holy water

(redirected from Liturgical Use of Water)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

holy water,

in Christian churches, water blessed to symbolize spiritual cleansing. In Roman Catholic churches there is a bowl (stoup or font) of holy water near the doors, so that the faithful may bless themselves with it on entering. Holy water is a sacramentalsacramental,
in the Roman Catholic Church, aid to devotion that is not a sacrament. Sacramentals are commonly divided into six classes: prayer, anointing, eating, confession, giving, and blessings.
..... Click the link for more information.
 and is used in formal blessings, including the aspergesasperges
, ceremonial sprinkling of the people with holy water by the priest before the Sunday High Mass in the Roman Catholic Church. The accompanying antiphon begins, Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor
..... Click the link for more information.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

Holy Water

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Water that is used in religious and/or magical rites. It is usually ordinary water to which salt has been added and that has been consecrated before use. In Witchcraft, this consecration is done by placing the forefinger or the tip of an athamé into the water while asking that all negativity be removed and all good enter into it.

It was once thought that Christian holy water was a powerful witch deterrent. It was also considered a protection from sickness and a cure for many ailments. In some towns and villages, churches had lockable lids fastened to the fonts to stop people from helping themselves to the powerful panacea.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.