You probably noticed that the Baptismal Font and the Holy Water fonts were empty from Ash Wednesday to the first Sunday of Lent. Some of you were wondering why there was no Holy Water available and I announced at the end of some Masses that it was a sign to help us experience the sense of "dryness" and penance proper of this season. I have to say that I did in our Parish what I have witnessed in other Parishes where I was Parochial Vicar before. However, "the bug" of the question remained with me during these past few days and I went to check my sources to make sure this practice was correct. And I found out it is not... Actually, in the beginning of the year 2000 a priest asked the very same question to the Congregation of Divine Worship (that is, a sort of the Official "Minister of the Liturgy" for the Church) and the Congregation answered on March 14, 2000. The response authoritatively stated that although Lent is truly "a season of penance, is also a season rich in the symbolism of water and baptism, constantly evoked in liturgical texts." Moreover, the Church encourages the faithful to avail themselves frequently of her sacraments and sacramental's also during the season of Lent. "The 'fast' and 'abstinence' which the faithful embrace in this season—says the Congregation—does not extend to abstaining from the sacraments or sacramental's 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).
As you see, we all learn something new when we are willing to do so... Thus, the Holy Water is back at the doors of our Church, but let us not forget our craving for the new waters of Baptism that gush forth for us on the night of the Easter Vigil. Our hearts' desire during this time of Lent should be to prepare ourselves the best we can to celebrate the Easter Vigil and the Easter Season with the fullness of joy. Thank you for your patience, Fr. Giovanni