CONGREGATION DE CULTU DIVINO ET DISCIPLINA SACRAMENTORUM
Port. N. 569/00/L Dear Father:
March 14, 2000
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 Undersecretary [Tip O' the Hat to Dr. Jack]
I think that the Pope should have his officials wear numbers on their cassocks and chasubles, like they do in professional sports. Especially if they have a last name of "Marini."
Those of you avid readers of the small print and appointments in L'Osservatore Romano are no doubt aware that Archbishop Piero Marini, considered to be a controversial Vatican liturgist by some, was recently replaced by Monsignor Guido Marini, from the archdiocese of Genoa.
Critics of Marini 1 are ecstatic by the appointment of Marini 2. Many old chasubles and papal thrones and candle holders have already been removed from the Vatican closets and put back into use. A semi-load of incense was recently seen pulling into the Vatican delivery dock with a load for Holy Week. Marini 3, Mario, apparently is not related to the others.