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Blessing of Holy Water Outside of Mass

On the basis of age-old custom, water is one of the signs that the Church often uses in blessing the faithful. Holy water reminds the faithful of Christ, who is given to us as the supreme divine blessing, who called himself the living water, and who, with water, established Baptism for our sake as the sacramental sign of the blessing that brings salvation.

The blessing of holy water usually takes place on Sunday, in keeping with the rite given in the Sacramentary. But when the blessing of water takes place outside Mass, the rite given here may be used by the priest or deacon. While maintaining the structure and chief elements of the rite, the celebrant should adapt the celebration to the circumstances of the place and the people involved.

ORDER OF BLESSING

Introductory Rites

The celebrant begins with these words:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All make the Sign of the Cross and reply:
Amen.

The celebrant greets those present, using the following or other suitable words, taken mainly from Sacred Scripture:
May God, who through water and the Holy Spirit has given us a new birth in Christ, be with you all.

All make the following or some other suitable reply:
And with your spirit.

As circumstances suggest, the celebrant may prepare those present for the blessing in the following or similar words:
The blessing of this water reminds us of Christ, the living water, and of the sacrament of Baptism, in which we were born of water and the Holy Spirit. Whenever, therefore, we are sprinkled with this holy water or use it in blessing ourselves upon entering the church or at home, we thank God for his priceless gift to us and we ask for his help to keep us faithful to the sacrament we have received in faith.

Reading of the Word of God

A reader, another person present or the celebrant reads a short text of sacred Scripture, such as the following:

Listen to the words of the Holy Gospel according to John: 7:37-39

Let anyone who is thirsty come to me.

On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood up and exclaimed, "Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture says: ‘Rivers of living water will flow from within him.'"

He said this in reference to the Spirit that those who came to believe in him were to receive. There was, of course, no Spirit yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

The reader concludes:
The Gospel of the Lord.

All respond:
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Alternative Readings:

You will draw water joyfully from
the springs of salvation.  Isaiah 12:1-6

Oh, come to the water,
all you who are thirsty.  Isaiah 55:1-11

She will give him the water
of wisdom to drink.  Sirach 15:1-6

Jesus Christ came by water
and blood.  1 John 5:1-6

The Lamb will lead them to
the springs of living water.  Revelation 7:13-17

The river of life, rising from the
throne of God and of the Lamb.  Revelation 22:1-5

You, too, are clean.  John 13:3-15

Prayer of Blessing

After the reading, the celebrant says:
Let us pray.

All pray briefly in silence; then, with hands outstretched, the celebrant says the prayer of blessing:

Blessed are you, Lord, all-powerful God,
who in Christ, the living water of salvation,
blessed and transformed us.
Grant that when we are sprinkled with this water
or make use of it,
we will be refreshed inwardly by the power
of the Holy Spirit
and continue to walk in the new life
we received at Baptism.

We ask this though Christ our Lord.  
R. Amen.

or

Lord, holy Father,
look with kindness on your children
redeemed by your Son
and born to a new life by water and the Holy Spirit.
Grant that those who are sprinkled with this water
may be renewed in body and spirit
and may make a pure offering of their service to you.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

or the celebrant says:

O God, the Creator of all things,
by water and the Holy Spirit
you have given the universe its beauty
and fashioned us in your own image.
R. Bless and purify your Church.

O Christ the Lord, from your pierced side
you gave us your sacraments
as fountains of salvation.
R. Bless and purify your Church.

O Holy Spirit, giver of life,
from the baptismal font of the Church
you have formed us into a new creation
in the waters of rebirth.
R. Bless and purify your Church.

After the prayer of blessing, the celebrant sprinkles those present with holy water, as a suitable song is sung; as circumstances suggest, he may first say the following words:

Let this water call to mind our Baptism into Christ, who has redeemed us by his death and resurrection.
R. Amen.

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Nov
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November 27, 2014

Thursday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

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