Blessing yourself after mass

I was told once that I should bless myself going into mass but not on the way out. The religious brother who told me said the practice came from blibical times when people would wash their feet when arriving at someone’s home. He said it would be insulting to wash your feet when you’re leaving because you’re already clean. Thioughts, anyone?

[quote=gerryran]I was told once that I should bless myself going into mass but not on the way out. The religious brother who told me said the practice came from blibical times when people would wash their feet when arriving at someone’s home. He said it would be insulting to wash your feet when you’re leaving because you’re already clean. Thioughts, anyone?
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This was something that has been going around in recent years. I have heard about a dozen different reasons why a person should not bless themselves with holy water after mass while leaving the church. The fact of the matter is that the Church says the the frequent use of the sacramentals is beneficial tot he faithful and the building up of the theological virtue of Faith. So, bless yourself all you want with the holy water going in and out because it can only help you and not harm you.

[quote=gerryran]I was told once that I should bless myself going into mass but not on the way out. The religious brother who told me said the practice came from blibical times when people would wash their feet when arriving at someone’s home. He said it would be insulting to wash your feet when you’re leaving because you’re already clean. Thioughts, anyone?
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Gosh, I like to bless myself any chance I get!! :slight_smile:

seriously, tho, I think that maybe 1/3rd of our parishoners bless themselves as they file out of Mass.

peace–
magdalisa

I think this stems from a misunderstanding of where the holy water tradition comes from. In Hebrew temples, there were oblative rites that people had to engage in before entering the temple and our use of the holy water upon entering church does resemble that notion on the surface.

But it’s really not so much about cleansing yourself with the holy water as it is about blessing yourself with it. So it is not inappropriate if you bless yourself again as you leave. Considering how many blessings and invocations are involved in a mass, I’m not sure how important it really is to bless yourself again on the way out the door.

Personally, I tend to use the holy water as I leave unless doing so would require me to get in someone else’s way as people file out of church. Basically, I’m strict about doing it on my way in to church, but if I miss the chance on the way out, I don’t pay much mind.

That just sounds strange to me. Holy water reminds us of our baptism, and Christians were making the mark of the cross on their foreheads even before the general use of holy water. It can be used both going in to church and coming out.

Here’s a little theology with regard to blessing oneself with holy water. The holy water is a sacramental, it is used to remind us of our baptism. Thus, it is quite appropriate that we do so on the way into Mass because it is through Baptism that we can approach the other sacraments. However, on the way out we have, most likely, just received our Lord under the form of bread and, perhaps, wine. We’ve received a blessing from the priest or bishop. Since sacramentals are to prepare us to receive grace and sacraments confer grace, there is no theological reason to bless ourselves on the way out of Mass.

If it’s a habit – then we need to think about why we are doing what we do. If it’s a personal devotion – go for it! It certainly can’t hurt!

Deacon Ed

[quote=gerryran]I was told once that I should bless myself going into mass but not on the way out. The religious brother who told me said the practice came from blibical times when people would wash their feet when arriving at someone’s home. He said it would be insulting to wash your feet when you’re leaving because you’re already clean. Thioughts, anyone?
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Hm. Do I smell the Notre Dame liturgical experiment?

A special thanks to Deacon Ed and Mercygate, I think the two of you explained this thread as well as it could be explained, especially Deacon’s finish about how a personal practice, which is a good one in itself, can’t hurt.

I need all the blessings I can get, I bless myself entering and leaving.

[quote=returning]I need all the blessings I can get, I bless myself entering and leaving.
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Me too, I also have a holy water font next to the front door of my home.:wink:

My old pastor had a really good reason for not blessing yourself with holy water after mass. It had something to do with you have Jesus in you after just recieving communion so there is no higher blessing you can have by blessing yourself with holy water after mass.

I am sure there was more to it than that but I don’t remember it.

[quote=returning]I need all the blessings I can get, I bless myself entering and leaving.
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Amen to that…I need all the blessings I can get!

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