Baptismal Font being used as Wishing Well

I noticed the other day a bunch of coins were in the bottom of our holy water baptismal fountain and was wondering if others have seen this at their parishes?
How do you discourage the practice?

I’ve never seen this. But if I were in a position where I needed to do something about it, I would probably include some sort of light-hearted note in the weekly bulletin: “Please ask your children not to use the baptismal font as a wishing well. There are poor boxes along the back walls if they still feel inclined to donate their allowances!”

I hope that this sort of thing does not catch on. Never heard of it before!

It does not occur everywhere, but tossing coins into baptismal fonts has been a sad but common practice for decades. When the modern style of architecture began to favor large (and in some cases, tinkling) baptismal font, which resembled fountains that one might see on a street, it was only a matter of time before the uninformed started doing this.

Yeah, it had to have been for a laugh that someone did that. Or else someone was very, very misguided.

When I was an altar server, one of the tasks was to check and remove any coins in the font. Most of the time it was none … but once in a while several. I think if people saw some in there they thought it was okay to join in and throw theirs in.

Wow! That is a new on me, and I have been around for quite awhile. Hopefully, your priest could mention it to the congregation.

As far as I know this is not a problem at my parish. And we have a full immersion pool in the entry way to the church. But then maybe I just don’t know any better and the maintenance people are having to remove coins on a regular basis.

I have occasionally seen a coin or two in the outdoor fountain in the courtyard.

You get one of those common-sense pedestal baptismals with a lid, and you only open it for baptisms. Otherwise the only holy water in your church is in the miniature holy water fonts for blessing oneself and in the dispenser-thing for home use. Nobody’s going to toss coins in those. Problem solved. Every single time.

I have to agree with YoungTradCath - don’t build baptismal fonts that look like public fountains and people won’t treat them as such.

In our area, the new(er) thing seems to be to have such a fountain at the entryway to church (yes, I know - a proper location) and to eliminate the small holy water holders so that you dip your hand in the large fountain to bless yourself.
The problem is that I can’t seem to get use to the idea of doing this :frowning: I miss the small holy water holders.

Post a sign that says that anyone caught throwing coins into the baptistry will be compelled to dive in and retrieve them.

Thanks for the responses.
Our baptismal fountain is right inside the entrance and is a large rock formation with water that trickles down into a recessed pool. We keep a small gate around it so kids don’t fall in.
As far as I know it is only used at Easter to baptize the new converts. The rest of the time it is simply a visual piece. We have small dippers at all entrances with holy water year round.
I will write the pastor and ask if he would make an announcement or ask to have one placed in the bulletin.

If that is what it looks like, no wonder you get coins in it.

I would talk to the parish priest of that parish asap what you are explaining I believe is a sacrilege this isn’t something minor people are having superstitious practices in holy water.

By not building Baptismal fonts that look like wishing wells.

Problem solved.

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