Some parishioners of the cathedral of Vannes were desperate to see the two large marble fonts, located at the entrance of the nave, dry since March. Due to covid-19, they had been emptied to meet barrier gestures and limit the spread of the virus. The hydroalcoholic gel was then imposed, disinfecting the hands but depriving the soul of the effects of holy water …
1. The gel; 2. Holy water
Fortunately, for a week now, the faithful and visitors can once again sign themselves with holy water thanks to a pedal dispenser. Exactly the same as the one used for the hydroalcoholic gel, next to it. A poster was placed between the two distributors so as not to confuse them and to explain the instructions for use: 1. The gel; 2. Holy water. Just press the pedal with your foot and collect the holy water in the palm of your hand.
A couple of parishioners discovered the device at Christmas, at Luçon cathedral
How did the idea get to Vannes? “By the photo sent via WhatsApp by a couple of parishioners who discovered the device at Christmas, at the cathedral of Luçon (Vendée),” explains Father Patrice Marivin, parish priest of Saint-Pierre cathedral. A photo with a ” When to come home? ” ”. Banco! “We went to see the supplier and we inaugurated the distributor on Sunday January 10, the day of Jesus’ baptism,” said Father Marivin.
During the first days, the parish priest observed the parishioners: “They were taken aback. They were reversing. We are still breaking in. Let’s say it’s in the process of being acquired ”.
You can fill your bottle at the dispenser
“The empty fonts, that raised questions and that was lacking in some of the faithful, confirms François Gouthe, deacon of the cathedral. They were pleasantly surprised. On Sunday, a small welcoming committee explains the system before mass. This allows you to get in touch ”. The distributor is also appreciated by parishioners who have a small holy water font in their home. “Some came to the presbytery with a small flask filled with water to have it blessed. But we couldn’t do that, ”explains Brigitte de la Jousselinière. From now on, they can fill their small bottle at the dispenser.
The initiative, almost unprecedented in Brittany, could be emulated in other parishes which have discovered the news on the Cathedral Facebook page. In France, it is still anecdotal. The Saint-Denys d’Argenteuil basilica, in the Paris region, also uses a contactless font but in gilded metal, more chic. The Sainte-Catherine church, in Brussels, too, but in a plastic version, less green. However, the important thing is not the container but the content. And as Vannes Cathedral points out: “Be careful, frost is not blessed but still necessary”.