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Nan Offline OP
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I know it's an odd question but in my mom's cupboard resides a vintage bottle of holy water that dates to shortly before WWI; my grandpa was born here but his parents decided to move back so they packed up their family and went. They were gone several years, until someone saw the writing on the wall and suggested they come back here. I don't know if that was before or after Gavril Princip shot the Archduke, but my guess is that it was between that act and war actually starting.

My great-grandparents packed up their family again and brought a bottle of holy water from whatever village they were from. It has been handed down through the family and is in a cupboard at my mom's house. At this point, it's somewhat of a family relic so most likely will continue not to be used. But I started wondering whether Holy Water expires after a period of non-use

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Not that I ever heard of! On the other hand, I would not advise drinking the Holy Water after so many years in a sealed jar.

Fr. Serge

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A friend of mine told me that his grandmother, disgusted with her husband's use of "the drink" filled an ice cube tray with Holy Waterin the hopes that when it was used to make cocktails, it would have effect restraint or moderation.

About a week into her efforts, he quit drinking altogether and started going to Mass with her.

Now I bet if she had THIS holy water, it may have "taken" in just one shot!


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Nan Offline OP
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When would you drink holy water?

Does it become more holy over time?

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I hope that they don't sell holy water in bottles. it would be too expensive and harmful to the environment.
Much Love,
Jonn

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Nan Offline OP
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I just read an editorial in the NY Times that said the 1.5 million barrels of oil used to make water bottles could fuel 100,000 cars for a year. That's just the water bottles.

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Originally Posted by Nan
I started wondering whether Holy Water expires after a period of non-use
Nan,

Isn't it wonderful that God's blessings do not have an expiration date? This is a reminder that the Kingdom of Heaven is in our midst--ever ancient and ever new!


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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Last week a gentleman from Latin America who is visiting here stopped me in the parish church with a little plastic cup and asked for some blessed water. I took his little cup and filled it with holy water. He promptly took it from me and, down the hatch! I had no idea he wanted to drink it. It came from the holy water tank in the vestibule of the church. Is drinking holy water a common practice in some cultures?
Blessings! Silouan, Mary's monk

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Originally Posted by monksilouan
Is drinking holy water a common practice in some cultures?
Blessings! Silouan, Mary's monk


Yes, in Orthodox Christian cultures it is a common practice. This is also indicated in the prayers of the Sanctification of Waters, in which we pray for those that will partake of the water.

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+


Everyone baptized into Christ should pass progressively through all the stages of Christ's own life, for in baptism he receives the power so to progress, and through the commandments he can discover and learn how to accomplish such progression. - Saint Gregory of Sinai
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Water from baptisms is often used as holy water, as well.

I had no idea Latin Americans drank holy water. It's also interesting how they hold their fingers while making the sign of the cross...not quite the Byzantine practice, but closer than the open-handed "crossing with five."

Where the original question may be coming from is: I've heard priests say parishoners are supposed to get "fresh" holy water every year at Theophany, and encourage them to use up all last year's "supply." I don't think it gradually loses holiness, though (though, as always, I could be wrong).

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Western Orthodoxy Blog

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Again, there is no reason to think that the blessing in the Holy Water diminishes gradually over time. Still, I can appreciate why the priest would advise obtaining fresh supplies of Holy Water regularly - because drinking water can go stagnant.

Call me an unbeliever if you wish - my custom in Dublin is to purchase about 3 extra-large jugs of water from a nearby shop for the Great Hallowing of Waters on Theophany - because I don't trust the tap water in that part of town, let alone the river water. I have no objection to blessing the river water, but I still wouldn't drink the stuff on a bet!

Fr. Serge

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My Baba used to drink Holy Water on a regular basis--whenever she became sick or even felt sick she would drink it directly out of a mason jar in the refrigerator (at least I THINK it was Holy Water in the Mason Jar!) and she would even make tea out of it and put some in her chicken soup. Which could cure a broken leg overnight. So the Holy Water has to have some good effects!

I just picked up some at a Maronite Church while on vacation. They church was open during the day (not a large town, obviously!) and they had the red "cough syrup" type bottles in a basket near the container of Holy Water. I have it at home and will keep it in the fridge and use it accordingly. Unless I can find one of my Baba's mason jars.....

Although while cleaning our the cellar the other day I did find two bottles of my Dad's dandelion wine and peach brandy from 1978. Now THAT will help cure any cold!

Tim


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Quote
My Baba used to drink Holy Water on a regular basis--whenever she became sick or even felt sick she would drink it directly out of a mason jar in the refrigerator (at least I THINK it was Holy Water in the Mason Jar!) and she would even make tea out of it and put some in her chicken soup. Which could cure a broken leg overnight. So the Holy Water has to have some good effects!


Dear Tim,

I have some holy oil from Saint Nektarios. Whenever I feel sick I place a little on my tongue. Now that tastes bad, nothing like rancid olive oil. It works though! wink

God Bless,

Zenovia

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Zenovia--do you know if some of these things are available without having to travel to those places? I would imagine there are places on the web where we can order some things. It may seem a bit tacky to some places, but as you said, you put a bit of holy oil on your tongue and it helps. I could use all the help I can get. Not joking, a simple statement of reality for me. Or is it just better to ask my priest if he knows where I can get some things?


Tim


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I always get out the relic of St Ann.
Her intercession has never failed me yet. If I am real desperate I go to Throndheim and drink the water from the well of St Olav.
Stephanos I

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