Holy water, one of the most important sacramentals in the Catholic Church, has a lot more use beyond the Sunday liturgy.
You can use it outside of church to bless yourself, your family, your home, and various objects. Here’s an explainer on holy water and how to bless an object with holy water.
What You'll Learn Today
Can Anyone Use Holy Water?
Holy water is sacred and we should pay utmost reverence to it. But that doesn’t mean it’s reserved just for the priest and church clergy to use.
Anyone can use holy water. Yes, that includes non-believers and non-catholics.
That’s not to mean that anyone who uses holy water will enjoy blessings and grace conferred by the water.
To enjoy the benefits of holy water, you must be in the right disposition. That is, in a state of grace and firm faith.
Faith is what turns the simple act of dipping your fingers into the font at the entrance of the church and making the sign of the cross into a powerful act.
If you believe, you can use holy water to confer divine blessings on your life, ward off evil from around you, and impart actual grace to ourselves and our families.
Where to Get Holy Water?
The best place to get holy water is at a Catholic Church. Go to your usual church or any Catholic Church near you with a container such as a bottle.
Locate the font containing the holy water. It’s a large container usually at the entrance to the church. If you can’t find it, ask the priest or staff member for help.
Fill your container from the font. Some fonts have a faucet or spigot you can use to fill your container with holy water.
The reason why you should get holy water from the church is that you are sure it’s been blessed by a priest.
Water that’s not been blessed is just water.
There are some stores that sell holy water, but we don’t recommend buying it since there’s no guarantee that it has been blessed.
You can get holy water from any catholic church for free.
Note: You can also carry water to the church in a bottle or container and ask the priest to bless it. It then becomes holy water.
How to Bless an Object With Holy Water?
Now that you have holy water with you, you can use it to bless just about anything like your car, furniture, garden, and anything you want to impart blessings on.
All you need to do is sprinkle the holy water onto the object, make the sign of the cross, and say a prayer of blessing.
There isn’t a specific prayer prescribed for holy water. You can use your own words to bless that object or borrow from one of the many Catholic Prayers. You can also just say the Lord’s Prayer.
The holy water is already blessed, so you don’t need to worry so much about what to say. Simply sprinkling or applying the water onto an object while believing is enough.
Tip: If it’s not safe to sprinkle an object with holy water (e.g. an appliance or a book), you can wet your finger with the water and lightly touch the object.
How To Use Holy Water To Cleanse A Home?
You can bless your house too, or your friend’s home.
Walk around the house sprinkling holy water onto the walls and floor as you say prayers of blessings. If you are not sure what to say, here’s a prayer for a house.
You can say it when cleansing a new house or an old home.
Another option is to recite bible verses as you sprinkle the holy water. One of our favorite verses to bless a home with is Isaiah 32:18.
My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
There’s also Joshua 24:15: But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
For continued blessings, consider setting up a font at the entrance to the home and filling it with holy water.
That way, anytime someone enters or leaves the house, they can say a blessing using the holy water.
How To Bless Yourself (and Your Family) With Holy Water?
The same way you bless yourself with holy water during Sunday mass, you can also bless yourself at any time and any day of the week.
An easy way to remember to bless yourself is setting up a font near your front door. Then everytime you go out and come in, dip your fingers in the water, make the sign of the cross and say a blessing.
You can also carry holy water in a bottle and bless yourself wherever you are.
You can also bless your loved ones with holy water. Sprinkle or touch them with the holy water, make the sign of the cross, and say a blessing over them.
Can I Drink Holy Water?
There’s no prohibition on drinking holy water. But you don’t need to do it to get God’s grace and blessings. Simply applying a bit of the water on yourself, someone else, or an object is enough.
If you want, you can drink it but make sure it’s water that’s safe to drink. If you got it from the font at the church, it’s probably not potable and could make you ill.
Can You Make Your Own Holy Water?
You may come across websites and blogs with tips on how to make your own holy water. But as far as the Catholic faith goes, there’s nothing like DIY holy water.
Holy water must be blessed by the priest for it to be considered so.
So, no, you cannot make your own holy water since only the priest can bless the water. If you want holy water, you can get it at any parish at no charge.
How To Of Dispose Holy Water?
For hygiene purposes, you should not keep using the same holy water for too long. This is especially important if the water is in a font that people dip their fingers in.
After some time, dispose of the water and replace it with fresh holy water.
Because holy water is sacred, you should not pour it down the drain like regular water. Instead, holy water should be poured into the ground.
Catholic Churches have a sacrarium for disposing holy water into the ground. At home, you can simply pour the water onto the ground.
A pot or planter box is also acceptable.