Vidi aquam in the U.K.

This is from the U.K. translation of Paschalis Sollemnitatis, the Vatican 1998 “Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts,” emphasis mine:

97. Mass is to be celebrated on Easter Day with great solemnity. It is appropriate that the penitential rite on this day take the form of a sprinkling with water blessed at the Vigil, during which the antiphon ‘Vidi aquam’ or some other song of baptismal character should be sung. The entrance steps to the church should also be filled with the same water.

Golly, the antiphon Vidi aquam takes on new meaning with its “I saw water flowing from the temple…”



  1. If the USCCB says OK to this UK policy, then diocesan EVs need to keep this on the QT, otherwise OSHA may put out an APB in anticipation of numerous TBIs, making all our EV preparations TBD.


    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Something about this article just made me think of Robin Williams in “Good Morning, Vietnam.”

    Regarding the actual article, should “steps” have been “stoups?”

  2. Regarding the actual article, should “steps” have been “stoups?”

    Yes. The EWTN version of this paragraph is identical except for the final sentence: “The fonts at the entrance to the church should also be filled with the same water.”

  3. “Stoop” in British English = a basin for holy water, especially on the wall near the door of a Roman Catholic church for worshipers to dip their fingers in before crossing themselves.

  4. it’s also “Paschalis sollemnitatis”, more often than not written incorrectly online, and also translated awkwardly in English. See Notitiae 259 (1988), page 81.

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