I am a parish priest in a cluster of three parishes. We are celebrating the Easter Vigil at the largest church. The smaller two churches (full parishes in their own rite)will have Mass on Easter Sunday. Do you know of any rite or accommodation for blessing the paschal candles and/or baptismal font and/or Easter Holy water at the smaller two parishes?
Whew. Tough one.
I am sure this problem came up in the days when a priest might have more than one parish as a benefice, but in those days, too, there were a lot more priests. I suppose they just did without or they set up another candle that had been blessed.
I don’t remember reading any official directive about what to do in this case, although it must be happening a lot these days, given the way parishes are being collapsed. Hopefully, someone with experience can chime in with something official (if it exists).
That said, the rites foresee one candle. I can’t see a way to prepare and bless multiple candles in the Easter Vigil. That just doesn’t seem right. The singularity of that candle at that moment shouldn’t be blurred.
However, I think it was – in the day – possible to have more than more candle in a church for Masses celebrated at side altars. In that case the candles would have had to have been prepared separately, but not during the Easter Vigil itself, when only one candle would be prepared and blessed.
Ideal? No, but clustering parishes isn’t ideal. Not having enough priests isn’t ideal.
I would prepare three candles, but only bless one at the Vigil. The other two I would simply set up for Easter in the other places. So, that’s how I would handle it, salvo meliore iudicio.
For the Easter Water, I would bless a LOT of it and take some to the other parishes.