Q: Our parish is the result of two parishes that had been distinct but have been officially combined and now operate as one parish with two campuses. (It has been this way for more than 20 years; I’ve served on staff here for 15.) My question is actually two separate ones, both related to the fact that the parish has two main church buildings that are regularly used. Also relevant: the Sacred Triduum is celebrated in one church each year, and they alternate years (Easter Sunday has one Mass at each church).
Question 1: There has always been a sense of uncertainty of what to do with the Paschal Candle(s). Each church has its own. For many years, one new candle has been purchased every year to be blessed at the Easter Vigil. When Church A hosts the Triduum, it keeps the Paschal candle as its own and the Paschal candle at Church B simply has the year updated, and vice versa when Church B hosts the Triduum. So effectively, a Paschal Candle has a two-year life span before it is replaced. With the latest pastor, he wished to bless both the new candle A and the continuing candle B, but then candle B had no further role at the Vigil other than to serve as the candle for the individual who bore it in the procession.
My question is, are either of these practices valid options, and/or is there is a better solution other than purchasing two new candles every year?
Question 2: Obviously water is blessed at the Vigil at Church A. Should the fonts at Church B be emptied of ‘old’ holy water, and should they then remain empty before Easter Sunday Mass until water is blessed for the renewal of baptismal promises and sprinkling rite? Or should newly-blessed water from Church A be brought to Church B and be available as people arrive for Mass?
Thank you for your valuable insight and ministry!
A: For question 1, here’s a previous post: https://paulturner.org/easter-candle-in-the-vigil/
For question 2, by tradition and advice from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the fonts are emptied of holy water for Good Friday and Holy Saturday. The holy water does not need to be replaced with new holy water, but if you want to, you may. Bring some from the other church. Or bless new water for the first Easter Mass in the church that did not have the Vigil by using the option in Appendix II in the missal. The renewal of baptismal promises is optional at the Easter Masses—the assembly may recite the Creed as usual at that Mass.