QUAERITUR: consuming blessed salt

From a reader:

Is it a respectful and proper use of the sacramentals of Holy Water and Blessed Salt for a pious Catholic to either consume or cook with them, for the purpose of (without superstition) restoring and promoting health of mind and body for themselves and their loved ones?

I have heard differing opinions on the matter, both from priests and laity, and was wondering if Canon Law or other documents spoke to their proper usage. Your personal opinion would also be most appreciated.

I think it is proper to use blessed salt also for cooking.

The prayer for the blessing of salt refers to its consumption.

O you creature of salt, I purge you of all evil by the living + God, by the true + God, by the holy + God, who commanded by the Prophet Elisha that you be put into water in order that the sterility of the water would be healed: so that you might be rendered a purified salt for the salvation of believers, and so that you might be a healthiness of soul and body to all who consume you, and so that you may put to flight and drive out from a place in which you will have been scattered every phantom and wickedness, and cunning trap of diabolical deceit, and every unclean spirit be solemnly banished by command through Him Who shall come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire.  R. Amen.

 

As you can see, blessed salt is for the blessing of holy water, for sprinkling in places, and for consumption.

Using Holy Water?  I don’t see why not.  However, sometimes it is old.  If it wasn’t perfectly fresh I would hesitate to use it.

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20 Responses to QUAERITUR: consuming blessed salt

  1. luiz says:

    When I was a child, my mother used to give me Holy Water to drink!

  2. ocsousn says:

    In the traditional Cistercian Rite the blessed salt left over from each Sunday’s blessing of Holy Water is taken to the kitchen and mixed with the salt used for cooking.
    Fr. Aidan Logan, OCso

  3. ejcmartin says:

    My wife asked the question what about food that was cooked with blessed salt that goes bad? How should one dispose of it, anyone know?

  4. 4mercy says:

    This is AMAZINGLY coincidental!! A couple of friends and I were discussing this very issue yesterday at a pool! I love to use blessed salt when I cook!

  5. cheekypinkgirl says:

    What about exorcized salt? A friend just gave me some. (And actually, I don’t know what to do with it!)

  6. Agnes says:

    I use blessed salt and blessed oil in my cooking, but I honestly can’t say if it makes a difference in the wildness of my kids (some have said it would calm them down). It’s a sacramental so it works according to the devotion of the person using it and not in and of itself like a Sacrament. So maybe I need to pray a little harder on a bad day like today rather than dumping in the whole box…

    I put it in boiling water for pasta. I never drink the stuff straight as it’s usually a bit stale. I also whip holy water at naughty kids, especially when excommunicating them to the back yard. “Go back from whence you came!” Still not too sure if it does any good. Again, effectiveness seems to depend on the devotion of the user. Sorry, but everyone knows my kids are raised by wolves.

    School starts… tomorrow. Right?

  7. Agnes says:

    Typo – I put holy water in with the pasta. Like I said – bad day.

  8. trishamtan says:

    I was once told that it’s a Polish tradition to take a whole canister of salt to be blessed the day after Easter, and to cook with it for the entire year until the next Easter (or until it runs out, I suppose). I am neither Polish nor have close friends who are Polish, so I couldn’t say whether this is true or not.

    I too, however, would be interested in knowing how one disposes of food cooked with blessed salt that has gone bad.

  9. PatrickV says:

    I will have to dig to find the citation, but I have read that our Eastern brethren drink the Holy Water, adding to its use to sign oneself or sprinkling during blessings.

  10. Oleg-Michael says:

    Indeed, the Eastern do drink Holy Water. There also are many natural springs that have been blessed by priests years-decades-centuries ago, and, technically, the water in those springs remains holy (that is, if we do believe that non-Catholic sacramentals are still valid). People drink it, use it for cooking, and everything. On the other hand, while we know that any amount of holy water added into any simple water makes the whole volume holy, and while we know about the hydrological cycle… does not that mean that, more or less, all water on Earth is by now holy? (Maybe not: once water has lost its accidents, becoming, for example, steam, or, er, a liquid different from water, it might also lose its ‘holiness’). Anyway, I’d suppose that drinking holy water for religious reasons is one thing, but using it for cooking, or making tea/coffee/whatever, is different, and maybe verges on sacrilege. My parish priest always instructs the congregation not to do anything like that with holy water, and not even to drink it – but, on the other hand, he is a little bit too concentrated on modern approaches, so it is possible that he is not right.

  11. Oleg-Michael says:

    And more: I’m not sure whether “omnibus sumentibus te” should indeed be translated as “all who consume you”. Indeed, ‘sumo’ does have a meaning like ‘to eat’, but it is one of a dozen or so meanings which I think to be marginal, while the main meaning is simply ‘to take’. There is a better fitting word, ‘consumo’, to be rendered as ‘consume’, and it does indeed mean ‘to consume, to eat’.

  12. I use blessed salt and holy water for cooking all the time. Just a pinch and a drop.

  13. PatrickV says:

    A question,

    What type of salt is to be blessed? Sea Salt, or can mined salt be used?

    Thanks

  14. Patrick: “salt”… unspecified

  15. Lee says:

    Would Kosher salt make it a mixed marriage? Joke for the day.

  16. frkevin says:

    Technically, holy water is used to bless oneself, or some other object. It is not “blessed” so that we can drink it. Notwithstanding the practice of some well intentioned pious people, “holy water” is a sacramental which should remind us of our baptism, our renunciation of Satan, etc. We baptize people with blessed water, we do not drink the blessed water.

    Salt is another matter. Blessed salt gives flavor, and can be used in food.

    We already have a sacrament which we eat and drink, i.e., the “Body and Blood” of Christ. Nowhere in the rubics, or anywhere else is there reference to drinking “holy water”. If someone is sick, let them call for the priest and they will be anointed with the “holy oil”. The drinking of holy water, not only could seem to be a certain fanaticism, but it distracts from the purpose of the water being blessed in the first place, namely, to recall our baptism, when we renounced Satan and were washed from sin.

  17. Paul V. N. says:

    Remember here in Britain a BBC radio programme a few years back with an English priest doing duty in rural South America and recounting his being amazed at how much Holy Water he was required to bless- until he was told that it was the custom in the village for all the cooking to be done in Holy Water! Presume they used Blessed Salt as well.

  18. Mary Bruno says:

    Trishamtan

    I have done the Easter Blessing, I am of Polish ancestry and grew up in a Polish Parish.

    There are several blessed foods. I did take a whole canister of salt to be blessed and I use it until it’s used up. Other traditional foods include bread, ham, sausage, eggs, horseradish (and I’m sure I am forgetting some) and the priest blesses each individually.

    People also include non-traditional foods in the Easter Blessing, mostly the foods they will prepare for Easter which includes wine and candy. This past year we included Peeps in our basket for the first time.

  19. Fr. Kelly says:

    to Oleg-Michael:
    And more: I’m not sure whether “omnibus sumentibus te” should indeed be translated as “all who consume you”. Indeed, ‘sumo’ does have a meaning like ‘to eat’, but it is one of a dozen or so meanings which I think to be marginal, while the main meaning is simply ‘to take’. There is a better fitting word, ‘consumo’, to be rendered as ‘consume’, and it does indeed mean ‘to consume, to eat’

    You can be sure on this point. The ordinary word for “take” is _capio_. _Sumo_ always includes the notion of taking as food. Grace before meals begins thus: Benedic, nos, Domine et haec tua dona quae de tua largitate sumus _sumpturi_ …(Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts, wich we are about to receive…) There is no doubt of the meaning of _sumo_ there. The difference between _sumo_ and _consumo_ is the difference between a gourmet and a gourmand: _Sumo_ means “I partake of” i.e. “I eat part of” _Consumo_ means I consume i.e. “I eat until it is all gone”

  20. Greg Smisek says:

    Salt is explicitly blessed and used for “tasting” in the usus antiquior rite of baptism, although this is a different exorcism and blessing from that used for the salt which is added to holy water. This was originally part of the rite making one a catechumen.