Holy Water Font

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Holy Water Font

As part of the renovation of our monastic home, we created a chapel link. This link connects our living quarters more directly to Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel. We recently put one finishing touch on the chapel link…a holy water font.

During the first months that we were getting used to our new path of travel to and from chapel, it seemed there was something missing. That missing piece was a holy water font. You might be wondering why do we have holy water fonts at the entrance of churches and chapels? Why do we bless ourselves with holy water?

First off, the blessed holy water reminds us of our baptism. When we were baptized, we were blessed three times with the pouring of holy water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. So, each time we dip our fingers in the holy water and bless ourselves with the Sign of the Cross, we are reconnecting with the foundational experience of receiving the sacrament of baptism.

Secondly, holy water is a “sacramental.” Sacramentals, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church are sacred signs which bear a resemblance to the sacraments. They signify effects, particularly of a spiritual nature, which are obtained through the intercession of the Church (CCC 1667). The “effect” that is signified by blessing ourselves with holy water is, basically, cleansing. As we enter the Church and prepare to worship God through the liturgy, we want our minds and hearts to be purified from sin and selfishness.

And lastly, locating the holy water fonts at the entrance to our churches and chapels symbolizes the difference between ordinary space and sacred space. When we enter into the holy place, we bless ourselves with holy water. We leave behind all that surrounds our normal, everyday activities, and we are refreshed and renewed by the order, silence, reverence, and beauty of the space used only for prayer and worship.


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“Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others.”
–Henri Nouwen