Removing Holy Water from fonts during Lent IS NOT permitted!

This is a response from the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments about this question. Enjoy.

The emphases are mine:

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 [Later, the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, now with God.]
Undersecretary

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What is the purpose and meaning of holy water?

waterdrop

Q: What is the purpose and meaning of holy water?

A: Holy water is a sacramental … an aid to holiness.

Ordinary water has always played a central role in the purification (washing) of worldly things.

Holy water … water that has been blessed by a Catholic priest or bishop … works the same way for people and things that have been set apart for service to God.

Blessing one’s self with holy water while making the sign of the cross recalls our baptism,  obtains forgiveness for venial sins, and rededicates our life to God.

The Bible shows us a world recreated and covered with water.  A world subsequently destroyed by water (Noah’s flood). And the Egyptian army drowned by water (Moses and the Red Sea) … saving God’s people.  John the Baptist baptized with water, in a universal call to repentance. Jesus spoke about “living water”. On the cross, blood and water poured from his pierced side, while water baptism … an essential sacrament of the Church … now serves as the entryway to all that the Kingdom of God has to offer.

Not surprisingly, devils and demons seem to find water … the ordinary kind … and especially the holy kind … totally repugnant.

All the more reason to use it frequently.

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