Fr. Carl McCarthy

DO YOU ENJOY IT, OR DOES IT ANNOY YOU?

One of the things that I love about Mass during the Easter Season is the Sprinkling Rite. This Rite takes place at the beginning of the Mass, where we are accustomed to saying “Lord, Have Mercy…, or “I confess to almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters.” This Sprinkling Rite happens with the priest walking through the assembly and sprinkling blessed water over the people.  One of the reasons I enjoy this Rite is because it signifies the washing away of our sin that has happened through the baptismal waters. But I also enjoy this Rite because of the reaction that I see from the assembly as the sprinkled water is thrown upon them!  The reaction varies from people who seem to really enjoy it, to those who seem to find it a bit annoying. Those who seem to be annoyed by it will take their glasses off so that they don’t get spotted with the water. Others will take the worship guide and hold it over their face so that they don’t get hit with the water.  Some have even taken their coat and pulled it over their heads so that the water doesn’t hit them.  Those who seem to really enjoy this Easter Sprinkling Rite are children. I see children who will stand up in the seats of their pews so that they can get the full force of the water. I’ve also seen children hop up in their parent’s arms and stretch their neck as far as they can to ensure that they are getting their fair share of the water.  As well I see kids who smile a broad and happy smile when I dip the sprinkling broom in the bucket and move in their direction.  It is a beautiful Rite, and I believe that the children in our Church have something even more beautiful to teach us by their reaction to receiving the water. We should all smile, stand up in our seats, and even be willing to jump up into the arms of another to be sprinkled with this water, because this water reminds us how Jesus Christ overcame sin and death and forgives us through His mighty resurrection.
– Fr. Carl McCarthy