How to Make (and use) Holy Water

Holy Water and aspergillum (sprinkler) for the minister or priest to sprinkle the holy water
Holy Water font with aspergillum to sprinkle it

“HOW DO WE MAKE HOLY WATER? WE BOIL THE HELL OUT OF IT!”  —  non-denominational church sign

The many alternative clergy in our network — ordained ministers, priests, rabbis, chaplains of all callings  — are increasingly employing holy water in their work. There has been an upsurge in requests for house-blessings and apartment blessings when someone first moves in, and for blessing of pets with holy water — and even cars! But recently there has been an upsurge in requests for  exorcisms! Holy water is good for all of the above, not to mention baptisms, blessing a newly married couple after performing a wedding, baby blessing, etc.

So the question brought up in our alumni forum recently was how do you “make” holy water. Making it is technically not the term clergy use but rather “blessing” holy water.

 

Here are some methods our ministers submitted to the discussion.

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Technically speaking you you are opening a channel to Divine Source, bringing
creative energy down to the material plane and infusing water with it.
Practically, there many ways to do it.
Anyway, following rites without inner understanding is empty theatre.  — Ordained in Poland

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I am ordained Interfaith Spiritual Minister.
Water is a necessary ingredient for Life.
To me water is inherently sacred.
Blessing it, infusing it with healing energy sets it aside as “Holy Water”.
I was ordained [live and in person] by our beautiful blessed sister Rev. Katia.
I do not belong to any specific tradition or path other than where I feel led by the spark of divinity within…my own part of the I AM presence as a daughter of the Most High.
My background is Jewish and Eastern Paths.  — Ordained in Pennsylvania

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Water is inherently sacred. God or the Divine leads us in the way that is part of our ministry.  We all serve presence of the most high by the way that he or she is revealed to us.  Our ministries are all unique.  That is why we were all called and happy to be ordained by the Interfaith ministries. I support your wonderful ministry and the way that you have responded to the Divine Calling.  — Ordained in Australia

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Put water – distilled is good – into a glass container, covered.   Then set this outside during the full moon (about a day and a half).   This will bless it and create holy water for you to use. Intention is so important, remember – blessings and love.   — Ordained in New York City

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I thought I had to add salt, but that must be for another recipe (exorcism?…not that I’m planning on doing any). I am new at this and it isn’t listed in the Interfaith Minister’s Manual. I am completely aware of the need for prayers and blessings…  — Ordained in Ohio

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Hello all, Nice seeing the wide-spread interest in Holy Water! 🙂

Seems to me there are a few major patterns being painted. One point turns on the
question of Intent/Apprehension. Some faiths state the properly observing the
ritual is all that is required. Other faiths state the Intention of the person
performing the ritual in intrinsic to the outcome. Personally, I am undecided on
this point, although in most cases I tend toward considering Intent as very
important, and even intrinsic to a properly observed ritual.

However, beyond my doubt is that the Holy Spirit (or whatever one prefers to
name the Divine Spirit) will do what It will. We may or may not be attentive or
appreciative or even aware. This aspect of the Divine Will is -I think- by
definition totally Its own power. So there is that.

But I also think the best situation is where one *is* concerned with one’s
Intention. Where this may be combined with a preferred ritual of one’s order, so
much the better. And if one is of a specific order, then I would suppose it is
incumbent upon one to observe the rules of that order.

For me this is an interesting question. On one hand I tend to prefer the dynamic
flow of sensing what I believe to be the Divine Spirit, and just going with that
on a gut level. Yet on the other hand, I must admit to myself there may be
something “extra” when following a long tradition. (Which, as observed above,
the Holy Spirit may always trump!)

But ultimately, when alone, I take living in the moment by preference. However,
when performing a ritual for others, I think there is more to be considered.
There is a “body of faith” we are also working with in such cases, and in order
to provide the maximum affect upon the person(s) whom we are serving, we should
abide as best we can by the expectations of that person(s).

Putting on the Scientific Hat, I’d say this also bumps up against the placebo
effect. Our minds are powerful! When we act so as to encourage this response in
those we are serving, I think we serve them best.

And for me, serving the needs of others is one of the most important
considerations as we consider rituals and other sacred observances. When we are
standing at our altar and offering our personal oblations, that is a different
matter.

One path I see as private and the other public. Both are important, yet there
may at times be differences between them.

Thanks for the interesting topic! 🙂   —Ordained in Missouri

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[In the Independent Sacramental Catholic Church] Holy Water is blessed by a Priest with Holy Orders, generally while wearing a purple stole.  A Sacramental Priest holds Apostolic Succession and prior to ordination will be thoroughly experienced in Rites and Blessings.

There are three basic steps involved with the blessing of Holy Water.

First, the Priest performs an exorcism and blessing of salt, followed by a prayer.

Second, the Priest performs an exorcism and blessing of water (distilled water is often used), followed by a prayer.

Third, the Priest “casts the salt thrice into the water crosswise, as he or she says” a blessing followed by a prayer.

The Liturgy I use most often is The Liturgy of the Liberal Catholic Church, 3d Ed. 2002.  The blessing of Holy Water is at pp. 387-89 in that text.  Bishop Wynn Wagner has published a similar liturgy which is available in paperback. The Interfaith Minister’s Manual also has good materials on the blessing of Holy Water.

Some blessings can be found on internet sites. These are two examples: http://www.daytonlatinmass.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/blessing-of-water.pdf  and http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Holy-Water

Bishop James  – Ordained & Consecrated in South Carolina

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> This is an interesting site by a group of Catholic Churches in Western
> Washington.  http://www.awakentoprayer.org/index.html
>
> The article on vestments is an excellent introduction to the topic:
>
> The Church ordinarily permits the use of [four] colors in the sacred vestments
> — white, red, green, [and] violet… Gold may be used as a substitute for
> white, red or green.
> Each of these colors has its own meaning. The Sacrifice of the Mass is offered
> for many purposes and in honor of many classes of saints; and these various
> purposes are all designated and symbolized by the color of the vestments which
> the Church prescribes for each Mass.
> When are these colors used? When the Church wishes to denote purity, innocence
> or glory, she uses white; that is, on the feasts of our Lord and of the Blessed
> Virgin, on the festivals of angels and of all saints who were not martyrs. Red
> is the color of fire and of blood; it is used in Masses of the Holy Ghost, such
> as on Pentecost, to remind us of the tongues of fire — and on the feasts of all
> saints who shed their blood for their faith. The purple or violet is expressive
> of penance; it is used during Lent and Advent (except on saints’ days), and also
> on the sorrowful festival of the Holy Innocents. [White] is the color of [the
> resurrection and so is used in masses] for the dead. Red is used on Good Friday
> and Palm Sunday. Green is the color which denotes the growth and increase of our
> holy Church, and is also symbolic of hope; it is used at various times of the
> year, on days that are not saints’ days.

> The article on Holy Water was informative:

> The use of holy water in Catholic Churches goes back possibly to Apostolic
> times. There is a tradition that St. Matthew recommended it in order thereby to
> attract converts from Judaism by using a rite with which they were familiar in
> their former faith. However, we have no certainty that he introduced it, but we
> know that it can be traced back nearly to the beginning of our religion. It is
> mentioned in a letter ascribed by some to Pope Alexander I, and supposed to have
> been written in the year 117; but the genuineness of this letter is very
> doubtful. We find a detailed account of its use, however, in the “Pontifical of
> Serapion,” in the fourth century, and the formula of blessing mentioned therein
> has considerable resemblance to that used at the present day.

> The Asperges.
> The blessing of water [at] Mass on Sunday and the sprinkling of the congregation
> with it, which ceremony is called the “Asperges,” goes back to the time of Pope
> Leo IV, in the ninth century, and possibly even further. The word Asperges is
> the opening word of a verse of Psalm 50, which is recited … as follows: “Thou
> shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, O Lord, and I shall be cleansed; Thou shalt wash
> me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.” [See Ps. 50:9 in the Douay Rheims
> version, or Ps 51 in the NAB or other modern versions, and footnote 3 in the
> NAB.]
> The custom of placing holy water at the door of the church for the use of the
> faithful is still more ancient. Among the Jews a ceremony of purification was
> required before entering the Temple to assist at the sacrifices, and this
> undoubtedly suggested the Catholic practice of using holy water at the church
> door. It is said to have been in vogue in the second century, and we know that
> it is at least of very ancient date.

> In the Middle Ages it was customary to use holy water when entering the church,
> but not when leaving it — the idea being that purification was necessary before
> entering the house of God, but that after assisting at the Holy Sacrifice it was
> no longer needed. However, the general practice now is to take it both on
> entering and departing…

> Why does the Church use salt in holy water? Because it was a Jewish custom, and
> because of the symbolical meaning of salt. Just as water is used for cleansing
> and for quenching fire, so salt is used to preserve from decay. Therefore the
> Church combines them in this sacramental, to express the various reasons why it
> is used — to help to wash away the stains of sin, to quench the fire of our
> passions, to preserve us from relapses into sin. Moreover, salt is regarded as a
> symbol of wisdom. Our Lord called His Apostles “the salt of the earth,” because
> by them the knowledge of the Gospel was to be spread over the world.
> And, there are pictures of volcanoes near the parish:
>
> +James

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Katia

Katia is a consecrated independent sacramental bishop. She directs the online Esoteric Mystery School and Interfaith Theological Seminary. Check it out at NorthernWay.org.

2 thoughts on “How to Make (and use) Holy Water”

  1. Dear +Katia
    That was an interesting discussion about Holy Water. I had always thought of it as used primarily in Sacramental Christian Churches.
    This is a site where Bishop Elect Tony++ has made major contributions.
    He is a nationally recognized expert in these areas, and I encourage everyone to review http://sophiascompendium.com/home.html
    Blessings to all,
    +James

  2. Blessings,
    Ah…I remember this discussion and it was indeed an enlivening one. Holy Water existed even before the Catholic church per se. Take for instance the River Ganges…the sacred river of India…sacred to Hindus and Buddhist and perhaps the Jains or Sikhs?? I do not know…but holy water nonetheless.

    We are created in water and birthed forth from the water of our mothers Womb…yes, holy water abounds.

    Brightest Blessings,
    Tamu Ngina

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