Question from KM on 2/19/2008:
My church parish has emptied the Holy Water fonts for lent. They also have put a plain wooden crucifix on the altar in place of the Gold one with our Lord Jesus on it. I also notice that someone brings up a bowl with incense instead of it being in the usual holder. Sorry but I cannot remember the name of what the incense is burned in. Can you tell me if this all should be done. I have read that the fonts should stay filled until after the Holy Thursday mass, but the rest I am not sure of. And if this is something that should not be done, should I go to my priest and let him know about this?
Answer by David Gregson on 3/10/2008:
There is an old custom of veiling crosses and images on the eve before the Fifth Sunday of Lent, or on Holy Thursday, as a sign of public penitence. In some places, images are even removed. As to the removal of holy water from church fonts, that is permitted only during the Triduum when the Mass is not celebrated (Good Friday and Holy Saturday). See Father McNamara's Covering of Crosses and Images in Lent.