Bishop Jaime Soto sent the following amendment to priests and deacons on Tuesday, March 24, 2020:
Starting on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, we will commence committals on a limited basis. Only direct burials will be permitted. We will maintain the steps to ensure the health of the bereaved Faithful, clergy, and our communities.
- Families will be encouraged to delay services until the Coronavirus restrictions are lifted, so, they can hold a vigil, funeral mass and committal.
- If a family to chooses a Direct Burial, we will accommodate the request.
- No family members will be allowed to attend the committal service.
- A Priest, Deacon or Designated Lay Minister will perform the committal service.
- If the committal is with cremated remains, one grounds man will be in attendance. If the committal is full body, two grounds men will be in attendance.
- A Funeral Director/Funeral Arranger will be in attendance.
- Families will have the option to view a webcast of the committal.
- The details are being worked on presently.
- Families who choose Direct Burial will be encouraged to hold a Memorial Mass and a family graveside service once the Coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
Bishop Jaime Soto sent the following instructions to priests and deacons on Friday, March 20, 2020:
Funerals and Grave Sites:
- Presently, all vigils, funeral Masses, and receptions are suspended.
- With the Statewide order to “Stay at Home” I am now suspending gravesite committals. I have listened to the concerns of clergy and the cemetery administrators. Other cemeteries have already begun this measure. This measure will be effective, Monday, March 23, 2020. If you have any questions regarding pending arrangements contact the relevant Catholic Cemetery or Jerry Del Core, firstname.lastname@example.org , 916-733-0252.
- Catholic cemeteries and mortuaries will continue to serve families by picking up and preparing decedents. They have the ability to embalm and store full bodies until it is safe for us to resume services. It is expected the number of cremation requests will increase. Families may not want their loved one stored. If necessary, the Catholic mortuaries will be able to accommodate increased cremation requests.
- I am suspending the celebration of weddings. This is consistent with the existing suspension of all other liturigical gatherings. As with the instructions regarding gravesite commitals, this will be effective on Monday, March 23, 2020. Please consult with Fr. Michael Vaughan, email@example.com , 916-733-0200, if there are special circumstances.