Probaly a stupid question regarding Holy Water

Okay, in Catholic Belief, If I’m not mistaken, holy water is created when a priest blesses a body of water. Correct?

So hypotheically, could the Pope go to the beach, wade into the water and bless the mediterrean, and by extension, turn every ocean on earth into Holy water? Or is there some kind of pratical limit?

Not important, but I’m just curious.

No. Holy water is “holy” because it has been set aside for a specifically religious purpose – originally for administering baptism, and subsequently for use in other rituals. The setting aside is usually – but not necessarily – marked by a blessing.

It’s not necessary that the water used for baptism or other ritual purposes should be blessed, or indeed set aside or reserved. It’s customary but, if you needed to, you could use water scooped out of the gutter.

There’s no reason why the pope – or anyone else – would bless the oceans but, if he did, that would’t make them “holy water”. It’s the setting aside for ritual purposes that identifies holy water, and it would be kind of hard to set the oceans aside, wouldn’t it?

Oh, I suppose you know a better way to keep Dracula at bay?

Garlic has always worked for me. I carry a clove of Holy Garlic about my person at all times.

Holy water is simply the result of the setting aside of a particular body of water, whether a cruet or a pond, for religious purposes. There’s no “transubstantiation” involved in it, merely its being blessed by God at the behest of the priest’s prayer for use in religious purposes.

I was present once at a baptism in the St. Lawrence River, where the priest in question (now Bishop of Albany) consecrated the river for the purpose of the baptism. That does not, however, mean that the whole river was, is, and forever shall be, holy water – merely that the water in which the individuals being baptized were being immersed was set apart for its function in baptism.

Well, under the 3.5 rules…

At Easter there is a special ceremony for blessing water. In addition to saying the appropriate prayers, the priest also pours some Holy Oil into it, then dunks in the Paschal Candle. I know about this because I was an alter boy, and at one point we discussed what holy water must taste like. One of the more savvy altar boys brought up the ceremony.

OTOH, I seriously doubt if all the holy water for the entire parish for the entire year is generated at this ceremony, and I suspect that the priest simply blesses a container of water. I’ve never heard of a priest or pope blessing an entire body of water (say, Lake Superior) to produce a luddicrously huge quantity of Holy Water.

Damn it, Ethilrist. I’ll send you the bill for the removal of orange juice from my keyboard.

That was damned funny, BTW.

I don’t know. If he can consecrate the entire human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the oceans should be no problem.

3.5 rule? Ok, I obviously missed something here…and now I’m curious about this joke! Do explain, please!

It’s a Dungeons & Dragons joke.

If you don’t get it, it means you’re not a dork. Congratulations!

“3.5 rules”

Refers to the inevitable rules-lawyering that occurs in each new Dungeons and Dragons rule edition. For example, in 1st edition, one could have an impregnable armor class, so a rules-lawyer player would claim that they should be able to walk unscathed through an army of dagger-wielding goblins, take their treasure, and walk out again without a scratch.

Now that UDS has kindly clarified that the act of blessing water doesn’t change it in any way, may I ask what the point of ‘blessing’ something is? What does the act of blessing achieve, or, if this is a better way to put it, what is the effect, result or consequence? Given two otherwise similar items (two people, two phials of water, two congregations), one of which has been blessed and the other not at some point in the past, how could one tell the difference?

It is a ritual thing.

Two vials of water, one blessed and one not are impossible to differentiate in and of themselves. One or the other would have to be marked or placed in a special place or position to identify it.

Look for the tag reading “This vial blessed by priest #47.” :smiley:

In Jesus Christ Vampire Slayer, the big JC is kung-fu fighting some vampires on the beach and kills the last one by blessing the ocean and giving her a dunk.

Easy. Holy Water harms the undead, apparently acting like acid does to living things. Regular water will not.

So, hypotheically, if you threw holy water at the undead, it would scald them badly. Regular water would just get them wet.

Of course, the trick is finding an undead creature to test this on.

Hey, they (the Vatican) make the rules. So, if they want to be able to turn a whole ocean into holy water (abracadabra) then it’s done.
My point is that it’s a religious belief made up by a group of guys living in Italy and has no factual answer. Whatever they decide the answer is, is what it is, since they’re the ones that made up the whole “blessing of water” in the first place.

Hey, Hampshire, as an Anglican, I have to say that we Anglicans and the Orthodox would protest strongly against the idea that “the Vatican makes the rules.” You may remember Henry Tudor having some choice comments on this issue, a few years back. :slight_smile:

As for the “how can you tell it’s holy water” question, I tried to address this in my first post here – the water is not changed in any way, simply set apart for use in religious ceremony (public or private). Tongue in cheek though rjung’s post was, it would be the only way to tell.

Loosely said, if it brings you a sense of spiritual satisfaction to have water which a priest has blessed on hand, more power to you, but it differs in no way from water that was created by the priest’s Boss and has not been prayed over.

But I am a dork! And I used to play D&D (2nd edition)! Is that worse? That I’m not even a very good dork?