Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Empty Font During Lent?

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Is your holy water font emptied during lent? Are you finding yourself subjected to the ridiculous practice of dipping your finger into sand or dirt placed in the stoop during the lenten season? Did you know this practice is prohibited by Rome? Yes, this is but one more of the many non-sanctioned innovations that came out of the 1970s' in the "spirit of Vatican II," even though Vatican II never authorized such a thing. If you find yourself subjected to this in your parish, print a copy of this post and give it to your parish priest...

From the Congregation for Devine Worship...

Prot. N. 569/00/L

March 14, 2000

Dear Father:

This Congregation for Divine Worship has received your letter sent by fax in which you ask whether it is in accord with liturgical law to remove the Holy Water from the fonts for the duration of the season of Lent.

This Dicastery is able to respond that the removing of Holy Water from the fonts during the season of Lent is not permitted, in particular, for two reasons:

1. The liturgical legislation in force does not foresee this innovation, which in addition to being praeter legem is contrary to a balanced understanding of the season of Lent, which though truly being a season of penance, is also a season rich in the symbolism of water and baptism, constantly evoked in liturgical texts.

2. The encouragement of the Church that the faithful avail themselves frequently of the [sic] of her sacraments and sacramentals is to be understood to apply also to the season of Lent. The "fast" and "abstinence" which the faithful embrace in this season does not extend to abstaining from the sacraments or sacramentals of the Church. 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).

Hoping that this resolves the question and with every good wish and kind regard, I am,

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Mons. Mario Marini
[Now the Adjunct Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei]