When I entered the church for Mass tonight I was disappointed to discover that, for the first time in my 16 years in this parish, the Holy Water fonts have been removed for Lent. By the Pastor.
:ouch: This bugs me too!! I thought it was strictly an “American problem”, sad to know it’s not, and glad to know there are others whom this bothers. :blushing:
If I’m not mistaken, the Holy Water fonts are not supposed to be drained until prior to the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, correct?
AFTER the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
I would be deeply saddened too. I would feel even cheated out if a tradition that means a great deal to me. Blessing myself with Holy Water any time I enter gives me the conscious moment to gather myself.
Never heard of this happening. It is not in the Ordo to do so until after the Mass of Our Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. That is when the altar is stripped & the church is bare, Holy Water fonts are emptied & flowers are removed & candles extingished.
I blessed used Holy Water today… I don’t think I’ve ever seen this.
Me too. I would be sad as well. My toddler loves the holy water.
this comes from the misguided idea that in order to symbolize Lent we have to have imposed dryness.
I’m so sorry this happened in your parish.
You should talk to the pastor about that. That is an abuse.
It is not an abuse per se, as blessing oneself is not part of the liturgy proper.
I’m pretty sure you’ve seen this, but just in case:
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that holy water fonts filled with holy water are a required component of every Catholic church building with a dedicated altar, just as the Stations of the Cross are required to be erected there. Perhaps someone else can name the document or regulations where this can be found, it doesn’t seem to be the GIRM.
Print this out and show it to your pastor.
I found this from the Catholic Liturgical Library…it’s an older post but I believe, still in force:
Question Can the holy water be removed from fonts during Lent?
*Here is a letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship responding to this question on 3/14/03:
Prot. N. 569/00/L
This Congregation for Divine Worship has received your letter sent by fax in which you ask whether it is in accord with liturgical law to remove the Holy Water from the fonts for the duration of the season of Lent.
This Dicastery is able to respond that the removing of Holy Water from the fonts during the season of Lent is not permitted, in particular, for two reasons:
1.The liturgical legislation in force does not foresee this innovation, which in addition to being praeter legem is contrary to a balanced understanding of the season of Lent, which though truly being a season of penance, is also a season rich in the symbolism of water and baptism, constantly evoked in liturgical texts.
2.The encouragement of the Church that the faithful avail themselves frequently of the [sic] of her sacraments is to be understood to apply also to the season of Lent. The “fast” and “abstinence” which the faithful embrace in this season does not extend to abstaining from the sacraments or sacramentals of the Church. The practice of the Church has been to empty the Holy Water fonts on the days of the Sacred Triduum in preparation of the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil, and it corresponds to those days on which the Eucharist is not celebrated (i.e., Good Friday and Holy Saturday).*
This is what I tend to go by…unless otherwise officially instructed by the Bishop or Archbishop.
I’m quite familiar with this letter and have quoted it myself before. But he’s not the type who would take kindly to being shown this so I will try to bring it up in conversation by mentioning that some people are upset by the loss of the Holy Water.
Ahhhhhh. Spoken like a seasoned parishioner.
I pray he takes your comment in the spirit intended and is open to a good discussion.
(and maybe…dare we hope…a reversal?)
Peace to you!
Please let us know how it goes.,
I was in a parish several years ago that did that. The pastor, likewise, did not care for the letter.
The practice was ended the following year when Cardinal Maida sent out an instruction to all parishes forbidding the practice of emptying the Holy Water Fonts.
I understand that someone in another parish had a similar incident, and sent the Cardinal a copy of the letter and he made sure the Vatican’s instructions were followed in his Archdiocese.