Holy Water is always there in the church and available by a Catholic priest for ceremonies or special blessings, but no-one ever asked where it came from or how it was made. Until now. How does a Catholic Priest make Holy Water?
A Catholic Priest using Text from a Book called Novus Ordo Book of Blessings:
Pours Pure Salt into a Bowl
Blesses the Salt using the Roman Ritual
Collects clean water from a natural source
Pours the water in a bowl
Exercises the water
Pours the salt into the water in the shape of a cross
Blesses the Water
When I was a kid, Holy Water was sold in the little glass or plastic bottle at the church from the Catholic Lady’s Sodality after Mass on Sundays. The powers of Holy Water was well known by Christians around the world. The sources from Lourdes in France or the Vatican were known to be even more powerful.
Holy Water Benefits
Water is the Christian symbol of divine life. Holy Water anoints the believer that is asking forgiveness for their sins, protection from threats and renewal of Christian life values with Jesus Christ. Holy Water can help cleanse your soul and bring you to that salvation a state of holiness that evil cannot penetrate.
In certain circumstances and times in your life, Catholics and other Religions believe that a special anointing can use Prayer and Holy Water to acknowledge repentance. It connects the Believer with prayer and Holy Water encapturing them in a state of Holiness and Sanctity.
- In Sickness-anointing the sick can actually prevent further illness and create an addition by joining the faith of others who are sharing in the same prayer for the sick or dying person.
- Holy Water is accessed at the back of a Catholic Church as a continuation from the week before when you left the church. Keeping the spiritual resource with you by the act of dipping your fingers into the Holy Water at the door of the church as you come and go, carries the sanctity of this holy state with you until you return the next time and start again.
- In your Home- A bottle of Holy Water just as a crucifix continues that state of holiness or sanctitude that reflect the spiritualism that exists with your family in your home. Some Catholics believe that you should use Holy Water in the morning in a sign of the cross and at night the same way. Some believe that Holy Water should be kept at the front door to keep Evil from entering while you sleep.
- Diminishes Temptation as a physical weapon keeping the Devil or Evil from penetration the Believers circle of spirituality protecting them from forces that are contrary to what they believe in.
- In Baptism where it represents Divine life and purity, a symbol of cleansing for the forgiveness of sin. Repels the Devil who wants us to leave this life of Sanctity and holiness that protects us from all that is evil in the world we live in.
How Do You Make Holy Water
Many religions use Holy Water in their blessing and rituals they practice. For Catholics, a Priest, Holy Water is made in a ritual of the church. Holy Water that has been sanctified by a priest for the purpose of baptism, the blessing of persons, places, and objects, or as a means of repelling evil.
In many countries, you can obtain holy water after regular mass on Sundays and fill your little holy water container. But on many countries (Italy’s one of them) the tradition of taking the water to mass on Easter vigil is the preferred method. A Catholic Priest makes Holy Water by:
- Taking some pure salt (e.g., Kosher salt or natural rock salt with no added ingredients) and add it to a container, such as a small bowl or jar. Once you are ready to bless the salt, repeat words from The Roman Ritual are read.
- Collect water from a natural source. Water from a nearby source a creek river or stream will do it. If you have to filter it then that’s fine the cleaner the better.
- Pour the water in an open container or a large bowel. You can use store-bought distilled water or even bottled water. The thing is that some people use it around their mouth and lips and you want the source to be clean.
- Exorcise the Water- Before combining the salt and water, you will need to perform an exorcism over the water, as well. Recite these words from The Roman Ritual
- Pour the salt into the water in the shape of a cross. Once you’ve exorcised both the salt and the water, the final step is to combine them. Add the salt to the water, making the form of a cross as you pour it in. As you pour in the salt, Repeat the Roman Ritual
- Bless the holy water. Once you’ve made your holy water, you can bless it using the following prayer from the Novus Ordo Book of Blessings: “Blessed are you, Lord, Almighty God, who deigned to bless us in Christ, the living water of our salvation, and to reform us interiorly, grant that we who are fortified by the sprinkling of or use of this water, the youth of the spirit being renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit, may walk always in newness of life.
- When you finish the blessing, make the sign of the cross over the water.
- You can find the Roman Ritual Text & Prayers of this at Amazon Catholic Ritual prayer The Book of Blessings
How Long is Holy Water Good For
Holy Water can grow bacteria, algae, etc. Usually, if you have leftover holy water at home you can bring it back to the Church and the sacristan will dispose of it properly on Church property or pour it down the sacrarium oftentimes located in the sacristy in the back of the Alter of the Church. This is done with Psalms where it needs to be disposed of properly after the Easter Season.
Just like any bottle of water if you keep it out of the sun and cool stored in the house it should last a long time. But the blessing has no expiration date and can’t be outdated. Actually, no blessing has an expiration date, so if something is blessed, it does not lose it’s blessing solely as a result of time.
Note: even if the holy water is tainted with algae it still retains its blessing.
Holy Water Receptacle
Vessels intended for the use of Holy Water are very ancient and extremely beautiful. They were built as enormous architecture pieces ore very small personal bottles or pendants. They are made in 3 different categories:
- Stationary Fonts, placed at the entrance to churches portable fonts, placed for aspersions. Usually made from materials like bronze, marble, granite, or any other solid stone, and also of terra-cotta, consist of a small tub or basin sometimes detached or resting on a base or pedicle, even sometimes imbedded in the wall or in one of the pillars of the church or cathedrals all throughout the world.
- Sacramental Rites Fonts-are the rites that are derived from the sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist, which were given by Christ and are understood to be necessary for the Christian life of all persons. The Roman Catholic Church recognizes seven sacraments,
- Private Fonts, in which holy water is kept in private houses. It is normally placed underneath a Crucifix. These fountains were used by the faithful who, before entering the church, washed their hands and feet in accordance with a rite probably derived from Judaism and even yet observed in Muslim countries.
I grew up Irish Catholic with 10 kids in my family. Yup 10. I was the Altar Boy who wanted to become a priest at one time but got over the idea pretty fast. The Catholic church with the nuns and the strict upbringing seems like many years ago.
A lot of the rituals and ideas that came from there were instilled in me and things like Holy Water, Incense and Sacraments were kind of a mystery even though I was involved with them. Looking back I’m glad I was part of it.
Although I don’t practice anymore. There still a crucifix and a bottle of Holy Water in my home for as long as I owned it.
Jim has written over 300 articles on the Worldwide Water Situation & Solutions. He has worked in the Water Business for 30 years and in the early 70’s was an Alter Boy for 5 years at St. Joseph the Worker School in Bucks County PA.