Health and Safety Procedures at St. Philip

COVID-19 Update: Good News

February 26, 2021

We have good news to report: The number of Covid-19 cases among St. Philip households has decreased significantly in the last few weeks. We will now be able to resume meetings and gatherings scheduled in smaller meeting spaces that have been cancelled for the last two months. Starting March 1, such events may resume, but must follow the stricter rules implemented by Governor Northam in December and updated Feb. 24.

´╗┐Specifically, events in meeting rooms, classrooms, and Hayden Hall are now limited to 10 persons. Those groups with membership larger than 10 persons will be encouraged to rotate the participants weekly, so that all who desire may participate while not going over the 10-person maximum.

Other significant parish activities will proceed as follows:

  • Masses, Confessions, Adoration, Funerals, Weddings, and Baptisms will continue as they have these last few weeks. We remain vigilant with our strict safety procedures, which include physical distancing, requiring masks, sanitizing surfaces, and increased ventilation.
  • Religious Education classes for children and adults, as well as parent meetings, will continue as they have for the last few months by following the special Covid-19 educational guidelines in effect since classes began in October, which include physical distancing and regular sanitizing.
  • Limited music at Masses will continue, as will all practice session for Mass musicians. The number of musicians at Masses or practice sessions continues to be limited to 2-3 participants.

We are relieved to be able to have small group meetings again, and look forward to even further relaxation of the present strict rules set forth by Governor Northam. In this interim period, we ask everyone to continue to be diligent about wearing masks, physical distancing, and hand washing. As always, if you are ill or have been in contact with anyone who has been exposed to r diagnosed with Covid-19, do not come to any event at St. Philip.

Thank you for your support, understanding and prayers as we continue to deal with this pandemic.


Covid-19 Update

January 23, 2021

It has been two weeks since our last Covid-19 update, and we have good news and bad news: The good news is that those individuals who have fallen sick these last weeks are recovering nicely. The bad news is that we continue to receive reports of Covid-19 infections among our parish households. Please be assured those who have recently gotten sick are not doing too badly, and that these new infections are most likely not traceable to activities at St. Philip Parish.

Modified Meetings Schedule Through February 28

In our efforts to continue to mitigate the spread of infections, and out of an abundance of caution, we will follow the following modified plan for St. Philip Parish activities through February 28:

  • Masses, Confessions, Adoration, Funerals, Weddings, and Baptisms will continue as they have these last two weeks. We remain vigilant with our strict safety procedures, which include physical distancing, requiring masks, sanitizing surfaces, and increased ventilation.
  • Religious Education classes for children and adults, as well as parent meetings, will resume. These activities will continue to follow the special Covid-19 educational guidelines in effect since classes began in October, which include physical distancing and regular sanitizing.
  • Choir practices and music at the 2 pm and 4 pm Hispanic Masses will resume. However, choir practices and music performances at Masses will be limited to 2-3 participants.
  • All meetings and gatherings scheduled to take place in smaller spaces (meeting rooms, classrooms, and Hayden Hall) are cancelled.
  • The Outdoor Pro-Life Rally on Thursday, Jan. 28, will be held as planned. Participants must maintain social distance and wear masks at all times both inside and outside the church.

Return to Regular Meetings Schedule With Stricter Safety Rules

Once reports of Covid-19 cases have subsided among parish households, and these groups resume, the stricter safety rules mandated by Governor Northam will be required.

These are:

  • Meetings and events in these rooms, including prayer and worship gatherings, will be limited to 10 persons.
  • Groups with membership larger than 10 persons will be encouraged to rotate the participants weekly, so that all who desire may participate while not going over the 10-person maximum.

Even though reports of infection continue, the parish is doing a good job of maintaining parishioner safety for Masses and other events at St. Philip. We want to maintain this good record. We ask everyone to be even more diligent about wearing masks, physical distancing, and hand washing. And please, if you are ill or have been in contact with anyone who has been exposed to or diagnosed with Covid-19, do not come to any event at St. Philip.

While it is heartbreaking not to be able to have some of our parish activities, it is blessing to continue with Sunday and daily Masses, as well as the other Sacraments. The sacrifices we make now will allow these most important blessings to continue.

Thank you for your support, understanding and prayers as we continue to deal with this pandemic.


Covid-19 Precautions Review

Please continue following these special precautions:

Steps for Receiving Holy Communion

  1. Follow usher instructions to get in line
  2. Say “Amen” at tape on floor
  3. Remove mask
  4. Step up with hands out (preferred)
  5. Receive Host in hand; or receive on tongue and replace mask
  6. If in hand, step aside and place Host in mouth. Replace mask

Ministers of Holy Communion

  1. Ministers disinfect their hands before distributing Holy Communion
  2. Ministers wear masks while distribution Holy Communion
  3. Whenever a Minister gives Holy Communion on the tongue, the Minister will immediately disinfect the fingers
  4. Whenever a Minister touches a communicant, the Minister will immediately disinfect the fingers.

After Mass

  1. Those seated on window side – exit using side aisle
  2. Those seated on choir side – exit using center aisle
  3. When talking outside
    1. Keep masks on
    2. Maintain appropriate physical distance

Under current Virginia and Fairfax County regulations designed to slow the spread of Covid 19, you must practice social distancing practices while inside St. Philip buildings. This includes the church, meeting rooms, restrooms and all public spaces, at all times. The regulations require wearing a mask, maintaining at least 6 feet between non-family members, and not congregating in groups before or after Mass or other events. Anyone who does not observe these requirements will be asked to leave the building. Groups that do not observe these restrictions will have their meeting privileges revoked. Thank you for your observance of these important health and safety procedures.

Bajo las regulaciones actuales de Virginia y el Condado de Fairfax diseñadas para frenar la propagación de Covid 19, debemos observar las prácticas de distanciamiento social dentro de los edificios de San Felipe. Esto incluye la iglesia, salas de reuniones, baños y todos los espacios públicos, en todo momento. Las regulaciones requieren usar una máscara, mantener al menos 6 pies (dos metros) entre miembros que no sean familiares y no congregarse en grupos antes o después de la misa u otros eventos. Cualquier persona que no cumpla con estos requisitos deberá abandonar el edificio.


Review of Covid-19 Safety Procedures for the Clergy

Now that it has been over two months since we began having public Masses, this would be a good time to review the Covid-19 safety procedures for the clergy and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Some of these have been in place since June, others are more recently established for greater safety.

  • All clergy sanitize their hands right before Mass begins.
  • All clergy wear masks during Mass when they are not speaking.
  • New: Right before giving Holy Communion, all clergy and Extraordinary Ministers sanitize hands again.
  • While giving Holy Communion, whenever an individual receives on the tongue, or whenever a minister accidently touches the recipient of Holy Communion, the minister immediately sanitizes fingers.
  • As soon as Holy Communion ends, each minister of Holy Communion sanitizes fingers one last time.

While such precautions should do much to prevent infections, Bishop Burbidge continues to grant a dispensation from attending Sunday Mass during this pandemic, given that the risk infection is great for certain individuals.

Revisión de los Procedimientos de Seguridad de Covid-19 para el Clero

Ahora que han pasado más de dos meses desde que comenzamos a tener Misas públicas, este sería un buen momento para revisar los procedimientos de seguridad de Covid-19 para el clero y los Ministros Extraordinarios de la Sagrada Comunión. Algunos de estos han estado en funcionamiento desde junio, otros se establecieron más recientemente para mayor seguridad.

  • Todo el clero se desinfecta las manos justo antes de que comience la Misa.
  • Todos los clérigos usan mascarillas durante la Misa cuando no están hablando.
  • Nuevo: Justo antes de dar la Sagrada Comunión, todos los clérigos y Ministros Extraordinarios se desinfectan las manos nuevamente.
  • Al dar la Sagrada Comunión, cuando una persona recibe en la lengua, o cuando un ministro toca accidentalmente al destinatario de la Sagrada Comunión, el ministro inmediatamente desinfecta los dedos.
  • Tan pronto como termina la Sagrada Comunión, cada ministro de la Sagrada Comunión desinfecta los dedos una última vez.

Si bien tales precauciones deberían hacer mucho para prevenir infecciones, el obispo Burbidge continúa concediendo una dispensa para asistir a la Misa dominical durante esta pandemia, dado que el riesgo de infección es grande para ciertas personas.


Review of Covid-19 Safety Procedures for the Lay Faithful

Last week in this space, there was a “two month update” on the pandemic precautions for the St. Philip clergy. Below are the precautions for the lay faithful attending Mass at St. Philip:

  • Stay home if you are vulnerable to infections. This includes those over the age of 65, those with existing heart or lung conditions, those with diabetes, and/or those otherwise immuno-compromised.
  • Stay home if you feel sick in any way, are coughing, or are sneezing frequently.
  • Wear a cloth or paper mask over your nose and mouth while inside the church and when near others outside the church.
  • Maintain physical distancing (6 feet) from those not of your household.
  • Sanitize hands when entering the church, and, if possible, right after receiving Holy Communion. If you are using your own hand sanitizer, be certain it contains at least 60% alcohol.

While following such precautions should do much to prevent infections, Bishop Burbidge continues to grant a dispensation from attending Sunday Mass for those not able to attend. If you are in this category, our parish continues to live stream Masses at 10 am (English) and 2 pm (Spanish).

Revisión de los Procedimientos de Seguridad de Covid-19 para Fieles Laicos

La semana pasada en este espacio, hubo una “actualización de dos meses” sobre las precauciones pandémicas para el clero de St. Felipe. A continuación se presentan las precauciones para los fieles laicos que asisten a la Misa en San Felipe:

  • Quédese en casa si es vulnerable a infecciones. Esto incluye a las personas mayores de 65 años, las que padecen enfermedades cardíacas o pulmonares, las que padecen diabetes y / o las personas con sistema inmunológico bajo.
  • Quédense en casa si se sienten enfermos de alguna manera, si tose o estornuda con frecuencia.
  • Use una mascarilla de tela o papel sobre su nariz y boca mientras esté dentro de la iglesia y cuando esté cerca de otras personas fuera de la iglesia.
  • Mantengan una distancia física (6 pies) de las personas que no pertenecen a su hogar.
  • Desinfectar las manos al entrar a la iglesia y, si es posible, inmediatamente después de recibir la Sagrada Comunión. Si están usando su propio desinfectante de manos, asegúrense de que contenga al menos un 60% de alcohol.

Si bien seguir tales precauciones debería ayudar mucho a prevenir infecciones, el Obispo Burbidge continúa otorgando una dispensa de asistir a la Misa Dominical para aquellos que no pueden asistir. Si estás en esta categoría, nuestra parroquia continúa transmitiendo Misas en vivo a las 10 am (inglés) y a las 2 pm (español)