Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Holy Water Font – A Hands On Tool for Training Happy Hearts in Young Children

From their first mobile days, my children have loved dipping their hands in the Holy Water at the church doors and trying to bless themselves and us with it.  Admittedly, sometimes this has been done with less than fervent intentions, becoming more of an experience in silly water play than one of reverence.  However, since learning the Sign of the Cross, my two oldest children have been more apt to dip prayerfully.  And, when I found the small Holy Water font that my godmother gifted us for one of my children's baptism celebrations, they were very excited to have our very own front door font!  

When my son saw me installing the font by our front door, he was eager to fill it.  In fact, he wanted to use plain tap water.  I explained to him that the font was a special place for Holy Water only – water that has been blessed by a priest to help make us stronger in God’s love.  So he (im)patiently waited until we could collect some at church one Sunday.  Then, he and his sister happily blessed themselves at our front door font not only when we were entering or exiting our home, but also randomly throughout the day.

Unfortunately, since the kids initial excitement with our hands-on tool for encouraging faith formation, I both figuratively and literally let the blessing run dry.  I failed to use our font as much as the kids and then let its waters evaporate without procuring a further refill.  I am ashamed to admit, our family's Holy Water font was almost forgotten.

Not anymore!

The other day, as I glanced at our neglected font, I decided that as the school year begins anew, I am going to make it a point to collect some new Holy Water at church so we can reintegrate the ritual of blessing our selves with Holy Water into our home life.  It is such a concrete, simple and fun way to build spirit within a home.  

Do you use a Holy Water font in your home?  What other sacramentals and simple faith formation solutions grace your home?  Please share your ideas and question in a comment join us each Sunday for new thoughts, tips and sharing about Training Happy Hearts: A Call to Faith Formation for Young Children.

Let's Share the Call

I would be thrilled to continue to hear from some of you – both locally and throughout blogosphere so we can share our personal reflections and open dialogue on how to train up our children (grandchildren and all the young people in our loves) in the way they should go so that they may have happy hearts, united with God.

More Information on Holy Water and Fonts

For more information on Holy Water, its history, its uses and its forms, see the Water page at Fish Eaters.  And, if you'd like your own home font, feel free to start browsing for a style that matches your tastes:


Diana said...

We were given a holy water font by a family member and we mounted it in the hallway between the kids bedrooms. Have I actually filled it yet with holy water? No, I had forgotten about it. I guess I was thinking that the kids could bless themselves before bed or upon waking, that kind of thing, but I have no idea if that is appropriate or not. Thoughts? (I do have holy water from my son's baptism, just need to fill it).

Martianne said...


I am no theologian, but I cannot see why the kids blessing themselves at bedtime and upon waking are inappropriate. As a matter of fact, I might take it one step further. Perhaps you could bless them before bedtime and they could bless themselves upon waking. I do a simple blessing with my kids every night as part of bedtime and think it is a wonderful tradition.


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