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  #1  
Old Mar 14, '08, 6:47 am
love4mary love4mary is offline
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Default Salt in Holy Water

A quick question.

Yesterday our Holy Water urn (used as back-up for the font) was cleaned and replaced with fresh water. when Fr. came in, I asked that he bless it and I told him that salt had already been added. He told me that salt was not a requirement and does not need to be in it. He did not offer any further explanation to this though,

What is the purpose of the salt and does it need to be included?

And I noticed when he blessed the water, he simply waved his hand in the sign of the cross over the urn and accounced it was blessed, when our deacon blesses the water, he pulls out the Book of Prayers and recites a beautiful prayer. Which one is more correct?
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  #2  
Old Mar 14, '08, 7:46 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: Salt in Holy Water

salt is a preservative and will keep that green slime from growing in your font, esp. in the summer.
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  #3  
Old Mar 14, '08, 7:47 am
Br. Rich SFO Br. Rich SFO is offline
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Default Re: Salt in Holy Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by love4mary View Post
A quick question.

Yesterday our Holy Water urn (used as back-up for the font) was cleaned and replaced with fresh water. when Fr. came in, I asked that he bless it and I told him that salt had already been added. He told me that salt was not a requirement and does not need to be in it. He did not offer any further explanation to this though,

What is the purpose of the salt and does it need to be included?

And I noticed when he blessed the water, he simply waved his hand in the sign of the cross over the urn and accounced it was blessed, when our deacon blesses the water, he pulls out the Book of Prayers and recites a beautiful prayer. Which one is more correct?
Either, but I would ask the Deacon next time. It is correct that salt is no longer required. The salt had a symbolic meaning as well as a practical, it kept things from growing in the water.
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  #4  
Old Mar 14, '08, 9:45 am
OldRedleg OldRedleg is offline
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Default Re: Salt in Holy Water

The Deacon did it the formal way, probably because of the requirements of Canon law.

The deacon’s facility to impart blessings is limited to those blessings which are included in the rituals, such as the blessing of rings at a wedding, exorcism at baptism, blessing at benediction, etc. In general, as a cleric the deacon can be the minister of sacramentals provided he has been given the necessary power or his ministry is in accordance with the liturgical books (Canon 1168). Extensive authority for blessings which a deacon can impart can be found in the Book of Blessings (1989).

A Priest is not limited on what or how he can bless things/people.

In my opinion, the "more correct" way would be to what the Deacon did...but the Priest is allowed to do it the way he did as well.
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  #5  
Old Mar 14, '08, 10:53 am
japhy japhy is offline
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Default Re: Salt in Holy Water

It's a bit sad to compare the 1962 prayer for the blessing (and exorcism) of water (and salt) with the current prayer:
Facing the font (or vessel) containing the water, the celebrant then blesses the water which will be used for baptism.

Father, you give us grace through sacramental signs, which tell us of the wonders of your unseen power. In baptism we use your gift of water, which you have made a rich symbol of the grace you give us in this sacrament. At the very dawn of creation your Spirit breathed on the waters, making them the wellspring of all holiness. The waters of the great flood you made a sign of the waters of baptism that make an end of sin and a new beginning of goodness. Through the waters of the Red Sea you led Israel out of slavery to be an image of God's holy people, set free from sin by baptism. In the waters of the Jordan your Son was baptized by John and anointed with the Spirit. Your Son willed that water and blood should flow from his side as he hung upon the cross. After his resurrection he told his disciples: "Go out and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." Father, look now with love upon your Church and unseal for it the fountain of baptism.

By the power of the Holy Spirit give to this water the grace of your Son, so that in the sacrament of baptism all those whom you have created in your likeness may be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit.

Before continuing, the celebrant pauses and touches the water with his right hand, or he may instead lower the Easter candle into the water once or three times, then hold it there for the remainder of the blessing.

We ask you, Father, with your Son to send the Holy Spirit upon the waters of this font. May all who are buried with Christ in the death of baptism rise also with him to newness of life.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(From the English translation of the Rite of Holy Week © 1972, ICEL. All Rights Reserved. The blessing is reprinted here for educational purposes only.)
That prayer is from the Rite of Holy Week, probably the Easter Vigil... I can check when I get home. There is probably a different blessing used at other times. For instance, the Asperges Rite at the beginning of Mass uses a different prayer.
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  #6  
Old Mar 14, '08, 11:01 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Salt in Holy Water

Quote:
Originally Posted by Br. Rich SFO View Post
Either, but I would ask the Deacon next time. It is correct that salt is no longer required. The salt had a symbolic meaning as well as a practical, it kept things from growing in the water.
The tradition of adding salt has remained in a lot of South America. This thread is timely as my friend has just returned from Guatemala and just this morning she was telling me of being confused by the bag of salt close to the font in every church she went to with a priest friend of ours.
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  #7  
Old Mar 14, '08, 1:06 pm
love4mary love4mary is offline
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Default Re: Salt in Holy Water

It was that beautiful prayer that our deacon did when he blessed the Holy Water that had such a profound inpact on me. No offense to my pastor, but his way of blessing just seemed like he didn't take it very seriously.

Thank you though for clearing up the fact that it does NOT have to be included. In the future though, I will go to the deacon when I want my salt blessed, as he does not take short cuts.
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  #8  
Old Mar 14, '08, 1:19 pm
Digitonomy Digitonomy is offline
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Default Re: Salt in Holy Water

love4mary, can you tell me how much salt you put in how much holy water?

I've been curious about this since I first heard about it a couple years ago. A small amount of salt in water is actually a better environment for most human pathogens to grow - but it may be that "slimy" bacteria or molds are the main target of this practice. A high concentration of salt would inhibit microbial growth pretty well, but as the water evaporates it's going to leave a line of dried salt deposit where the top water line used to be.
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