Catholic Activity: Holy Water
Rev. Schmiedeler emphasizes the importance of frequent use of holy water within the home. Note that the blessing of holy water included in this text is from the old Roman Ritual. It has been changed.
First of all, in speaking of blessings and blessed articles, we may well think of Holy water. This blessed water is used for many purposes and in conjunction with many blessings. It should be on hand in every Catholic home.
The formula the Church uses in blessing it is a very fitting one. It reads as if it were meant specifically for home use. Here are some of its words:
Whatever it sprinkles in the homes of the faithful, be it cleansed and delivered from harm. Let such homes enjoy a spirit of goodness and an air of tranquility, freed from baneful and hidden snares. By the sprinkling of this water, may everything opposed to the safety and repose of them that dwell therein be banished, so that they may possess the well-being they seek in calling upon Thy Holy Name, and be protected from all evil.
Holy water may be blessed by the priest at any time. Very commonly, however, it is blessed before the principal Mass on Sunday and is then used for the Asperges that precedes that Mass. In many churches it is kept in a large crock or other vessel at the rear of the church. From there the people can take it in containers to their homes.
At least one holy water font should be in every home. There will be a number of opportunities to use it during the day. If used regularly in the evening - for instance, for the blessing of the children before they retire - this practice will be a consistent reminder to keep a supply on hand.
Another type of holy water is Easter water. It is so called because of the fact that it is distributed to the people on Holy Saturday, the day before Easter. Part of the water is used for the blessing of baptismal water, the remainder is given to the parishioners. It is used for various purposes in the homes, but particularly for the blessing of the Easter food. In some places it is used for the solemn blessing of the homes of the parishioners by the priest on Holy Saturday.
Besides the usual holy water, Easter water and baptismal water, there is still a fourth kind of holy water. This is known as water of consecration. It is used in the consecration of churches, altars and altar stones. It is also called Gregorian water, after Pope Gregory IX, who ordered its use.
Activity Source: Your Home, A Church in Miniature by Compiled by The Family Life Bureau in the early 1950s, The Neumann Press, Long Prairie, Minnesota, 1994