Blessing water question

Hi, is a deacon allowed to bless water (to use as holy water) just like a priest can?

In the Eastern Catholic Churches, no. Only the priest or bishop can give blessings. I don’t know about RC practice though.


Only outside of mass:

Book of Blessings 1389 The blessing and sprinkling of holy water usually takes place on Sunday, in keeping with the rite given in the Roman Missal .

1390 But when the blessing of water takes place outside Mass, the rite given here may be used by a priest or deacon.[quote=“regression, post:1, topic:623569, full:true”]
Hi, is a deacon allowed to bless water (to use as holy water) just like a priest can?

Yes (10 characters)


Thanks for settling that, @DeaconJeff. :wink:


There are a handful (and only a handful) of blessings that deacons cannot give. There are also very few that priests can’t give, either; but are reserved to bishops.

All the things that are used in regular, daily, parish life can be blessed by a deacon (list not exhaustive):

  • Holy water
  • Rosaries and chaplets
  • Scapulars (conferral of / investiture in)
  • Ashes
  • Throats
  • Animals
  • Homes
  • Medals
  • Crosses, home statues, devotional pictures, etc.
  • Food and drink (devotional use, and in honor of particular feasts / saints)
  • Pilgrims
  • Teachers, students
  • Sick people
  • Catechumens
  • Catechists
  • Missionaries
  • Methods of Transport (cars, boats, trains, planes, etc.)
  • Fields and seeds
  • Tools for work (hand, mechanical, electronic)
  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries (especially Silver, Gold, etc.)
  • Parents
  • Adopted Children
  • Mothers before childbirth
  • Mothers after childbirth
  • Parents after a miscarriage
  • Elderly people (in personal homes, rest homes, convalescence homes)
  • Boats, fishing gear
  • Civil leaders
  • Meetings

While in the seminary I learned that various Catholic cultures use Holy Water in many varied ways. Some Latinos use it for drinking and cooking, particularly to prepare certain dishes. Others just want a tiny bit to put in a small font inside their home. I have one lady who brings in several gallon jugs to get the water blessed.

Deacon Christopher


Thank you, @Diaconia! I did not know that!

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