featured graphic for St. Irenaeus Catholic Church

In response to COVID-19, Bishop Kevin Vann of the Diocese of Orange has issued a notice dispensing the Catholic faithful within his Diocese from the weekly obligation to attend Mass.

Notice posted on the door into the sanctuary at St. Irenaeus Catholic Church in Cypress, notifying parishioners that Bishop Vann has dispensed all members of the Diocese of Orange from the weekly obligation to attend Mass. Photo by C.E.H. Wiedel.

The notice shown at right is posted on the northern entrance to the sanctuary at St. Irenaeus Church in Cypress. The door leads from the patio to the parking lot used by the Church and School.

The notice reads:

Urgent Message
From The Diocese of Orange & St. Irenaeus Church

We believe that it is our responsibility to protect the health of our parishioners while preserving their religious and essential right to attend Mass.

Given that the State of California and the County of Orange have declared a health emergency, the potential for person-toperson spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), Bishop Kevin Vann hereby dispenses from the obligation to participate in Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation those who wish to avoid crosded areas out of legitimate concern for their health and/or the health of others.

As a reminder, those who are sick are already dispensed, and out of charity and moral obligation should not attend Mass and put others at risk. In addition:

  1. No holding or shaking of hands during Mass.
  2. No Holy Communion through the Chalice.
  3. Reception of the Host by the hands [is] highly encouraged rather [than] by the tongue.*
  4. The faithful [are] not obligated to receive Holy Communion at Mass.
  5. All Weekday/Sunday Masses and Friday Stations of the Cross will continue as scheduled.
  6. All group meetings and activities scheduled at our church facilities are canceled until further notice.
  7. Our Parish School and School of Reigious Education are canceled from March 16 to April 20.
  8. More Masses will be offered in the Parish Hall starting Sunday, March 22, to ease crowding (8:15 a.m. & 10 a.m.)
  9. Please check our parish website for more information and updates (sticypress.org).