Why does the priest sprinkle water on the congregation before the High Mass?
Because the Rite of Sprinkling is not part of the mass, some people are confused about where it is in the missal. The part immediately before the Mass of Catechumens should be the Asperges. But, if it is not there, check the Table of Contents. Even if you cannot find it, you know that the Mass begins once the priest changes into his chasuble at the chair and then returns to the lowest step of the altar. When you see him cross himself he is saying, “In nomine Patris et Filii and Spiritus Sancti,” which is immediately followed by the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar. When he bends down, you know he is reciting the Confiteor. When he reads from the missal and crosses himself, you know he is saying the Introit and then the Kyrie. Then, the other parts which include the Gloria and the Collect should be audible.