From a reader…
I have included some pictures as a visual aid for my question.
Today I went to confession at a church well over 100 years old. As such, the entrance ways are quite cold in the winter, especially right now since we’re in an Arctic Polar Vortex. As you can see below, the holy water in the stoup is a holy Popsicle. I had some blessed salt in my purse so I added a few granules to melt a small amount to bless myself with (also pictured below). It worked quite well.
This is not an uncommon problem. We had a funeral when the temperatures were reaching the -40°C mark (without the wind chill) and the holy water kept freezing outside.
This got me thinking; what are the requirements for holy water? Since salt naturally helps to prevent (or at least slow down) the freezing of water, and since exercised salt is already added to holy water that’s made according to the Roman Ritual, is there anything that prohibits adding a substantial amount of exorcised salt to holy water or using salt water to prevent freezing?
I only have ever use and only will ever use the older, traditional blessing for Holy Water in the Rituale Romanum. Period.
In the traditional blessing, salt is exorcised and blessed. After the water is also given the same treatment, the salt is added to the water with the invocation of the Trinity in a three-fold pouring in crosses.
There is no specified amount for the salt.
There have been times when I have added quite a bit of salt to retard any algae growth if I knew it was going to sit for a while or be stored. There have been times that I have had to clean a salty crust from stoops, left as the water evaporated. No harm no foul.
Perhaps you might suggest to Father to use the older rite and add quite a bit of salt.
Holy water brings actual graces to those who are disposed to receive them.
There can be both spiritual and corporal effects from the use of Holy Water. Use of Holy Water in making the sign of the Cross effects the forgiveness of venial sins. One should use it consciously, perhaps also saying an act of contrition. Holy Water helps us resist temptations that can come from the Devil, the Enemy of the soul. Demons hate Holy Water. The blessing of Holy Water refers to how it puts devils to flight. Holy Water can aid our intellect and will.
We use Holy Water in the Asperges and Vidi Aquam at Mass. We use it in blessing objects. We use it at funerals. We use it, in fact, all the time… or we should.
There are various kinds of waters which we bless and use as Catholics. Today I was chatting with a priest about my coming on the Vigil of Epiphay to bless a large quantity of “Epiphany Water” which will then be distributed to the large men’s group which will be in attendance.
Let’s use these spiritual aids. It is so easy to incorporate their use in our daily lives. Why not?