Today’s Question: When to Use the Sprinkling Rite
The Roman Missal allows for the substitution of the sprinkling rite for the Penitential Act on Sundays throughout the year, but especially at Easter, as a reminder of baptism. The sprinkling rite is a wonderful way to reinforce the initiatory quality of Easter, and serves to tie the dying and raising of the faithful in the waters of baptism to the dying and rising of Christ celebrated during Holy Week. But Easter is not the only time that the sprinkling rite can be used. Contrary to the popular desert motif of Lent, Lent’s two-fold baptismal and penitential emphasis makes it an appropriate time for the occasional usage of the sprinkling rite, especially at the scrutinies. Other times throughout the year also lend themselves to the sprinkling rite. The rite specifically provides for the blessing of the water in front of the people so as to solidify its baptismal symbolism. But how often does the priest sprinkle himself as the rubrics suggest?
What are your thoughts? What does your parish do, and why?
Moderator’s note: “Non solum” is a feature at Pray Tell for our readership community to discuss practical liturgical issues. The title comes from article 11 of the Vatican II liturgy constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium: “Therefore there is to be vigilance among holy pastors that in liturgical action not only are laws for valid and licit celebration to be observed, but that the faithful should participate knowingly, actively, and fruitfully.” (Ideo sacris pastoribus advigilandum est ut in actione liturgica non solum observentur leges ad validam et licitam celebrationem, sed ut fideles scienter, actuose et fructuose eandem participent.) May the series contribute to good liturgical practice – not only following the law, but especially grasping the spirit of the liturgy!