Where is the Sprinkling Rite in my missal?
This action is called the Asperges or the Rite of Sprinkling. It is, strictly speaking, not part of the Mass but a preparation for the Mass. The word Asperges is from the Latin word meaning “to wash” or “to sprinkle.” It is also the first word of the psalm which is said while the rite is prayed. (During Easter time the Vidi Aquam is said instead.) In this rite, the celebrant of the Mass dips the aspergilium (the mace-like metal object with which he sprinkles) into the holy water and sprinkles the water on the altar, all those who serve the Mass and then on the congregation. This ceremony reminds us of our baptism and calls the protection of God through His Holy Angel on all who are sprinkled. This rite should take place before the principal mass of the day.