Does Holy Water have an expiration date?


#1

Does Holy Water loose it’s holiness over time? Can it be diluted by regular water?


#2

Please still answer the original question, as I do wonder this .... But , have you heard this one:

How do you make holy water?

You boil the hell outta it.


#3

Pretty good joke. I’ve heard alot of Catholic jokes, but never heard that one.

As to your question, holy water does not have an expiration date. 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.

Regarding the dilution of Holy Water, I did a search on the forum because I know I have seen that question on here before. Imagine my surprise when I found a thread about the question where I was the OP! :stuck_out_tongue: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=362880


#4

Funny!

You can make your own holy water by taking a suitable clean vessel filled with water (a bottle of spring water for example) and attending the mass at Easter Vigil.
Many refer to this mass as the “fire and water ceremony”.
The Pascal candle is lit and also any water present in the church will be consacrated (made holy) at the end of the liturgy of the word.
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.

And no holy water has no “expiration date”.


#5

I am not sure if Holy Water would ever grow bacteria or some such, but if it became cloudy or something, I think I would dispose of it. I would pour it into the ground - probably in my flower beds.


#6

Yes; Holy Water can grow bacteria, algae etc. Usually if you have left over 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.
Note: even if the holy water is tainted with algae it still retains it blessing.


#7

Yes…its called evaporation :smiley:


#8

[quote="Don_Jackson, post:7, topic:302991"]
Yes....its called evaporation :D

[/quote]

Well it's good to know we have holy clouds.


#9

[quote="Giggly_Giraffe, post:1, topic:302991"]
Does Holy Water loose it's holiness over time? Can it be diluted by regular water?

[/quote]

In a word NO it can not loose its sacramental blessing "unless its desecrated".

And in all my tens years as a former sacrastan never once was holy water in the Baptismal Font or other recepticals around the parish diluted. Diluting holy water or topping up the fonts with fresh water doesn't make it sacramentally blessed. Only an ordained priest or deacon can bless water.

**RITE OF BLESSING AND SPRINKLING HOLY WATER

How water is changed to Holy Water **
prayerbook.com/Subjects/bleswate.htm

daytonlatinmass.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/blessing-of-water.pdf


#10

[quote="Giggly_Giraffe, post:2, topic:302991"]
Please still answer the original question, as I do wonder this .... But , have you heard this one:

How do you make holy water?

You boil the hell outta it.

[/quote]

:rotfl::rotfl:


#11

[quote="centurionguard, post:6, topic:302991"]
Yes; Holy Water can grow bacteria, algae etc. Usually if you have left over 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.
Note: even if the holy water is tainted with algae it still retains it blessing.

[/quote]

Well thank you for this. I did not want to be sacrilegious, but the nurse will be heard!! ;):D

Is it not OK to pour it into the ground? That is what happens in the sacristy I think. It is what I do with palms before I get new ones each year. Burn them then work the ashes into my flower beds. I think the flowers like it :)


#12

I have a bottle of Holy Water that was at my office at the time of Katrina in 2005 and it has not changed in seven years.


#13

No - Holy water does not have an expiration date
:)


#14

[quote="Ohana, post:5, topic:302991"]
I am not sure if Holy Water would ever grow bacteria or some such, but if it became cloudy or something, I think I would dispose of it. I would pour it into the ground - probably in my flower beds.

[/quote]

This has happened to me. Especially if you leave the container in the sun for any length of time. I usually pour the water out somewhere that isn't trafficked. A few grains of salt in the container help to keep the water clear and do not interfer with the blessing (you can also use blessed salt).


#15

[quote="Ohana, post:5, topic:302991"]
I am not sure if Holy Water would ever grow bacteria or some such,

[/quote]

Sure it would. It's still water, after all.


#16

[quote="JerryZ, post:4, topic:302991"]
Funny!

You can make your own holy water by taking a suitable clean vessel filled with water (a bottle of spring water for example) and attending the mass at Easter Vigil.
Many refer to this mass as the "fire and water ceremony".
The Pascal candle is lit and also any water present in the church will be consacrated (made holy) at the end of the liturgy of the word.
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.

And no holy water has no "expiration date".

[/quote]

Jerry, just a clarification - not all water in the Church is made into holy water at the Easter Vigil mass - only that water that the priest actually blesses with the intention of blessing it. Usually that water is in a container of some kind in the sanctuary of the Church or wherever the special prayers are done that include the blessing of water. It's usually in the missalette, if you are following along.

It is very traditional - and good - to bring a little bottle with you to Easter Vigil mass, and then fill it up from the container of water the priest blessed at mass, so you can use it at home to bless yourself and to sprinkle your home with the newly blessed Easter holy water.


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