Help stamp out the practice of empty fonts during Lent

We are getting close to Lent. And I suspect there will still be parishes that empty their fonts for the entire season. This year, let’s try to nip this practice in the bud before Lent starts.

The emptying of fonts for all of Lent is a particularly annoying offense because it reduces sacramentals to mere symbols. In my experience, the fonts were filled with sand. You know, the desert thing –all part of a likely unintentional but insidious movement toward demystification. Although holy water is not a Sacrament, it is a source of blessing by virtue of its connection to the intercession of the Church and no one should be imposing a fast on it or any other sacramental. If your parish has a history of this practice, politely contact the pastor and ask it to be stopped.

Here is a link to CDW documentation explictly against the practice: ewtn.com/expert/answers/holy_water_fonts_and_lent.htm

Post if you need any prayers on this. :thumbsup:

I disagree and see no such thing in the practice.

The emptying of fonts for all of Lent is a particularly annoying offense because it reduces sacramentals to mere symbols.


But the sacramentals ARE symbols! Not empty ones, but symbols nevertheless.

They certainly are not effectual causes of grace, as are the Sacraments themselves.

Newbie,

To be blunt, it really doesn’t matter if you do not see the error of emptying the holy water fonts outside of the Tridium.

ROME sees a problem with it and has stated that the practice is “praeter legem”, which means “outside the law,” and that it is contrary to a balanced understanding of Lent.

That should be good enought for all the faithful, parish pastors included.

I think we will be seeing this practice again at most Catholic “Newman Centers” and college chapels at the start of Ash Wednesday.

Hence, the presence of the word “mere” (as in “nothing but”) in my assertion.

To sum up: It is a practice explicitly not allowed, and therefore it doesn’t matter if people do not see anything wrong with it,

I have heard of one instance where enterprising students placed tiny beach umbrellas and towels on the sand. In another instance someone poked seeds deep into the sand and then moistened the sand each day until they sprouted. I don’t know if it brought back the holy water, but it got rid of the sand in a hurry. :thumbsup:

Heh. One cigar butt should do the trick.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cluny View Post

But the sacramentals ARE symbols! Not empty ones, but symbols nevertheless.

They certainly are not effectual causes of grace, as are the Sacraments themselves.
Hence, the presence of the word “mere” (as in “nothing but”) in my assertion.

To sum up: It is a practice explicitly not allowed, and therefore it doesn’t matter if people do not see anything wrong with it,
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My comment was about sacramentals in general, not the absence of holy water from the stoups.

What I meant is that I see nothing “annoying” with the practice. :slight_smile:

I would say annoying is a nice term for it. I can think of a few rawer expressions to describe imposing a deprivation of a blessing that the laity are entitled to. I’ll assume good motives on the part of those who do it, but take this turkey to the back of the woodshed and cut its head off.

How about planting CACTI in the fonts.
Let me tell you, that was a disturbing way to walk into Church. Go for the Holy Water… OUCH!!!

I saw a number of startled people gaze with astonishment as they realized there were rocks in the font as they were dipping their hands into it. The rocks looked like a decoration piece along with the other “deserty” decorations placed around.

To be honest, I didn’t even know the thing in this particular church was a holy font until later. I thought it was a water fountain, LOL.

I sent that letter to my pastor last year and he laughed at me "It’s Lent, dear, and Lent is dry.’ :mad: I bring it up with him every year. Luckily, only once did they try to put something else in the font and that was for Advent (another “dry” season). Someone decided that the font would be a good place for a modernish Advent wreath. :mad:

I think I may send a letter to the Cardinal of our Archdioces or his liturgical chair. It couldn’t hurt.

Absolutely do that. I’ll pray for you.

P.S. Perhaps find a few signatories to go in on a letter with you.

Lent is DRY? What is that supposed to mean? If there was ever an Un-Dry liturgical season, it would have to be Lent!

It means that’s when they put up all the dead trees, twigs and rocks for decoration. :smiley:

Our parish does the no holy water during lent thing. They even do the sand in the fonts thing as well. It has been brought up to the pastor, but he dismissed it. So I’m pretty sure we’ll be doing the same thing again this year. I really dislike it.

bump.

Have you provided him with a copy of the CDW’s letter?

Luckily our current pastor detests this practice. He said back when he was an assistant priest of a different parish the pastor did this and he was the one stuck cleaning out the cigarette butts.

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