worship Lifted

Social Distancing Must Continue to be Adhered to; Dispensation from Obligation to Attend Mass Continues - High-Risk Populations Encouraged to Stay “Safer-at-Home” 

ARLINGTON, Va. - This Wednesday, July 1, 2020, all 70 parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington are able, but not mandated, to celebrate public Mass with capacity restrictions lifted. This is consistent with Phase 3 of “Forward Virginia,” Governor Ralph Northam's phased approach for easing public health restrictions associated with slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Under Phase 3, the cap on occupancy of less than 50% capacity for places of worship is lifted. The guidelines continue to call for social distancing, including maintaining distance of six feet apart in public settings. Parishioners 10 years old and older are still expected to wear face coverings in accordance with Governor Northam's Executive Order 63, which allows exceptions for health reasons and specific religious rituals. Pastors in the Diocese will communicate their specific expectations at the parish level.

Upon entering Phase 1 of “Forward Virginia,” the Catholic Diocese of Arlington issued guidelines for reintegration found here. It is up to each pastor's discretion to determine if his parish is ready to enter the next phase of reopening consistent with guidelines.

Bishop Burbidge is continuing the dispensation from the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation until further notice. Those who are 65 years old or older, as well as those with underlying health conditions, are encouraged to avoid gatherings of the general public and attending public liturgies. 

The more than 460,000 parishioners in the Diocese are encouraged to check their local parish websites for updates and Mass times. A Guide for the Lay Faithful on Reintegration of the Diocese and the public celebration of the Mass can be found here.

Interested media please contact Amber Roseboom, Director of Media Relations, Catholic Diocese of Arlington, at 571-215-8731 or

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The Catholic Diocese of Arlington was established on August 13, 1974, and is home to 71 parishes and more than 460,000 Catholics. There are currently 276 priests serving in the Diocese and 45 seminarians discerning a priestly vocation. The Diocese has 37 parish (K-8) schools, four diocesan high schools, four independent Catholic schools and five free-standing (not connected with a parish school) pre-schools, serving more than 17,000 students. 

The Diocese includes the seven cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester and the 21 counties of Arlington, Clarke, Culpeper, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, King George, Lancaster, Loudoun, Madison, Northumberland, Orange, Page, Prince William, Rappahannock, Richmond, Shenandoah, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren and Westmoreland.