Holy Water Font Questions

I’m thinking about buying a holy water font for my home, and as I’m a rather new Catholic, I want to make sure I’m not inadvertently doing anything wrong or disrespectful. :slight_smile:

First, I assume it’s OK to have one–I see “holy water fonts for the home” for sale online.

Second, I would have it blessed before setting it up (although it’s my understanding that blessing anything isn’t a requirement, but just nice to do–obviously, the holy water will already be blessed. I am personally really big on having stuff blessed, and I’m sure the priests at my parish groan inwardly when they see me coming, dragging along anything and everything that I can physically haul with me. :wink: ).

Now, as far as actually using it…

  1. Is there any sort of “rule” for how often the water should be changed? I imagine that it would get somewhat dirty after a few days, if it doesn’t all evaporate first.

  2. How does one go about changing the water in a respectful manner? Please keep in mind that I’ve never actually seen a font close-up–is the “cup” part (that actually holds the water) removable, so I could pour the water out (and into the ground–I do know enough not to pour it down the drain!)? Or will I have to set the font up in such a way that the whole thing is easily removable (i.e., sit on a table or hang by a hook, as opposed to being nailed to the wall)? I don’t know if it’s “technically” wrong or not, but it doesn’t seem right to me to just use a paper towel to soak up the remainder.

  3. Are there any specific uses for a home font, or any inappropriate uses that I should avoid? I just felt moved to get one; I don’t have any specific use in mind, other than it seems nice to have my holy water out in the open rather than bottled up. I suppose I would use it just as I use the fonts in church–dip my finger in the water, then cross myself. How do people use home fonts?

Thanks!
Miz

Sure, you can have one for your home; by all means.

  1. There’s no “rule” but since it’s water, of course it will get dirty after a while, and when that happens the Holy Water should be replaced. There’s no set schedule though.

  2. Your question depends entirely upon what type of font you finally decide to buy. Some have a removable “cup”; but most that are sold for home use do not. In any case, it will probably be easy to remove because most of them simply hang on a nail by a little keyhole shaped hole. The old Holy Water should be poured into the ground (someplace where people don’t walk). You could even pour it into the soil of a potted plant. Either way, you’re just returning the water to nature, so there’s no disrespect in this. The only thing not-to-do would be to pour it down the drain because that’s where waste-water goes.

  3. People use home fonts in just the way you’re describing. Although you can put it anywhere in the house (within reason of course), many people put it near the door and cross themselves as they go in/out.

Question related to point one above abuot replacement of Holy water.

In Church the Holy water is removed during the Easter Vigil and new water blessed on Easter. (I think that’s right).

Should we follow this same practice at home?

Peace
James

Sounds like a good idea to me.

Ours is small - I use it every single day, so it evaporates before it would need changing. Especially in the winter when the house is dry. I don’t worry about it getting “dirty” - any more dirty than the one at Church where hundreds of people bless themselves. It’s only the two of us, it has to be cleaner than the font at Church!!

  1. How does one go about changing the water in a respectful manner? Please keep in mind that I’ve never actually seen a font close-up–is the “cup” part (that actually holds the water) removable, so I could pour the water out (and into the ground–I do know enough not to pour it down the drain!)? Or will I have to set the font up in such a way that the whole thing is easily removable (i.e., sit on a table or hang by a hook, as opposed to being nailed to the wall)? I don’t know if it’s “technically” wrong or not, but it doesn’t seem right to me to just use a paper towel to soak up the remainder.

I just wouldn’t worry about. Unless it holds a huge amount of water, you aren’t going to need to take anything out of it, it will get used up and evaporate faster than you think.

  1. Are there any specific uses for a home font, or any inappropriate uses that I should avoid? I just felt moved to get one; I don’t have any specific use in mind, other than it seems nice to have my holy water out in the open rather than bottled up. I suppose I would use it just as I use the fonts in church–dip my finger in the water, then cross myself. How do people use home fonts?
    Thanks!
    Miz

I use ours to bless myself before going to bed, and sometimes during the day if I remember, but always at the end of the day. People also use them to “bless” their children (only a priest or deacon can give a blessing, but it is ok to pray for someone and make the sign on the cross on their forehead with holy water, it is a remembrance of their baptism). Some families bless themselves before leaving the home for the day, or when returning.

:slight_smile:

~Liza

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