Help stamp out the practice of empty fonts during Lent

What an accommodating parish; they even provide ashtrays for parishioners. :rotfl:

So should the fonts only be empty on Good Friday and Holy Saturday or also on Holy Thursday. I read the CDW letter in the earlier post but it wasn’t completely clear to me.

That is correct, the Holy Water Fonts should only be empty from the conclusion of Holy Thursday Mass until the Easter Vigil.

Contact you bishop politely. Include any documentation that the pastor has been informed but dismissed it. If the bishop ignores it, not much you can do other than contact the nuncio.

By the way, if anyone has any success stories, I’d love to hear them! My former parish had this practice every year, and the last year before I moved, it was abandoned. I attribute it to persistence of parishoners, prayer, and a certain new-agey liturgist leaving. It was also the same year the Knights of Colombus donated precious-metal chalices and patens replacing the orange-juice glasses and what looked like a cereal bowl.

I have the request to stop this practice in to our priest, via our Liturgy coordinator person (how’s that for a title!). We’ll see what happens this year!

The empty fonts with sand or gravel in them go under the heading
"Stupid Liturgical Tricks." Yeah, I understand the symbology, but I wants me holy water!.

Newly renovated church doesn’t have holy water fonts (at least not near front door). just inside, you use a flowing baptismal font for folks entering there. Holy water is supposed to remind you of your baptism, so I think that’s good idea to use baptismal font. Hope they have it by other doors to church far away.

Another “Stupid Liturgical Trick” is the sometimes practice of
"Welcome the person next to your and introduce yourself." at the beginning of Mass. Artificial attempt to instill community. That should be done at natural social events, like coffee and donuts after Mass. I appreciate the intent to get people to know others bettter in the parish, but its the wrong place and time, and it don’t work, mate!

We got our holy water back after a change in certain personnel in the parish staff.

While not a stickler on some details, I must vote with the “wet” party on this one. Stating that drying the Holy Water before the Triduum is against church teaching is accurate. But on this issue impropriety is only part of the answer. The other part, for me, is decorum. Using the Holy Water vessels as some sort of plaything that can be used by parish as a location for cute knick-knacks, or desert scenes that supposedly memorialize (decorate more like) a church season is for so many of us just vulgar.

Very excellent point. Thank you.

That’s what my parish does. The Holy Water fonts were barely filled (a puddle, but enough so that people could still bless themselves before Mass) at the start of the Holy Thursday Mass, and by the time Mass was over, they were all emptied and flipped over so no one could use them. So, only during the Triduum are the fonts empty. I nearly knocked one over last year since I didn’t even know about that practice until Holy Thursday. :slight_smile:

Us, too. There is just enough in the bowl before Holy Thursday Mass.

Here they just take the bowl away. So on Friday, you see a bunch of people put their hand in. and it keeps going.

In addition to dry holy water font, has anyone experienced statues being covered with sackcloth or burlap bags? One church I attended did that. The Bishops came out with something about not doing that. I kept packing their suggestion box until they uncovered the statues of Mary and Joseph…then they promptly took down the suggestion box.

:stuck_out_tongue: :smiley:

I think the practice of covering statues during Lent is a traditional one.

Perhaps they should do it more tastefully, instead of using burlap bags.

I always thought the holy water fonts were supposed to be emptied for Good Friday or some other feast day or holy day during Lent but not for the whole of Lent. Is this true or not? :shrug::confused:

I wonder if it would be appropriate for a lay person to get bottles of holy water before Lent begins, and fill the fonts themselves each time they find them empty- with the sand/rocks/ribbons still in them- when nobody else is looking. Maybe they’d get the message eventually.

Giving up Holy Water for Lent makes no sense, if you truly understand the meaning of sacramentals- particularly the meaning of this one. Saints have said (maybe even aparitions of saints, and of Mary as well) that demons fear holy water. That doesn’t sound like the sort of thing we should “give up” for Lent- a time when we need all the spiritual help we can get.

If your parish empties the holy water fonts for Lent, I suggest getting a bottle to store holy water in, and blessing yourself with the water before and after each Mass.

The focus of Lent is preparation of the Elect for Baptism at the Easter Vigil. In support of them we recall our own Baptism and renew the commitment we made at that time.

Using the Holy Water upon entering the Church Building is one way to renew our Baptism. Lent is thus the most appropriate time to be using the Holy Water fonts.

Back to the veiling of statues and the Crucifix - the church I attended “veiled” them at the beginning of Lent.

From the Zenit Daily Dispatch:
"On the question of veiling statues and crucifixes, a Virginia reader asks: “Our parish covered all images, including the crucifix on the altar, on Ash Wednesday. Apparently they will be unveiled on Saturday, March 26, 2005, at the Easter Vigil. Also, all of the holy water was removed from our parish as of Ash Wednesday.”

Veiling during all of Lent may have been a common practice in the Middle Ages, but it has been restricted to Passiontide for several centuries. Hence, the practice our reader described is incorrect. The altar or processional cross is not veiled and, indeed, its use is implied in the rubrics for the solemn Masses of Palm Sunday and Holy Thursday.

As mentioned in the previous column, the crosses are unveiled after the Good Friday ceremonies while other images are unveiled, with no ceremony whatsoever, before the Easter Vigil — not at the celebration itself. "

Here’s a success story:

I once worked in the chancery of an archdiocese. One day during Lent the Archbishop entered the diocesan chapel for mass and found that the Holy Water had been emptied. He stood glowering at the altar until the sacristan refilled the Holy Water, then proceeded with the mass. At the homily the AB made kindly instruction as to appropriate form and the mistake was not repeated. It was to the archbishop’s credit that he took the incident as a teaching opportunity rather than evidence for a plot.

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