From a reader about the Vidi Aquam and Asperges… not to be confused with the wonderful vegetable:
At nearly every single High Mass I have attended, whether FSSP, ICR or SSPX, including most diocesan TLMs, the High Mass is preceded with the Asperges or Vidi Aquam.
However, I have noticed some parishes do not use either the Asperges or Vidi Aquam ever even though they always offer High Mass?
Is there a good reason for depriving the laity of this sacramental?
What is the proper protocol?
First, I am a little puzzled at the spin put on this question. You frame it in terms of finding a justification for "depriving" people of a sacramental. I am all for sacramentals, but let’s be a little less aggressive.
You simply ask the priest why he didn’t do it. I can imagine a few reasons. For example…
The priest is still new at this old stuff and doesn’t know what to do.
The choir is still learning and doesn’t know the chant.
There is a Mass immediately after this one and it can’t go too long.
Remember that the Asperges and Vidi aquam are not part of the Mass. This is why the priest doesn’t wear Mass vestments. He usually wears a cope if there is one. The ministers don’t wear their maniples, etc.
Customarily this rite was done before the principle Mass in a place. The rite is an option, and wasn’t nornally done before Low Masses…. except for a time in England, I think, where it was mandatory at Masses. It probably grew out of cathedral Masses and churches with chapters where there were clergy in choro. Something similar is done in the monastic office, at compline, I believe.
I think the Asperges and Vidi aquam are very good to do, and a priest does well to explain the significance so that people can better understand how valuable sacramentals are. Still, if it is an option it can be left out without people snarling at the priest and asking for good reasons or justifications.