Orthodox Holy Water, Opinions?

I have read some things that say that holy water is a very powerful sacramental (from both Orthodox and Catholic sources), but I have read that holy water from the Greater Blessings of Water of Theophany is actually incorruptible (or at least does not spoil as well).
I have even heard some say that this holy water is like the water before the fall.

What is your opinion on Orthodox holy water, and does Catholicism have anything like this (incorruptible holy water, and a “greater” vs. “lesser” blessed water as Orthodoxy does).

We don’t add salt to it to keep it from spoiling. Is that what you mean?

You will have to educate me and others, I think, more fully on this Orthodox holy water. For Catholics, Holy water is Holy water. :slight_smile:

Their sacraments are not more or less valid than ours, so I don’t see wny their sacramentals would in turn be any different either.

Our holy water does not corrupt, but it does evaporate! :stuck_out_tongue:


Hmmm…I read part of that thread. So, I think you mean by “corrupted” that the Holy Water can grow algae or some such microorganism. That is conceivable. Holy water undergoes know real change in its substance or accidents, pretty sure.

It still has power to bless whatever the case may be. From my personal experience, I get a quart holy water bottle from church and have had no troubles with it at all, but don’t place it in the sunlight, I guess.

I do need to clean out my holy water font probably once a month if not more, however.

Also, I"m pretty sure we are not supposed to ingest Holy Water. You can ask a priest about it, but I’m sure others could chime in on this issue too.

God Bless!

This was the best answer on that old thread:
*to the OP: I think that’s not a good idea to mix it with alcohol, or with anything, actually, including other water.

It goes green because there’s something contaminating it.


Salt is not put into the water in the Latin rite in order to keep it from going green - it has liturgical significance (as the prayer indicates). In the 1984 Book of Blessings, salt is not required during the blessing. It is, however, in the Roman Ritual that was in use exclusively until 1984. Many priests prefer to use that older book. *

We have one of those HUGE immersion fonts. We have literally gallons of water, that pour out of a section and recirculates. About once a month we refill it with fresh water and Father blesses it. We never have had any problem with “stuff” in it. :shrug:

I’ve never heard the term incorruptible water. :confused:
I’ll be waiting to read more replies.

That’s an interesting debate: is it?

There’s Holy Water, there’s Exorcised Holy Water, there’s Easter Water, there’s Epiphany Water, and probably some more. Then you get water that isn’t blessed per se, but comes from holy places like Lourdes.

With sacramentals, they work how the Church says they work. Because of this, the words of the blessing are very important.

I’ll just leave the question: Since this is how sacramentals work, wouldn’t it make sense that there would be different kinds of holy water, as there are different approved blessings for water in the Church?


I have spoken with a priest experienced in exorcism, who found that Epiphany water had a stronger effect on the possessed than ordinary exorcised water (both waters blessed in the traditional rite). There’s nothing superstitious here; the priest simply asks God for certain things during the blessing, and in one case the prayers are longer and ask for more. An army has different levels of weapons; so has the Church.

N. B. As noted above, the Roman rite *does *still use salt, in the extraordinary form of the blessing.

I mean that the water doesn’t necessarily go bad (at least according to some Orthodox teaching). It’s just that Catholics don’t seem to have any similar view of holy water this way, that it is somehow changed so that it won’t spoil as easily (and just view it as regular water in terms of accidents). So just wanted some catholics’ opinions and thoughts on this difference.

our Church uses Holy Water in a similar fashion to Roman catholics-I believe that we do not have a separate drain for it-like the RC has ( directly into the ground?)

as for "Greater Blessings of Water of Theophany " - I have no idea what that means

Well, I am far from any liturgical expert. That is for certain!! :slight_smile:

However, I didn’t realize the rite of blessing was varied for blessing of Holy Water, and I thought all Holy Water could be referred to as exorcised Holy Water. Is that not so?

What is Epiphany Water, anyways?

I do know that devils can tell the difference beween water and Holy Water. You can’t fool them. It’s like the difference between plain water and undiluted Hydrochloric Acid to them.

Water blessed during the Great Blessing on Epiphany.

Can anyone persuade me that this water is somehow better than just normally blessed Holy Water? Is the rite of blessing different??

Orthodox and Catholics don’t have the same date for celebrating Epiphany, I think?

Just to contrast the different types, I’ve attached some examples of the blessings. I’ve trimmed these down to make them fit, but it gives you an idea.

Holy Water (Book of Blessings – Current)

Blessed are you, Lord, all-powerful God,
who in Christ, the living water of salvation,
blessed and transformed us.
Grant that when we are sprinkled with this water
or make use of it,
we will be refreshed inwardly by the power
of the Holy Spirit
and continue to walk in the new life
we received at Baptism.

We ask this though Christ our Lord.

*Holy Water (Rituale Romanum –Extraordinary Form) “Exorcised”

Exorcism of Water
O water, creature of God, I exorcise you in the name of God the Father almighty, and in the name of Jesus Christ His Son, our Lord, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. I exorcise you so that you may put to flight all the power of the Enemy, and be able to root out and supplant that Enemy with his apostate angels: through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.
Let us pray.
O God, Who for the salvation of mankind has built Thy greatest mysteries on this substance, water, in Thy kindness hear our prayers and pour down the power of Thy blessing + into this element, made ready for many kinds of purifications. May this, Thy creature, become an agent of divine grace in the service of Thy mysteries, to drive away evil spirits and dispel sickness, so that every-thing in the homes and other buildings of the faithful that is sprinkled with this water may be rid of all uncleanness and freed from every harm. Let no breath of infection, no disease-bearing air, remain in these places. May the wiles of the lurking Enemy prove of no avail. Let whatever might menace the safety and peace of those who live here be put to flight by the sprinkling of this water, so that the healthfulness, obtained by calling upon Thy holy name, may be made secure against all attack. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

Epiphany Water
The blessing for Epiphany Water takes well over a half hour, and includes multiple exorcisms, the Te Deum, the Litany of Saints, and many prayers of blessing. I’ll just leave it at that.

Easter Water (Current Missal)

O God, who by invisible power
accomplish a wondrous effect
through sacramental signs
and who in many ways have prepared water, your creation, to show forth the grace of Baptism;
O God, whose Spirit
in the first moments of the world’s creation hovered over the waters,
so that the very substance of water
would even then take to itself the power to sanctify;
O God, who by the outpouring of the flood
foreshadowed regeneration,
so that from the mystery of one and the same element of water would come an end to vice and a beginning of virtue;
O God, who caused the children of Abraham to pass dry-shod through the Red Sea,
so that the chosen people,
set free from slavery to Pharaoh,
would prefigure the people of the baptized;
O God, whose Son,
baptized by John in the waters of the Jordan,
was anointed with the Holy Spirit,
and, as he hung upon the Cross,
gave forth water from his side along with blood,
and after his Resurrection, commanded his disciples:
“Go forth, teach all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” look now, we pray, upon the face of your Church
and graciously unseal for her the fountain of Baptism.
May this water receive by the Holy Spirit
the grace of your Only Begotten Son,
so that human nature, created in your image
and washed clean through the Sacrament of Baptism from all the squalor of the life of old,
may be found worthy to rise to the life of newborn children through water and the Holy Spirit.May the power of the Holy Spirit, O Lord, we pray,
come down through your Son into the fullness of this font,
so that all who have been buried with Christ
by Baptism into death
may rise again to life with him.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Hmmm, this is interesting. Well, I think I am fine with regular holy water, but I indeed hope it has some exorcism prayer attached to it. It would be nice to hear a priest comment on this thread but they seem to be somewhat of a rarity here at CAF on the regular boards…lol.

It’s the service where we get most of our holy water. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_water_in_Eastern_Christianity#Great_Blessing_of_Waters_at_Theophany

Dear Kmon23,
I know exactly of what you are speaking about. I was born and raised in the Roman Catholic Church. I went to Catholic schools my whole life, never being taught about Orthodoxy and the Orthodox Church. I recently married an Orthodox woman from Romania. I had decided to join the Orthodox Church 2 years ago prior.

I can tell you that holy water I had received from the catholic church did go bad many times as I grew up. We would get some from church in a little bottle. I know that the catholic church I used to attend does keep anti bacterial solution in the baptismal font to prevent things from growing.

However…the water that I have taken from the the orthodox church has never soiled. There has never been anything growing in it. My wife still has a bottle of holy water that she brought with her back in 1999 when she came to America. She sips from it on certain Holy Days and it is still pure as it was 15 years ago.

So there is a difference with respect to something. I do not wish to get into a discussion as to why there is a difference on this board though.

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