Holy Water Fonts!

Are the holy water fonts supposed to be empty during the Triduum? Thanks!

Yes, from the end of tonight’s Holy Thursday Mass until after the Easter Vigil.

Actually no - but parishs “fudge it a bit” to relate the sand or dry fonts to the 40 days that Jesus spent in the desert.


She asked about the Triduum; not about Lent. :slight_smile:

Oh, sorry. Lent ends on the evening of Holy Thursday.

So they should be emptied after Mass tonight or before?

They are emptyed after the “Gloria” is sung @ the Holy Thursday liturgy; then are are refilled at the Easter Vigil right after the “New Water” is blessed.


The Tabernacle should be empty before Mass. Unfortunately, in my parish it wasn’t empty and we received Communion from previously consecrated Hosts.

I have been searching for an official answer to this question and the closest I have come to is that it is a practice of the Church to empty the fonts on Holy Thursday. I can’t find any mandate.

“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).”



Our ORDO says that after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper the altar is stripped, the Holy water fonts are emptied and, if they haven’t been since the Fifth Sunday in Lent, the crosses are covered.

All the Holy Water fonts at my parish were emptied/removed prior to the start of Mass.

Yes, directly after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, until after the blessing of water and sprinkling rite at the easter vigil.

Actually; I understood exactly what you meant as there are (“some”) liberal Catholic Parish liturgical committee do gooders who do place sand inside the fonts from Ash Wednesday until Easter Vigil.

This is just one example how some Catholics are forced to suffer for their Faith.

However; we both know this is liturgically forbidden by Church law.

As a former Sacristan I would empty all Holy Water receptacles and the Baptismal Font after Mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Holy Thursday evening.

With the Sanctuary barren of all plants and flowers, the Altar stripped of linens, Tabernacle empty with doors open, the main Crucifix if possible veiled, no Sanctuary red light above the Tabernacle, parishioners enter the Church on Good Friday in silence and exit the doors of the Church on Good Friday also in silence. (“No Church Bells are rung”)

On Easter Vigil the Baptismal Font is the (“Only”) holy water Font filled with water, until the Blessing of the Water whereby the Baptism of the Catechumens begins.

As not create distraction from the Easter Vigil Liturgy all other Holy Water Fonts around the Church are replenished with new Holy Water after the Easter Vigil Mass is over.


The fonts were technically empty before the Mass of the Lord’s Supper yesterday, but Holy Water was availble on stands as we walked in. The stands had been removed by the end of Mass.

It was a slick way of doing it actually :slight_smile:

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