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  #1  
Old Apr 29, '11, 5:28 pm
Mark1970 Mark1970 is offline
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Default Re-blessing of holy water.

I've recently experienced something at the EF Mass I attend and I'm interested to know what other people thing.

On a few occasions a priest of a Traditionalist order, in good standing with his order and with the Church, has re-blessed the holy water at the Church I attend using the traditional rite of blessing. There was no reason to believe the holy water wasn't blessed in the first place, but he re-blessed it.

I'm not sure this is OK, it's almost as though he was mis-trusting the modern rites. Has anybody else heard of this kind of thing? What do peoploe think about it?
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  #2  
Old Apr 29, '11, 6:31 pm
JamestheOlder JamestheOlder is offline
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Default Re: Re-blessing of holy water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark1970 View Post
I've recently experienced something at the EF Mass I attend and I'm interested to know what other people thing.

On a few occasions a priest of a Traditionalist order, in good standing with his order and with the Church, has re-blessed the holy water at the Church I attend using the traditional rite of blessing. There was no reason to believe the holy water wasn't blessed in the first place, but he re-blessed it.

I'm not sure this is OK, it's almost as though he was mis-trusting the modern rites. Has anybody else heard of this kind of thing? What do peoploe think about it?
In the modern Rites, there are two main times when water is blessed: fresh water at a Baptism, and water blessed at the Easter Vigil. I don't think there are any other specific Rites for blessing water in the Book of Blessings.

At best that priest is audacious; at worst, he is..................rather not say; not good.
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  #3  
Old Apr 29, '11, 6:51 pm
Tarpeian Rock's Avatar
Tarpeian Rock Tarpeian Rock is offline
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Default Re: Re-blessing of holy water.

Just a guess, but there have been a number of comments that in the curent Book of Blessings, the actual words of blessing are at best implied and not explicit in many cases, including the rite for blessing Holy Water. People have expressed an opinion wondering if the new rites actually accomplish the blessing. My guess would be that the Traditionalist priest shared this opinion and would have used the earlier Roman Ritual which has a much more explicit, and elaborate, ritual for the blessing of Holy Water.
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  #4  
Old Apr 29, '11, 8:06 pm
Mark1970 Mark1970 is offline
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Default Re: Re-blessing of holy water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarpeian Rock View Post
Just a guess, but there have been a number of comments that in the curent Book of Blessings, the actual words of blessing are at best implied and not explicit in many cases, including the rite for blessing Holy Water. People have expressed an opinion wondering if the new rites actually accomplish the blessing. My guess would be that the Traditionalist priest shared this opinion and would have used the earlier Roman Ritual which has a much more explicit, and elaborate, ritual for the blessing of Holy Water.
Just to add something I didn't mention earlier (I forgot when I first posted) last week we had a different priest. This other priest was asked to re-bless the holy water that had been blessed at the Easter Vigil, using the old formula. The other priest refused flat saying that the modern blessing was valid because it was an approved rite of the church; just because a person thought the modern blessing was watered down (no pun intended) didn't make it invalid.

The priest who had re-blessed the water did use a pre-Vatican II Rituale Romanum; he used the traditional form, adding salt to the water as part of the blessing. The water was stored in the holy water vessel in the sanctuary, and was also being used for the holy water stoups at the church door.

Last edited by Mark1970; Apr 29, '11 at 8:17 pm. Reason: Additions
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  #5  
Old Apr 30, '11, 1:30 am
MuchAfraid MuchAfraid is offline
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Default Re: Re-blessing of holy water.

The first and probably most likely answer is that you weren't understanding what was going on correctly, and thus the priest could answer your question better.

With regards to the New Rite Holy Water (that is, water blessed according to the "Book of Blessings"), I have some and I don't really know how you would test it to compare it with the Old Rite Holy Water (that is, water blessed according to the "Rituale Romanum"), it's not like you can run a chemical test on it or something. But a blessing is not like a Sacrament, with a Sacrament it either happened or didn't happen -- either the Eucharist is Jesus Christ or it is not, either my sins are forgiven or they are not -- but blessings are different and they can be either stronger or weaker according to several factors. For example, if Padre Pio blessed your Rosary, it probably has a stronger blessing than if your parish priest did it because Padre Pio probably has more powerful prayers (that is, he has more merit) than your parish priest. The words used for the blessing are also important -- God gives us what we ask for, He does not usually give us what we do not ask for. So here are excerpts from the Old Rite and the New Rite of Blessing Holy Water, what do you notice?

"Rituale Romanum" blessing of Holy Water (the salt is also exorcised, I skipped that for brevity):

Quote:
Originally Posted by "Rituale Romanum" (At '+', the priest makes the Sign of the Cross over the water)
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.

(Exorcism of salt skipped for brevity)

God's creature, water, I cast out the demon from you in the name of God + the Father almighty, in the name of Jesus + Christ, His Son, our Lord, and in the power of the Holy + Spirit. May you be a purified water, empowered to drive afar all power of the enemy, in fact, to root out and banish the enemy himself, along with his fallen angels. We ask this through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire.

All: Amen.

Let us pray.
O God, who for man's welfare established the most wonderful mysteries in the substance of water, hearken to our prayer, and pour forth your blessing + on this element now being prepared with various purifying rites. May this creature of yours, used in your mysteries and endowed with your grace, serve to cast out demons and to banish disease. May everything that this water sprinkles in the homes and gatherings of the faithful be delivered from all that is unclean and hurtful; let no breath of contagion hover there, no taint of corruption; let all the wiles of the lurking enemy come to nothing. By the sprinkling of this water may everything opposed to the safety and peace of the occupants of these homes be banished, so that in calling on your holy name they may know the well-being they desire, and be protected from every peril; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.

3. Now the priest pours the salt into the water in the form of a cross, saying:
May this salt and water be mixed together; in the name of the Father +, and of the Son +, and of the Holy + Spirit.

All: Amen.

P: The Lord be with you.
All: And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.
God, source of irresistible might and king of an invincible realm, the ever-glorious conqueror; who restrain the force of the adversary, silencing the uproar of his rage, and valiantly subduing his wickedness; in awe and humility we beg you, Lord, to regard with favor
this creature thing of salt and water, to let the light of your kindness shine upon it, and to hallow it with the dew of your mercy; so that wherever it is sprinkled and your holy name is invoked, every assault of the unclean spirit may be baffled, and all dread of the serpent's venom be cast out. To us who entreat your mercy grant that the Holy Spirit may be with us wherever we may be, through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
(continued in next post)
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  #6  
Old Apr 30, '11, 1:31 am
MuchAfraid MuchAfraid is offline
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Default Re: Re-blessing of holy water.

(continued from previous post)

So compare that to the New Rite of blessing Holy Water (from the "Book of Blessings" released in 1984). This is the Rite for blessing Holy Water outside of Mass (the "Book of Blessings" makes a distinction, I do not know which is more common but this would seem to be -- I only recall seeing water blessed during Mass at Easter, which is Baptismal Water). There are three different options for blessings, here are all three (this is the extent of the blessing):

Quote:
A. Blessed are you, Lord, all powerful God, who in Christ, the living water of salvation, blessed and transformed us. Grant that, when we are sprinkled with this water or make use of it, we will be refreshed inwardly by the power of the Holy Spirit and continue to walk in the new life we received at baptism. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

---

Or B. Lord, holy Father, look with kindness on your children, redeemed by your Son and born to a new life by water and the Holy Spirit. Grant that those who are sprinkled with this water may be renewed in body and spirit and may make a pure offering of their service to you. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

---

Or C. O God, the Creator of all things, by water and the Holy Spirit you have given the universe its beauty and fashioned us in your own image.
R. Bless and purify your Church.

O Christ the Lord, from your pierced side you gave us your sacraments as fountains of salvation.
R. Bless and purify your Church.

O Holy Spirit, giver of life, from the baptismal font of the church you have formed us into a new creation in the waters of rebirth.
R. Bless and purify your Church.
Now what do you notice? The water is never blessed. No Sign of the Cross is made over the water. Also, the prayer is deprecatory ("Grant that, when we are sprinkled with this water...") rather than imprecatory ("I cast out the demon from you..."), which is important because it pretty much means (and don't go trying to make your own holy water, this is simply a hypothetical) that there is no difference between a layman praying this prayer and a priest praying it. But in order to give the imprecatory command, someone has to speak with authority, such as a priest (and for a solemn exorcism, he must have the bishop's authority to do so because bishops have authority over all demons in their diocese, priests do not have authority of themselves).

Now, we can still believe that God gives us what we pray for and that indeed, when you walk into a church and bless yourself (piously and mindfully) with water blessed in this way, your venial sins are remitted and you will be refreshed by the Holy Ghost. But would you expect this water to be very effective against demons and curses, as the Old Rite Holy Water specifies ("... every assault of the unclean spirit may be baffled, and all dread of the serpent's venom be cast out")?

Now, all is not lost with the Book of Blessings! If the Rite for Blessing Holy Water During Mass is used, the water is blessed. Like the Rite for Blessing Holy Water Outside of Mass, given above, there are three different prayers that may be chosen at the priest's discretion. Salt is also exorcised and mixed with the water (the Book of Blessings specifies "where customary").

Quote:
Originally Posted by (prayer A given only, for brevity)
Dear friends, this water will be used to remind us of our baptism. Let us ask God to bless it, and to keep us faithful to the Spirit he has given us.

A. God our Father, your gift of water brings life and freshness to the earth; it washes away our sins and brings us eternal life. We ask you now to bless + this water, and to give us your protection on this day which you have made your own. Renew the living spring of your life within us and protect us in spirit and body, that we may be free from sin and come into your presence to receive your gift of salvation.
The prayer is still deprecatory, but there is a blessing and the Sign of the Cross is made over the water (which means it is a distinctly priestly prayer). This prayer is better than the one for use outside of Mass and the water is actually blessed this time.

So if we are talking about water which has been "blessed" according to the Rite for Blessing Holy Water Outside of Mass, I would see no objection to "re-"blessing it, since it was never actually blessed. But that may or may not have been what you witnessed.

If you want a priest to bless something, feel free to give them a copy of the blessing from the "Rituale Romanum" for use. It is permitted to do the blessing in English rather than in Latin and one does not have to say the Old Mass or be ordained according to the Old Rite to use these blessings, they are open for use by anyone.

The above blessings were taken from this document (PDF).

Here is a more scholarly comparison.

On a lighter note...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rituale Romanum, Blessing of Beer
V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.
Bless, + O Lord, this creature beer, which thou hast deigned to produce from the fat of grain: that it may be a salutary remedy to the human race, and grant through the invocation of thy holy name; that, whoever shall drink it, may gain health in body and peace in soul. Through Christ our Lord.

R. Amen.

And it is sprinkled with holy water.
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  #7  
Old Apr 30, '11, 4:08 am
Mark1970 Mark1970 is offline
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Default Re: Re-blessing of holy water.

Thanks for your response. So what you're saying in effect is that the water wasn't really blessed properly due to a weakness in the rite, the priest realised this and remedied the situation by re-blessing with the traditional rite?
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  #8  
Old May 1, '11, 2:19 am
MuchAfraid MuchAfraid is offline
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Default Re: Re-blessing of holy water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark1970 View Post
Thanks for your response. So what you're saying in effect is that the water wasn't really blessed properly due to a weakness in the rite, the priest realised this and remedied the situation by re-blessing with the traditional rite?
If he was blessing water that was already purportedly blessed and if that water was "blessed" according to the Rite for Blessing Holy Water Outside of Mass, then yes.

Using fresh water, however, might have been a better decision, so people wouldn't get confused about what was going on.
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  #9  
Old May 1, '11, 6:25 am
Mark1970 Mark1970 is offline
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Default Re: Re-blessing of holy water.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuchAfraid View Post
If he was blessing water that was already purportedly blessed and if that water was "blessed" according to the Rite for Blessing Holy Water Outside of Mass, then yes.

Using fresh water, however, might have been a better decision, so people wouldn't get confused about what was going on.
I believe the answer to your first "If's" is yes, it had already been blessed on A.N. Other occasion. As I am not a member of that parish I don't know whether it was blessed using a formula for outside Mass or during the Easter Vigil the previous year, but I'm 99% sure it was blessed. How do you feel about the arguement used by the other priest, that weaknesses in the formula wouldn't affect the efficacy of the blessing? He mentioned that the efficacy of the blessing and the holy Water comes from the intercession of the church and the faith of the person using it as a sacramental, rather than the words and actions used to bless it.
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