Not sure if this is the best place to post this, but Holy water is a “sacramental” so, here goes.
A couple of months ago, our pastor came by the house to anoint our son who was sick with pneumonia. While he was here, I asked him if he would bless our house. He asked me to put some water in a bowl, which I did. He then said a prayer over the water to bless it and then proceeded to bless our house.
Afterwards, he mentioned that if we kept adding water to the bowl before it was empty, it would remain holy water.
I’ve never heard this before. I have no reason to doubt him, other than my own curiosity. He’s a very devout, orthodox priest.
while having dinner with our priest, we had this same exact topic. one of my co-teachers made this comment. the funny thing was, while our priest didn’t say no, you can read the expression on his face that he doesn’t believe that it does. although he did come up with a politically correct answer. but his end conclusion is, you can always get Holy Water from the parish if you need/want some. why adhere to a belief that is questionable?
Back in the '50’s I was told the same thing about holy water, add to it while it’s still more than half full and the water remains blessed. But that sort of picky way of looking at things like this strikes me as a little weird and verges on the superstitious (just my feeling about it). Why not just get blessed water from the church every now and then? That would be more sanitary too. Oh, you don’t take it out of the holy water font in the church. Ask the usher where the container of blessed water is located in your parish.
Something like this, it seems to me, is to be blessed then used for the purpose for which it’s blessed, not hoarded. Unless you live in a muslim country in the desert, water and blessings are easily available. Use holy water liberally if you use it at all. Sprinkle your house. Have holy water fonts in several rooms. Celebrate the prodigality of God’s grace.
I was at church one Saturday afternoon and the ushers were in a tizzy because there was no holy water left. I said there’s water in the bathroom, there’s the priest, ask him to bless some water. They did, he did, problem solved.
I think if you asked 10 priest you’d get 10 different answers. I haven’t had one to be able to show me any documentation. I do remember a parishoner after the priest told me you can just keep adding water and it would be holy water ask him, so if someone was baptized in the river and you blessed the water wouldn’t that make all the ocean’s holy water since this river flows into the oceans and they all touch each other. He didn’t have a response.
I called Catholic Answers Live with this very question because it came up in our Parish. The priest thought that it HAD to be at least 50% full. There is no specific magic number, but according to Tim Staples (who I trust on such matters ;)), if there is ANY water left that was blessed and you add to it, that water continues to be blessed. He did mention that there may be something in the Book of Blessings that is more specific, but we have yet to look.
As I understand it, if you merge two “bodies” of water, one blessed and the the other un-blessed, the resulting single body of water will be holy water if the the larger of the two original bodies of water was blessed and will not be holy water if the larger of the two original bodies of water was not blessed.
So if you have a more than half full container of holy water and you add un-blessed water then you still have holy water.
If, hypothetically, a lake were blessed (I don’t know if this ever happens) and some water flowed out into a river, the small amount of holy water flowing into the river at any given moment would be insufficient to result in the river water being considered holy water.
My guess is that this way defining how holy water ,mixing with regular water “works” is to avoid the “oceans of holy water” scenario.
hahah! true! i heard a story similar to that one
our priest was telling it. it was in a church which had like a small pool/pond with fountain, i don’t know what you call it. but they use it for baptism. apparently the thing was blessed when it was made, but the water was never blessed after. and the priest there said since the pool/pond/fountain was blessed, therefore the water is Holy Water always. my priest said, “if thats the way it works, why not bless faucets so Holy Water would come out all the time” :shrug: LOL
Don’t want to derail the thread but I hope somebody out there can answer this.
I have been told that Holy Water fonts, especially those that get use a lot, are VERY dirty - as in full of germs. My dear friend, who has been our parish sacristan for many years, says she has to constantly empty and sanitize the holy water stoups. Even so, the water is always cloudy and scummy. Some people only pretend to dip into the water. My RE teachers don’t like to teach little ones to bless themselves with holy water because of they think it isn’t clean.
Ugh! I never thought of this. I’d like to give my grandchildren fonts for their rooms and keep them supplied with fresh holy water but now I don’t know what to do.
I’ve been told that adding a drop of germicide such as bleach is considered an adulteration and not allowed. What can a person do?
Yes. When one adds plain water to Holy Water, it all becomes Holy Water–as long as there is more Holy than ordinary.
The way this works is:
Since it is impossible to distinguish between the two kinds of water, and impossible to seperate the two again once they’ve been mixed, the ordinary water is mixed or “absorbed” into the Holy Water (that’s not the best word to use, but the best I can think of at the moment). Whichever is of the more quantity takes over. Pour a bottle of Holy Water into a lake, and the Holy Water just “dissipates” and becomes ordinary water.
The above only applies because once the two waters are mixed, they become one body of water. To illustrate the opposite, take somethink like a handful of pebbles. If you put those into Holy Water, it’s relatively easy to remove them, so they don’t “become” Holy Water.
If you are low on Holy Water, the best thing to do is ask a priest to provide more (either to bless more, or get more that’s already been blessed). This isn’t something we should be doing too casually, but it does “work.”
So what is “special” about “Holy” water? In what way is it’s properties blessed? I.E. it’ll keep demons away or add grace or?? I am curious since I was reading that we dip our hands in the holy water when coming into church as a reminder of our baptism, but is it more than just a reminder is there a blessing of grace too?