Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Liturgical answers for Lent

Here are a couple articles from Zenit on the Liturgy.

Question 1: Is it proper to have holy water receptacles empty from Ash Wednesday on, through all of Lent?

Answer 1: The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments recently responded to a similar question (3/14/03: Prot. N. 569/00/L) giving a clear answer: "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 sacraments 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)."

Question-4: For the adoration of the cross on Good Friday, can we use a crucifix (with Jesus' body on it) or should we look for a plain cross?

A-4: The use of the crucifix, a cross with the figure of Christ crucified, is obligatory for the Good Friday celebrations of the Adoration of the Cross. This is made clear by the rubrics which, in one form of the rite, describe how this cross may be progressively unveiled, showing first the top of the cross but not the face, then the right arm, and finally the entire body. After this celebration on Good Friday afternoon, and until the Easter Vigil, Catholics genuflect before the crucifix; they would not do so before a simple cross.

This liturgical situation is different from the pious practice of the Way of the Cross, where widespread custom prefers the use of a simple cross rather than a crucifix.

And for more liturgical texts, you can check out

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