“A Worthy Thought”

I heard this anecdote from one of my diocesan sources. At St Joseph, our co-cathedral up north, Bishop Finn went to sign himself with holy water on the way in and touched


So this directive came through this afternoon:

To: Pastors and Liturgists
From: The Office of Worship
Re: Holy Water Fonts during Lent

I hope that the Season of Lent has begun well and beautifully for you and your parishioners.

Both the Bishop’s Office and the Office of Worship have received a number of calls and e-mails in the days since Ash Wednesday concerning the practice in some parishes of removing Holy Water from the fonts during Lent and replacing it with either nothing, or with other material. This practice more than likely arose from a desire to make Lent a bit more of a “desert” experience so that the Baptismal Water at Easter may be more greatly appreciated.

While this is a worthy thought, it is not in conformity with the discipline of the Church. The Church’s long-standing custom has been for the fonts to be dry only from Holy Thursday until the Easter Vigil.

Bishop Finn asks that all parishes observe the customary practice of empty fonts from Holy Thursday until the end of the Easter Vigil rather than the innovative practice of dry fonts for the entire duration of Lent.

Thanks for attending to this if necessary.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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