Blessing the font at the Vigil


#1

Hi All,

Looking for a definitive answer here so I hope someone can assist me.

At the Easter Vigil this year we have two confirmations but no baptisms! That being the case what is the proper form for the Third Part of the liturgy?

The missal is unhelpful here rubrics 37 to 42 indicate that the litany and blessing of water are omitted when no one is to be baptised and the font is not to be blessed, however there are no indications as to when the font is to blessed.

We have (due to space restrictions and a long history that I don't want to go into here) a portable font which is usually relocated by the flower ladies to the entrance to the sanctuary next to the Paschal candle for the vigil, since this is not fixed should it be blessed every year?

The water is obviously blessed as at rubric 54 but at 53 it indicates that confirmation should be conferred as per the Roman Pontifical or Ritual but that doesn't indicate if the litany of the saints and other elements of blessing the font should take place at the vigil if only confirmations are happening.

Your thoughts?

Many thanks in advance.


#2

In such a situation, everything is done as usual when there are catechumens to be baptised. The litany is sung, the blessing of water is given, the renewal of baptismal promises and sprinkling occurs . . . it's just that the Rite of Baptism itself is omitted.

Also, the font itself, once blessed, is not reblessed regardless of whether it's fixed or mobile. Rather, it is the water within the font that is blessed for the purpose of baptism, sprinkling, used to make the Sign of the Cross, etc.


#3

[quote="TradAvenger, post:2, topic:319858"]
In such a situation, everything is done as usual when there are catechumens to be baptised. The litany is sung, the blessing of water is given, the renewal of baptismal promises and sprinkling occurs . . . it's just that the Rite of Baptism itself is omitted.

Also, the font itself, once blessed, is not reblessed regardless of whether it's fixed or mobile. Rather, it is the water within the font that is blessed for the purpose of baptism, sprinkling, used to make the Sign of the Cross, etc.

[/quote]

The Litany is not done when there are no baptisms. I don' t have my missal and other texts here so I am not sure about blessing the water. It might be bless before the Vigil begins. I believe there might be a less solemn blessing if there is no one to be baptized.


#4

Yes the litany is not done - the new water is blessed and then Father blesses the congregation, with the water, the congregation's candles are lit and the renewal of baptismal promises takes place.


#5

Bishop Peter Elliott wrote in his book, Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year, (published by Ignatius Press, 2002, page 148)

"Option C: Blessing of Water

  1. In a church or chapel where there is no font, and when the sacraments of Christian Initiation are not celebrated during the Easter Vigil, the Litany and blessing of baptismal water are omitted and replaced by a simpler blessing of Easter water."

I agree with him. Not blessing the font will be fairly unusual. When the baptistry is not in the church. Roman Missal, for Easter Vigil, n. 57 has: "If the blessing of the font has not occurred, the blessed water is put aside in an appropriate place."

The Litany of Saints is sung when the font is blessed (Roman Missal, Easter Vigil, n. 42).


#6

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