Last night, after the Traditional Mass, my pastor called me aside. Here's a snippet of that conversation:
Father: Before the Ash Wednesday Mass at 9, we're going to have a brief ceremony.So what is your parish's practice with regards to holy water during Lent? Is your pastor one who teaches that Lent is to be desert experience therefore draining the holy water fonts creates a sense of thirst for the baptismal waters of Easter Vigil? Here's what the Congregation for Divine Worship wrote in 2000:
Father: We're going to dump all the holy water from the holy water fonts.
Me: eyebrows rising while panic starts to set in
Father: We'll be putting sand in its place.
Me: (getting it and without batting an eye) I can bring cactus plants. (turning to my husband) Remind me to stop by the nursery and pick up some cacti.
Father: laughs out loud
Me: Do you want some round smooth stones, too? (pleased with myself that Father was the first to crack)
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:Got that? I got into an argument with someone once about emptying holy water fonts during Lent. After I quoted from the CDW, this person angrily said to me, "You think you know more than the Church!" I laughed at the incongruity of that ad hominem.
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).