Friday, March 09, 2007

Holy Water

This morning I was asked by a parishioner why the holy water fonts were still filled with water, since during previous Lents they had been filled with sand or rocks. I responded by saying that liturgical law makes no provision for that practice recalling the following response from the Congregation for Divine 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,

[signed]Mons. Mario Marini


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Anonymous Reginald said...

Never heard of the rocks and sand thing. It's interesting, though. Thanks for posting it!

5:05 PM  
Anonymous t.p. said...

Holy water is blessed at the Easter Vigil? I thought it was blessed at the Chrism Mass. Maybe it is just the sacred oils that are blessed.

Anyway, I love the Chrism Mass. It is absolutely beautiful and I go here every year. It is not to be missed.

5:23 PM  
Blogger paramedicgirl said...

Our parish used to empty the holy water for Lent, but our new priest is knowledgeable about these things and we have holy water this year!

8:09 PM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

I stocked up on holy water before Lent so that no church I visit will have an empty holy water font. There's no reason to put up with that kind of guff!

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fr. Gonzales, I didn't realize you had been there less than a year.

Did the birth of this blog coincide with your arrival?

10:23 PM  
Blogger rev fr lw gonzales said...

This is my second Lent at this parish. Last year no one questioned the water.

11:07 PM  
Anonymous daverichards said...

This is really an interesting post...thanks for sharing this with was really interesting to read...and well since Easter is also coming up i'd also like you to drop by my blog on Easter Greetings sometime and share some of the spirit of Easter it's filed up with!!!

11:25 PM  
Blogger Brian Michael Page said...

Good for you Father! Kudos!

5:21 AM  
Anonymous fish-on-fridays said...

Stocking up on holy water? What --like Poland Springs on sale at the neighborhood market? What -- like carrying it in your purse, ready for random acts of font-filling?

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I referenced that letter to my former pastor. he refered me to the "Parish Worship Commission" who were quite sure that it didn't apply, because they were the difinitors of worship for our local community.

I went back to the pastor.

he told me I was handsome, and suggested we speak of this over dinner.

I hate being catholic, but where can one go? It's the only church founded by Christ.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous fish-on-fridays said...

To the "handsome" annonymous,

I am sorry for your unpleasant experience at your parish.

Maybe the parish priest with whom you are dealing is simply socially awkward and was simply trying to be nice in paying you a compliment (although it was weird). Maybe he thought you oughta have a girlfriend and pay attention to her instead of to matters that he doesn't want to deal with. Or maybe he is just biding his time --treading water in the sea of mediocrity -- until he can get transferred to a wealthy, tiny fifedom in someplace like Boca.

If you are not happy where you are, why stay? Perhaps there is a nearby church with more traditional mores. So, why not go to another parish. Or why not get some like-minded pals to join your current parish?

9:14 PM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

Stocking up on holy water? What --like Poland Springs on sale at the neighborhood market? What -- like carrying it in your purse, ready for random acts of font-filling?

Well, first you go out to your local Catholic supply and gift store and pick up the biggest holy water bottle you can find. Then, you fill the same up at a parish with a plentiful and reliable supply of holy water, and keep it in the car. Then, when you dip into a holy water font and get a fistful of sand, you go marching out to the car, bring back the holy water and correct the problem. A-B-C, 1-2-3.

9:32 PM  
Blogger pdemondo said...

Father Loren,
As a member of your parish I am glad that you are fixing all the nutty things the liberal mafia have been doing at St. Charles since Father Hugo was there.
Keep up the GOOD work.

Would you consider some classes for us wayward Catholics who have forgotten a lot of what we were taught in Catholic school?

9:33 PM  
Blogger Sibyl said...

Hey Father I know it is Lent & a very busy time for Priests, but please post something soon, your wit is too precious to go without!

6:40 PM  
Blogger rev fr lw gonzales said...


Nit, dim, or half?

7:05 PM  
Blogger Sibyl said...

Too funny Father, NO I truly didn't mean a dim half wit, but Boomer wit funny-these days a good giggle is wonderful. Thankfully we have a new Priest & this year we have Holy Water @ Lent-how great is that??? From an OLD Catholic School girl who couldn't wear patent leather shoes, the holy water is amazing-as is your blog!

8:09 PM  

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