Baptismal water

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  I think I have asked you this in the past but trying to remember your answer: if the water in the baptismal font is already blessed (from the Easter Vigil) is it necessary to include the blessing of water in baptisms and before the sprinkling rite?

Also, just out of curiosity and this is one of those questions I might be sorry I asked, but we often “top-off” our font as the water evaporates. Should the water in the font be blessed because new water was added? Also, there are times we drain the font completely for cleaning. Our font can drain itself and I am not sure where the drain leads. Is it egregious that blessed water is being drained likely to the sewer? Does the church give direction to this situation that I presume many churches with built-in fonts face? Secondly, once the water is refilled, does the priest need to use the blessing that is used at the Vigil or can an individualized blessing by the priest be used?


A:  The rubrics persistently ask the priest to bless the water, even during Easter Time. It seems redundant, but it probably has more to do with uniting the prayer and the action. At the end of Sunday mass, I bless the same people I blessed the previous Sunday. No harm in another blessing.

There used to be legislation for topping off the font, but it is no longer in force. If you add water, it should be blessed. The liturgical books presume that the priest or deacon who blesses water is going to use it right away. They offer a stand-alone blessing of water in a font without baptisms in the Book of Blessings and at the Easter Vigil.

I recommend filling the font just before a baptism or before any Sunday mass when the Rite of Blessing and Sprinkling Water can be used.