Easter Sunday Sprinkling Rite


Hello all,

Could anyone direct me to an authoritative source that states when the Sprinkling Rite occurs in the Ordinary form? And what it replaces? I’ve seen a few things that say, 1) During Easter, the Sprinkling Rite may replace the penitential act, and 2) on Easter Sunday, the Renewal of Baptismal promises replaces the creed.

So what happens? On Easter Sunday, do we only follow No. 2 (as listed above) and still do the Penitential Act? I think that’s what my parish did, but I would like to see the source from which that comes. I was looking in the GIRM, but unless I was just really blind to it, I didn’t find it in there - it only covered the Vigil and not actually Easter Sunday.


Easter Sunday has its own particular rubrics.

This is from the Roman Missal for Easter, “At the Mass During the Day”, which is the only other Mass besides the Easter Vigil. (unlike Christmas, there is no “Mass at Dawn” etc.)

The Creed is said.

However, in Easter Sunday Masses which are celebrated with a congregation, the rite of the renewal of baptismal promises may take place after the Homily, according to the text used at the Easter Vigil. In that case, the Creed is omitted.

Note that it “may” replace the Creed—not that it must. It’s still optional.*

On any Sunday, the penitential rite may take the form of the sprinkling, this is especially suggested for the Easter season----but there is no requirement to do so. The Rite itself is in Appendix II of the Roman Missal. The Missal itself does not directly address the question of the sprinkling rite taking the place of the usual penitential rite on Easter Sunday itself. It neither allows nor prohibits it. It merely has 2 options, one for the Easter season, and one for outside the Easter season.

However from the point-of-view of sound liturgy, since the suggestion that this be done after the homily is specifically made, it makes for better liturgy to follow that suggestion rather than the more generic one which applies to any Sunday. Because this form is closely united to the Easter Vigil (especially since it has the renewal of baptismal promises which is not an option for other Sundays), there is a value in doing it after the homily. Either way though, would be a licit option.

  • It’s worth noting that in the old Sacramentary, the rite was done after the homily, and this was not presented as an option.



Paschalis Solemnitatis has this to say:

  1. Mass is to be celebrated on Easter Day with great solemnity. It is appropriate that the penitential rite on this day take the form of a sprinkling with water blessed at the Vigil, during which the antiphon Vidi aquam, or some other song of baptismal character should be sung. The fonts at the entrance to the church should also be filled with the same water.

As I look again at the old Sacramentary, the option to do it after the homily is an adaptation approved for the United States. That was the translation of the 2nd typical edition of the Roman Missal. I am not sure if this was made universal in the 3rd typical edition—the one currently in use; because the USCCB stopped the practice of specifically printing that certain options were US adaptations.

In either case, the direct answer to your question is that either option (before the Gloria OR after the homily) is a legitimate choice.


Even further:
The third choice, not to do the sprinkling at all, still remains as a licit option. It’s not required.


The Roman Missal, published by Catholic Truth Society, approved for use in Australia, England and Wales, and Scotland has a note for the Easter Sunday Mass on page 424.

“In Australia, England and Wales, and in Scotland: The Creed is said. However, in Easter Sunday Masses which are celebrated with a congregation, the rite of the renewal of baptismal promises may take place after the homily, according to the text used at the Easter Vigil (p. 418). In that case the Creed is omitted.”

The 2002 Latin edition of the Roman Missal just has “Dicitur Credo.” (On page 377, meaning “The Creed is said.”).


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