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WATER, LITURGICAL USE OF
A symbol of exteriior and interior purity, water is used in the administration of baptism, to signify the cleansing from sin; at Mass a few drops of water are mingled with the wine to indicate the union of Christ with the faithful and the blood and water that flowed from the side of Christ on Calvary; sprinkling with holy water is practiced before Mass and during Mass on special occasions (e.g., Easter Vigil), at weddings, funerals, and other functions.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.