How large a container/body of holy water can a priest bless?


How large a container/body of holy water can a priest bless? Barrel? Tub? Swimming pool? Small pond? Bigger?


:shrug: Good question.


The Ocean? LOL

I too am very interested in the answer to this question.


In jest: 1d8 cubic liters per level… [if you don’t get it, ignore it:D]

seriously: I would think any amount. I would be surprised if there was a limit in volume, perhaps just a limit in object [like the ocean ;)] I’m sure someone in the middle ages thought of it [and I mean that in a good way! Those guys thought of everything]


I tend to agree with the last poster. That a priest could bless any amount of water. You’re not planning on driving in with a tanker… now are ya? :wink: Just kidding.

Seriously, though. The holy water font in our parish… is rather large. It even has steps… that can be ascended!

I solved the dilemma of holy water for our home. I simply bought a cool, plastic jug and then I asked permission in the parish office… to fill it, directly from the parish font. I just refill the same jug, whenever we run low. Very handy!

God bless.


So the ocean be made holy water? Lake Michigan?


**Priests can bless any amount of water **but they only do so when they’re confident that the holy water can be set aside for sacremental use. Currently the water in Lake Michigan is used for NON-sacremental purposes (speed boat racing, washing cars, flushing toilets…) so making the whole lake into holy water is a recipe for sacrelige. :eek:

However, if a priest wanted to have some holy Lake Michigan water, he could set it aside in a container and bless it. A priest could use a regular water container (an empty bottle or a swimming pool) but he’d have to post a sign to prevent people from accidentaly committing sacrelige. Baptistries, holy water fonts, and other containers that are used exclusively for holy water don’t need signs, so they’re a better choice. :thumbsup:


In the Byzantine tradition, it is customary to have the Great Blessing of Water by a river, lake, or even ocean.


Excellent response.

Suppose there were no limit set by prudence: a single priest could bless every molecule of H2O on, under, and in the earth, and thus from that moment on, any further blessing would be “unnecessary”, and blessed water would be desecrated, and the whole meaning of the sacramental of “holy water” would be confused if not lost.


So in theory, if there was a private lake or something that was to be designated for baptisms, a priest could bless it? Do you have any canon law cross-references? Thx!!


Canon law says treat sacrementals with respect. Do not use them for regular use. So to make a holy water lake, you’ll have to make sure that the entire lake (and everyone downstream) treats it as a sacremental instead of as a lake.
Can. 1171 Sacred objects, which are designated for divine worship by dedication or blessing, are to be treated reverently and are not to be employed for profane or inappropriate use even if they are owned by private persons.

I can’t find it now that I’m looking for it but from memory large bodies of holy water are also problematic because you have to drain them into the ground (not the sewer) annualy and also whenever stuff starts growing in it.

But yeah, if your church has a bunch of priests loitering around with nothing to do, get them started on draining/cleaning/blessing a lake. :stuck_out_tongue:


Priests bless houses. The pope blesses crowds numbering in the thousands. I’m pretty sure there’s no real limit on how big or how much can be blessed.


So if a priest can bless any amount of water, making it then, “holy water”, why not bless the Great Lakes? Why not bless the Atlantic Ocean?


No reason. Byzantine priests, on the Eve of Theophany, traditionally bless local bodies of water, be it a lake, river or the ocean. All the waters of the world have been blessed and continue to be blessed.

Here is the text of the blessing:

An excerpt:

[quote=] Great are you, O Lord, and wonderful your works, and no word is adequate to sing the praise of your wonders (x3). People: Glory to you, Lord, glory to you!]
For by your own will you brought the universe from non-existence into being, you hold creation together by your might, and by your providence you direct the world. You composed creation from four elements; with four seasons you crowned the circle of the year. All the spiritual Powers tremble before you. The sun sings your praise, the moon glorifies you, the stars entreat you, the light obeys you, the deeps tremble before you, the springs are your servants. You stretched out the heavens on the waters; you walled in the sea with sand; you poured out the air for breathing. Angelic Powers minister to you. The choirs of the Archangels worship you. The many-eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim as they stand and fly around you hide their faces in fear of your unapproachable glory. For you, being God uncircumscribed, without beginning and inexpressible, came upon earth, taking the form of a servant, being found in the likeness of mortals. For you could not bear, Master, in the compassion of your mercy to watch the human race being tyrannised by the devil, but you came and saved us. We acknowledge your grace, we proclaim your mercy, we do not conceal your benevolence. You freed the generations of our race. You sanctified a virgin womb by your birth. All creation sang your praise when you appeared. For you are our God who appeared on earth and lived among mortals. You sanctified the streams of Jordan by sending down from heaven your All-holy Spirit and you smashed the heads of the dragons that lurked there.
Therefore, O King, lover of mankind, be present now too through the visitation of your Holy Spirit, and sanctify this water. (x3)
And give to it the grace of redemption and the blessing of Jordan. Make it a source of incorruption, a gift of sanctification, a deliverance from sins, an averting of diseases, unapproachable by hostile powers, filled with angelic strength. That all who draw from it and partake of it may have it for cleansing of souls and bodies, for healing of passions, for sanctification of homes, for every suitable purpose. For you are our God, who through water and Spirit renewed our nature made old by sin. You are our God, who in the days of Noë drowned sin through the water of the flood. You are our God, who through Moses freed the Hebrew race from the slavery of Pharao through the sea. You are our God who split open the rock in the desert, and waters rushed out and torrents flooded down, and you satisfied your thirsty people. You are our God, who through Elias turned Israel from the error of Baal.
And now, Master, do you yourself sanctify this water by your Holy Spirit. (x3)
[size=3]Give to all who partake of it sanctification, blessing, cleansing, health.[/size]



Oops. Sorry, I didn’t realize this was a 5 year old thread when I replied. :shrug:

closed #16

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