Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Piazza Pio XII, 10
00120 Vatican City (Europe)

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 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,
Mons. Mario Marini

- See more at:

And as found in the Umatuna:

2. Fonts: Holy water fonts in churches should not be drained or replaced with any other substance during Lent. The season of penance actually benefits greatly from access to the sacramental that reminds us of baptism. Holy water fonts should only be emptied of water during the Sacred Triduum—from Holy Thursday until they are refilled with the water blessed at the Easter Vigil.


  1. Thank you so much for the clarification. It is also posted on the news under the archdiocese of Agana for 2013 signed by no other than Archibishop Apuron and Father Adrian Cristobal.

  2. 10:50am--thank you for the information about the notice in 2013, but I'm just curious: such formal instruction viewed as coming from the Diocesan level can only come down to the parishes and SIGNED by the Archbishop of the Diocese and the cleric assigned the position that Fr. Adrian holds, isn't it

    So, "no other" could have signed such, anyway; although, other members of the congregation may call the attention of a Parish Priest if some over-looked practice similar to an empty Holy Water font were kept dry over the Lenten season.

    1. It was signed by Archbishop Apuron. The incident with Niño Perdido happened on Sunday. as state by Tim Rohr, it was published in the Umatun Si Yu'us.

      These Priests need to follow rules and directives!