In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bishop James A. Tamayo, has been in communication with priests, deacons and seminarians throughout the Diocese of Laredo to help guide the planning of liturgical and parish celebrations during the remainder of Advent. Given the new surges in the number of cases in the counties that our diocese serves, it is prudent to continue observing the protocols that were given when our churches re-opened their doors for public worship. While the Advent Season will continue to look different, Bishop Tamayo encourages us to utilize technology and unite “spiritually,” as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, our Savior.
Please note that the commonplace practices of social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing and use of facemasks must continue to be practiced. In addition, there should be no activities planned that will result in an occasion for people congregating, whether indoors or outdoors. This includes food sales and shared meals like potlucks.
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
- The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, patronal feast of the United States, is celebrated on Tuesday, December 8.
- The Dispensation from attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation remains in effect. Still, Mass may be offered for the Faithful who wish to attend.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
- The celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th should not include matlachines or mariachi bands.
- There should be no reenactments/plays of the story of Our Lady’s apparitions.
- The tradition of pedir posadas with piñatas and a shared meal is to be suspended this year.
- To help the faithful prepare for the coming of Christmas, periods of prayer or catechetical talks (limited in capacity if held in the church or hosted virtually) are encouraged.
These changes will be implemented for the good of everyone in order to prevent further spread of COVID-19. Bishop Tamayo invites all of the faithful to join him in continuing to pray for all who are sick with COVID-19 as well as for those who have lost a loved one to this pandemic. He also encourages continued prayers for all healthcare and frontline workers.
In spite of changes this Advent, we can still unite spiritually.