FrEQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Questions on Baptism
Questions on Confirmation
Questions on the Holy Eucharist
Questions on Marriage
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
A: The requirements are the same as those for a baptismal sponsor (or godparent). These requirements are listed here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A: Canon 873 states, “There is to be only one male sponsor [godparent] or one female sponsor or one of each.”
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.
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).
A: You can view a listing of parishes within the diocese that offer the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite Mass here.
A: You can view a list of confirmation dates by visiting here
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.
A: You can learn more information about indulgences by visiting here.
A: You can learn more information about fasting by visiting here.