Friday, February 05, 2010

Holy Water in Lent...

Just passing this along, came through via email today, from the Worship Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati:

Recently, Archbishop Schnurr received a letter concerning the removal of holy water from fonts during the season of Lent. Archbishop Schnurr asked that I clarify for parishes the appropriate liturgical practice.

There is no liturgical directive or norm that states that removing holy water from baptismal fonts (or holy water receptacles) is an acceptable practice.

While the original intent of some parishes to remove holy water from fonts during Lent was well meant, pastoral practice and reflection has taught us that this practice is not well founded. Perhaps some explanation might be helpful.

For those of us who are baptized, Lent is a season in which we walk with the Elect as they prepare for their upcoming baptism and when we prepare for the renewal of our own baptismal promises. We are not “fasting from our baptism,” but rather, during this season, we renew our baptismal call to discipleship through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

Thus, the purpose of “fasting” is to allow more space in our hearts so that we may walk more closely with the Lord and the Elect, and that we might be moved to greater charity, greater love, greater justice in our lives. Because the Lenten season is understood in this baptismal light, it is most appropriate to leave the holy water in the fonts reminding us of our baptismal commitment.

Therefore, if it has been your parish practice to remove holy water from the font (or holy water receptacles), we would ask that you refrain from doing so during the Lenten season.

However, it is appropriate to remove holy water after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday until the blessing of water at the Easter Vigil.

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