Is this Common Practice


Since the Easter Vigil my parish has moved the holy water font away from the entrance and placed it next to the alter. Is this okay and or common in parishes? Personally I find it irritating because I tend to forget about the font, when I don’t see it as I walk in, and I’m also not comfortable walking into the middle of the sanctuary to reach it.


At my parish, we have holy water fonts at the door and a baptismal font at the altar.


Are you talking about the Baptismal Font, or the Holy Water basins located at the entrance to the Church?
The former is reserved for use in the Rite of Baptism, whereas the Holy Water basins are located at the entrances of the Church so that worshipers can bless themselves when entering or leaving the Church. Many Churches will have a container to dispense Holy Water for people to take home near their main entrance.
I don’t know of any Catholic Church that uses the Baptismal Font to contain Holy Water for the purpose of blessing oneself.


There are many. As much as I don’t prefer it, this is extremely common with churches built between the early seventies and the early nineties.


I know of several, including the magnificent Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. It can be done well, but often is not.


Our baptismal and holy water fonts are combined. So as of now, we don’t have anything near the entrance. Well that may be wrong. Once I think I saw a small gold container that holds a tablespoon of holy water. But this is very easy to miss and forget about. Plus it is away from the entrance to the right and connected to a wall; this area is typically crowded before Mass.


I know several parishes where the (covered) baptismal font is in the sanctuary but in that case it is not used for blessing oneself

I know several parishes where there is a permanent baptismal pool with a small fountain basin (used for infant baptisms) near the entrance of the church and the small basin is used for blessing oneself.

I have seen several parishes where there is/are free standing holy water stoop(s) by the door(s).

But I have never seen a free standing basin/stoop in the sanctuary that was the only means for blessing oneself.


I used to be Episcopalian and my favorite Episcopal church is Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

They have a fairly new combination baptismal font and holy water font just inside the nave in the very center. It is huge and always full. Must be 6’ across or more. You literally can’t miss it.


Consider yourself blessed! This parish has a Baptismal Font front and center when you enter…if you watch the ‘virtual tour’ you can see it for yourself. It’s also ‘church in the round’ and the Tabernacle is in an offset room over your right shoulder as you enter the church and face the altar. :frowning:

There’s another church in the area that has a huge Baptismal pool (it can’t really be called a font it’s so similar to a Baptist Baptismal ‘pool’) and there are no other Holy Water Fonts in the church…but then again, it’s Church in the Round, and there are no kneelers either :eek: I always feel like I haven’t been to Mass when I have attended Mass there…:frowning:


Our baptismal font is at the entrance to the nave ( the area where the congregtion sits) to make real for us the fact the we enter the Church through baptism. Our parish baptismal font is permanently attached to the floor. On Holy Saturday night the baptisms are done in the sanctuary, next to the altar. For this special occasion the priests uses a large bowl set on a table.


I don’t see the problem in this case.

I didn’t particularly like the style of the church you linked to (and their tour was insufferably drawn out) but I do not understand this disdain for full immersion baptismal pools. The water in the baptismal basin can be used to bless oneself as one inters the Church, and helps make the connection between holy water and baptism.

Now in the case were the baptismal pool or font is in the sanctuary, which is what this thread was about, then it does not make sense for that water to be the primary (or only) way that one can bless oneself. The people shouldn’t have to enter the sanctuary (and the symbolism of baptism being the means of entrance into the Church is lost as well, which is why we bless ourselves *at the entrance *to a church.)


the baptismal font at our parish is huge and concrete…and therefore not easy to move anywhere. It’s to the right of the altar (from the pew perspective).

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