News Post

Attending Mass at OLGC
Attending Mass at OLGC

Thank you for your patience and charity.

August 14, 2020 updated message:

Based on what we have learned over the course of these few months and after conversations with our Mass volunteers and OLGC staff we have made a few modifications. Our goal continues to be not to turn anyone away from attending Mass.

1 – Because Daily Mass attendance has been steady with attendees and the amount is less than half of capacity, we have decided to eliminate signups for Daily Mass (Monday – Saturday 8:30am) at this time.

  • Our Porters will confirm with attendees if it is their first Mass and will tally the amount of people entering to ensure capacity and to handle the correct amount for communion.
  • We ask anyone who is gluten intolerant to let the Porter know when you arrive.
  • We ask all attendees to ONLY sit in the main middle section of the church (yellow & green). This helps with communion and with the cleaning after Mass.
  • If there were an exposure to COVID at Daily Mass, we would let the entire congregation know.
  • 2 - The signup for the weekend Masses is now on the website so that it is easier for everyone to access it and know the Mass Times. The sign up will also have the entire month in the signup. Please remember to remove yourself if you are unable to attend so that the space is available for others.

    3 – Over the past few weeks we have accepted walk-ins for Mass if there is space. We will continue to do so but contact information will still need to be recorded. Please understand that if we are close to capacity, we might not be able to accept walk-ins.

    4 – The 8am and 10am Masses have become close to capacity. Please allow the Porters to assist you in seating if the pews become full. We ask that small groups of 1-4 people sit in the side sections (pink & purple). We ask everyone when they enter a pew to move to the middle of the pew so that others can join you, but still keeping 6-foot distancing. There are many times when a large row only has 2-3 people in it and as more people attend Mass, we need to have everyone share a row.

    There are no exceptions to the following procedures.

  • If you are sick or have been sick or around someone who was sick over the last 14 days, please do not come.
  • Masks must be worn by anyone 10 years or older. They must be on before you enter the Narthex and must remain on until you leave the building. The mask must cover your nose and mouth the entire time.
  • The doors will be closed and locked 5 minutes before Mass begins. After the bells have rung the doors will be closed and there will be NO entrance once Mass has begun. This is to allow all to be fully engaged from the beginning to the end of Mass, to ensure social distancing in the pews, and to allow the Porters to participate in the Mass.
  • We thank you for your suggestions, observations and cooperation.


    We are very excited to hold Mass, even with limited attendance. The staff and I have worked very hard to establish a re-opening schedule for this phase. Thank you all for your continued patience, support, charity, and encouragement through this pandemic. You have truly put my request to stay positive to heart, and we are excited to see you all at Mass and on campus.

    As we progress, please know our top priorities are the health and safety of our parishioners and staff and to continue to be a community that is spiritually joined.

    Thank you for being patient as we prayerfully move forward while following the guidelines set by the CDC, Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Diocese of Arlington. As regulations change, we will adapt and change with them.

    PLEASE NOTE: The dispensation from the Sunday and Holy Day obligation to participate in the Mass remains in place for all Catholics until further notice.

    Fr. Matt

    Please watch this video on returning.

    • Masks are required for all those 10 years & older while on campus.
    • All members of the family should arrive at the same time.
    • The doors will close 5 minutes before Mass. No one will be permitted to enter after Mass has started.
    • Seating chart
    • Multiple people and groups can sit in large pews please move into the center of the pews.
    • If you have a gluten intolerance, please note it on the signup. the Sacristan will prepare a chalice of precious blood for section B (pink). We ask you to sit in this section closest to the tabernacle (right side front or back).
    • If you need special seating, please note this on the online signup or ask the Porter when you check-in.
    • Read updated Instructions and Guidelines.
    • Be prepared to possibly wait outside in order to be checked-in, even in inclement weather.
    • Anything left behind in the church will be discarded, we cannot have any lost & found items during this time period.
    • Daily Mass Attendees please use the main doors of the church near the bell tower.
    • Be patient as information and procedures may change from day to day.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) during COVID-19 on OLGC campus (click to print)

    1. Who is allowed to come to Church/Mass?

    • Everyone is welcome to come to visit the Church M – F 10 am – 5 pm.
    • At this time, there is no obligation to attend Mass.
    • Mass is available via sign up only for parishioners at this time.
      • You can sign up using the link in your email.
      • You can call 703-938-2828.
      • You can email communications@olgcva.org.
      • You can visit the office.
    • Please signup no later than the day before Mass.
    • Anyone who has a fever, cough, exposed to COVID, or feels sick or has been around someone who was sick for the past 14 days cannot attend.
    • We will continue to live stream the 10 am Sunday Mass.

    2. Can people 65+ older come to Mass?

    • Yes. We remind you, it is suggested that those who are "vulnerable" avoid public gatherings. Mass is considered a public gathering.
    • Daily Mass has lighter attendance numbers than the weekend Masses.

    3.Why did the Mass times change?

    • Fr. Metzger, based on his age, has limited Masses and is not distributing communion. Fr. Matt, Fr. Dolan, and guest priests on occasion are available to celebrate Mass.
    • We also need time between the Mass to disinfect and ventilate the Church.
    • We also do not have enough ministers to maintain the same number of Masses.
    • We ask those who are younger and are not vulnerable to volunteer to assist us in a ministry. Click here to sign up https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e044ea8a72ea7fc1-volunteers.

    4.Can we have outdoor Masses?

    • No. Bishop Burbidge has indicated there will be no outdoor Masses.

    5.Why are seats blocked off in the Church?

    • Mass is considered a public gathering, which has guidelines to be followed.
    • We need to limit the number of people in the Church.
    • We must ensure a social distance of 6 feet.
    • Some of our aisles are not 6 ft, so the end seats cannot be used.
    • Multiple people and groups can sit in large pews please move into the center of the pews.

    6.Why is the Church not open on Saturdays & Sundays for prayer?

    • Because Mass is considered a public gathering, it needs to be disinfected and ventilated after every Mass.
    • Staff and volunteers need time to clean pews, kneelers, bathrooms and prepare between Masses. If you would like to assist, sign up to volunteer here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e044ea8a72ea7fc1-volunteers.
    • The Chapel is closed because the chairs are made of fabric, and we are unable to disinfect the fabric at this time.
    • The Church is open Monday – Friday 10 am – 5 pm.

    7.What precautions are being taken?

    • All persons on campus are required to wear a mask.
    • All ministers and employees must wash their hands and use hand sanitizer when they arrive.
    • We require a sign up so that if an attendee became infected with COVID-19, we would be able to reach out to the attendees and let them know of a possible exposure.
    • We are limiting the number of attendees.
    • We must ensure social distancing.
    • We are ventilating the Church after every Mass.
    • We are disinfecting pews, kneelers, bathrooms, and doors after every Mass.
    • The priest and ministers use hand sanitizer before they receive communion after they receive communion, and after they distribute communion.
    • There is hand sanitizer on the Ambo for the Lectors as well.
    • If you would like to volunteer, sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30e044ea8a72ea7fc1-volunteers.

    8.Why can't we have a Mass for those 65+ over?

    • Since it is suggested that the vulnerable are to avoid public gatherings, we cannot encourage them to come to a specific Mass.
    • There is still no obligation to come to Mass.
    • Grocery stores and drugstores have specific times allotted for this age group because they need food and medicine.
    • People can choose to come to Mass based on the number of people who have signed up. Daily Mass usually is less attended.
    • We continue to live stream the Sunday 10 am Mass.

    9.Why are there no Missalettes (books) in the pews?

    • No worship aides (i.e., Missalettes or Orders of Service) or handouts such as bulletins are allowed due to possible multiple touches.
    • We have worship aides available for you at the Admin office.
    • You can bring your own, print the Order of Service ahead of time (available on www.olgcva.org/live), or use your phone or tablet.

    10.Why isn't OLGC offering drive-by Confessions?

    • The Bishop has eliminated Confessions in parking lots.
    • OLGC offers Confession every Saturday from 9 am – 9:30 am, which accomplishes the purpose of drive-by Confessions.
    • Appointments can also be made with the priests.

    11.Can't we have a Communion Service?

    • We have ample opportunity to attend Mass at this time to ensure that all of those who desire to receive the Eucharist can do so.
    • You can consider attending a weekday Mass, as the attendance numbers are lighter.
    • On the signup, you can see the number of attendees for each Mass.

    12.When will events other than Mass begin on campus?

    • We are in the process of determining our procedures for other events on campus.
    • Unfortunately, social distancing doesn't allow for socializing. We will begin to look at what we can handle and what ways we can keep our parish connected.
    • At least for the summer, we will only manage OLGC events, and no outside entities will use our facilities.
    • One of our priorities is focusing on how OLGC School will reopen and what that will look like.
    • We will continue to have Zoom events whenever possible.