My mum has a bottle of old holy water that she got in 1960 (from Lourdes). She has hardly ever used it so its quite full, but the water is quite gross and gunky now. Is it still useable? Or would it be really unhygienic to use it? Also, does it lose its holiness over time? And should we keep it or get rid of it? Its from Lourdes so im not sure if that makes a difference. I dont know how to get rid of it other than by using it.
Bring it to the parish church and ask the priest to pour it in the sacrarium (the sink used to wash the sacred vessels).
It would be okay to water a plant with the soiled holy water.
I guess you could boil it in a microwave and then put it thru a coffee filter.
If you have a yard, you can pour it into the ground. If not, bring it to a Church to be disposed of in the Sacrarium. It should not be poured down the drain or toilet.
Once blessed, should always be treated as blessed, is what Fr. taught us in RCIA.
So long as the water has not corrupted, it is still usable (although, you may not want to drink it ); however, once it starts to cloud, taking it to the Church, or as we do when the Holy Water from the fonts starts to cloud, the Deacon and I use the blessed water to water the flowers around Mary’s statues during the summer and we seem to always have flowers at the base of Mary’s statue (strong Hispanic Community!) that always seem to need a little water in the vases so during the winter months we will fill the vases (I think the flowers actually last longer - not forever mind you; however, I’ve rarely seen a cut rose last more than a few days and these will last the week or even slightly longer!) - that would seem most fitting given that the water is from Lourdes - if you don’t have such a garden and your Church or the local Catholic school has a garden honoring Mary I would ask permission to pour out the water there… especially with the lack of water in many places.
Just please don’t pour it down the sink or toss it in the trash.
Once again, it’s how you treat the blessed object.
…and when in doubt, ask a priest or a deacon.
I think I read somewhere that you should not drink Lourdes water because it contains bacteria. It is not pure spring water. I think you should just either water a plant and/or do as someone suggested. Pour it onto a garden or grass in your yard.
Yeah…pour it on a plant.
Every spring my aunt would bless here lawn and garden with Holy Water.
Great idea!. God Bless, Memaw
As long as the bottle isn’t plastic this might be OK. I can’t imagine the toxins that would be in plastic from 1960, and the water from sitting in it for over 50 years. If there were enough water I would boil it in a tiny pot rather than the microwave, having filtered it beforehand and maybe again after in a new filter. Even if I did this I still wouldn’t drink it. It might be OK to sprinkle around the house etc.
Well… I’m not dead yet so I think it’s OK to drink in small quantities.
As long as the bottle isn’t plastic this might be OK. I can’t imagine the toxins that would be in plastic from 1960, and the water from sitting in it for over 50 years. If there were enough water I would boil it in a tiny pot rather than the microwave. Even if I did this I still wouldn’t drink it. It might be OK to sprinkle around the house etc.
Well… I’m not dead yet so I think it’s OK to drink in small quantities.
Lourdes water is pure spring water. Our Lady told St. Bernadette to dig in the ground and drink of the spring. The bacteria probably originates from the bottle itself. I agree that the water in the baths will have bacteria but no one collects water from them.
Also, Lourdes Water is not holy water that is blessed by a priest. Either way, let it go back to the earth.
I agree with pouring it out directly to the ground like in a garden or backyard.
Pour it into the earth or bury the whole bottle.
Caution here folks: Don’t make a habit of pouring holy water into potted plants.
While there’s no problem with this from a spiritual perspective, it’s usually not good for the plants. Holy Water also has blessed salt added to it (at least, it should), and that salt is very bad for potted plants. A little might not hurt, but enough of it (especially over time) will eventually kill the plant.
There’s no need to use the sacrarium to dispose of old holy water—although there’s nothing wrong with it, either.
Simply pour it into the ground, in a respectful manner, and in a respectable place. Some place like a flower garden is fine. If your church has a graveyard, or you’re near a Catholic cemetery, those are also good choices. Remember that holy water was sprinkled on the ground when it was blessed anyway,
[quote=Carmelite1]I think I read somewhere that you should not drink Lourdes water because it contains bacteria.
[quote=ServusHumilis]Well… I’m not dead yet so I think it’s OK to drink in small quantities.
[quote=Saintlucy]Lourdes water is pure spring water. Our Lady told St. Bernadette to dig in the ground and drink of the spring. The bacteria probably originates from the bottle itself. I agree that the water in the baths will have bacteria but no one collects water from them.
I personally have drank Lourdes water and nothing ever happened to me, and I happen to be immunocompromised. The water is directly from the spring at Lourdes which the official Lourdes website claims is “pure”. However, saying water is “pure” is quite ambiguous as this can mean that it is pure in that it has a neutral Ph, is free from or low in pathogens, is contaminant free, or even that the water is low in dissolved solids and is soft. The bathing area at Lourdes is constantly circulated and then filtered and sterilized but it isn’t exactly clear as to whether the main spring in which the bottles of Lourdes water are from is sterilized also. Any source of spring water can and will contain bacteria, the question is whether those bacteria are pathogenic and in what quantity are those bacteria. Lots of people have drank the water and I have never heard of anyone getting sick from it. Some websites claim that the water is “certified” safe to drink. What this means and whether it’s true is beyond me. I would argue the most credible answers comes from the Lourdes Center in Boston, Massachusetts(the distribution center for the U.S.). They say “The water is drinkable as it leaves our Center. We suggest caution with respect to possible tampering while in transit or in your mailbox. We cannot be responsible for what we cannot control.”. Saying water is “drinkable” isn’t ambiguous like “pure” is so I would say it is safe to drink as long as it is a fresh vial. If I might add it would be nice if they put a tamper seal over the bottle so one could tell if it had been tampered with.
On a side note Holy Water, not Lourdes water, often contains blessed salt in varying amounts which may, depending on the quantity of salt, burn or harm some plants if you choose to dispose of old amounts of it in plants.
Hey guys thanks for all the answers!
Though i have to say i cant believe that some of you guys even mentioned drinking it! That water is gross and i wouldn’t drink it in a million years! Though im pretty sure that anything that lived in there died over 40 years ago haha.
Still thanks guys! I think im going to take it to the cemetery and pour it on our loved ones graves
Not at our Church… the water is simply blessed in smaller amounts and we keep an eye on the font so that when it starts to get low we’ll let one of the deacons or priest know. (mind you, by small amounts, the main font holds close to 10 gallons and we’ll go thru that within the week )