Sprinkling Rite

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: It seems that the tradition here at my new parish is to use the Sprinkling Rite during the Easter season following the homily in place of a Profession of Faith. The Roman Missal states that during the Easter season the Sprinkling Rite may replace the Penitential Rite. My pastor questions how a Sprinkling Rite, that reminds us of our baptism, can be used in place of a Penitential Rite? Your insights, please?

Thank you!


A: How can sprinkling be used in place of the Penitential Act? By following the instructions in Order of Mass #4. The sprinkling is a reminder of baptism; it replaces the penitential act.

I treated this in my book At the Supper of the Lamb. The group that prepared the revised liturgy after Vatican II moved the sprinkling from a private ceremony in the sacristy before mass to an optional public one during mass so that the character of Easter Time could prevail.

The renewal of promises is historically linked to the Easter Vigil only, as it occurs in any celebration when there is a baptism. The USA has permission to call for the renewal of promises on Easter Sunday, but not for other days of Easter Time.

The missal recommends the Apostles’ Creed on Sundays of Easter Time because of its close connection to the baptismal promises.