From a reader…
Hello Fr Z! Our pastor puts a lot of salt in the holy water. So much so that a MASSIVE crust forms on our font at home. Is it OK to dilute the holy water a bit with regular tap water to bring down the concentration of salt? I don’t know if diluting would remove the priestly blessing. I think it is awesome that our priest blesses the water with blessed salt but am worried about the effects of the salt on our clothes since we use it at home a lot. Thanks!
It is great that your priest is using the exorcised and blessed salt. That suggests to me that he is using the older, traditional form which is the ONLY way that this priest will ever use.
Everyone… USE Holy Water. The Devil really hates it. As St. Teresa of Avila wrote:
“I know by frequent experience that there is nothing which puts the devils to flight like Holy water.”
The simple solution (pun intended) is cheerfully to show your priest a photo of the crust that forms from the great amount of salt.
I suppose you could add a little… a very little bit of water to your Holy Water.
But this brings us to the issue of dilution of Holy Water for the sake of extending it.
Please, don’t do that. Get more Holy Water.
It is possible, in a pinch, to add a small amount of water to Holy Water or Baptismal Water if there isn’t a sufficient quality for the task for which it is needed. However, that should not be the usual practice and only a small amount, proportionally, should be added. And, frankly, I can’t think of many circumstances in which you would urgently need a lot more. I can conjure some… I guess, if I try.
It is better simply to ask Father to bless more Holy Water and make sure it is in sufficient supply.
It doesn’t take much time to bless Holy Water, even with the older rite in the traditional Rituale Romanum (which is the only rite which I have ever used or which I would even consider using… in case I didn’t mention that earlier).
Your priest clearly is willing to bless Holy Water. However, if other priests out there are too lazy to do even what the Novus Ordo indicates… well… shame on them. Someone should kick their reverend backsides. However, it is far more likely that this problem doesn’t occur to him, because he is not asked to bless Holy Water. Thus, he doesn’t think about it.
HINT TO PRIESTS AND SACRISTANS:
A good practice is for every sacristy to have a large card with the words “BLESS” and “BLESSED” on opposing sides. Prop up that card with the “BLESS” side displayed near the water containers (I’ve done several buckets at a time, no problemo) and the page-marked book and the stole and the salt. A good deal of salt can be blessed ahead of time, by the way. You just start with the exorcism and blessing of the water that way. When the priest is done, he turns the card over to “BLESSED”. Bada bing. Holy Water!