Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Holy Water in Lent

In case anybody is looking for a resource or a document to go to in order to convince somebody that Holy Water should not be removed during Lent, here we have it from the CDWS in a response dated March 14th, 2003 (this was also reiterated in another statement of 3/23/04):

"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 sacraments 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)."

I found this linked up on Zenit here (at the bottom of the article), but the same statement is easily available from many other sites including Fr. Z.

3 comments:

CO said...

I've even seen the holy water replaced by ashes during lent. Physics prevents a repeat of that one. Can you imagine scrubbing finely ground ashes out of porous stone?

arturovasquez said...

Dang, thank you for this post! I was wondering why something wasn't right in the parishes around here.

Anonymous said...

They still do this at my parish. Last year we had rocks and sand. this year, just empty fonts.

Imagine. All the symbolism about a desert, and they want to send you into it without water.

Some of us try to sacrifice a lot during lent, and rely on sacramentals for help. I think that this type of action shows a lack of belief in the devil, quite frankly.