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The solemn blessing of water during the Easter Vigil ceremonies. The culminating point in the liturgy is the lowering of the Easter candle (representing Christ) into the water and raising it again, up to three times. This symbolizes how Christ was lowered into death and rose from the tomb. The water becomes a symbol of both death and life, of humanity's death to sin through repentance and of rising with Christ in the newness of supernatural life. The water is used for the administration of baptism, which follows during the Easter Vigil.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.