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The Blessing of Holy Water on Saturday, the Vigil of Pentecost

[Vigil Mass - Pentecost]

The feast of Pentecost, similar to Epiphany and Easter as a baptismal feast, is celebrated in some places with six prophecies, the blessing of the baptismal font and baptismal water, and the Litany of the Saints, much like the Easter Vigil. The blessing of Holy Water at the Vigil when the Prophecies and Litany are not chanted (or read) follows:

[Priest:] The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.

[Priest:] Let us pray. O almighty and eternal God, look mercifully on the devotion of the people who are about to be born anew, and pant like the hart after the fountain of Thy waters. Mercifully grant that the thirst of their faith may, by the Sacrament of Baptism, sanctify their souls and bodies. This we ask of Thee ... world without end.
[All:] Amen.

[Priest:] The Lord be with you.
[All:] And with thy spirit.

[Priest:] Let us pray. O almighty and eternal God, be present at these mysteries of Thy great goodness. Be present at these Sacraments, and send forth the Spirit of adoption to regenerate the new people, whom the font of baptism brings forth; that what is to be done by our humble ministry may be accomplished by the effect of Thy power. This we ask of Thee through . . . world without end.
[All:] Amen.

[Priest:] The Lord be with you.
[All:] And with thy spirit.
[Priest:] Lift up your hearts.
[All:] We have lifted them up to the Lord.
[Priest:] Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
[All:] It is meet and just.

[Priest:] It is truly meet and just, right and profitable for us, at all times and in all places to give thanks to Thee, O Lord, the holy One, the Father Almighty, the everlasting God; Who by a power unseen by man dost wonderfully work the effects of Thy Sacraments. And although we be unworthy for the performance of such great mysteries, nonetheless, not deserting the gifts of Thy grace, Thou dost incline the ear of thy pity to the prayers of such as we. O God, whose Spirit was borne upon the waters from the very beginning of the world, that even the nature of the waters might be impregnated with Thy sanctifying power; O God, Who, washing away with Thy waters, the guilt of an offending world, didst exhibit the form of regeneration in the very pouring forth of the flood, that by the mystery of the one and same element, there might be both an end to sin, and a beginning of righteousness. Look, O Lord, upon the face of Thy Church, and multiply Thy regenerations within her, Thou who dost gladden the city with the tide of Thine affluent grace, and dost open the fountain of Baptism for the renewal of nations throughout all the world, that by the command of Thy majesty, she may receive from the Holy Ghost the grace of Thine only-begotten Son.

The priest divides the waters with his hand in the form of a cross.

And may that same Holy Ghost, by the hidden virtue of His Godhead, make fruitful this water prepared for the regeneration of men, that a heavenly offspring, conceived in sanctification, may emerge from the immaculate womb of this divine font, reborn to newness of life, and that grace, as a mother, bring forth everyone, however different in age or sex, into a like spiritual infancy. At Thy bidding, therefore, O Lord, may every unclean spirit depart from hence; far be removed all malice of diabolical deceit. Here let no admixture of the enemy's power have any place; let it not hover in ambush; let it not creep in unperceived; let it not corrupt with infection.

The priest touches the water with his hand.

May this holy and innocent creature be free from every assault of the adversary and purged of every flaw of wickedness. May it be a living fountain, a regenerating water, a purifying tide; that all who shall be washed in these waters of salvation may, by the working of the Holy Ghost in them, obtain the perfect favor of cleansing.

The priest makes the sign of the cross three times over the water, saying:

Wherefore, I bless thee, O creature water, in the name of the living + God, of the true + God, of the holy + God, of the God Who, in the beginning, by His word, divided thee from the dry land; whose spirit was borne upon thee.

Parting the water with his hand, the priest casts them to "the four corners of the earth," north, south, east, and west.

He it was Who bade thee to flow from the fountain of paradise and commanded thee to water the earth in four rivers. Who, when thou wast bitter in the desert, put sweetness into thee, made thee good to drink, and drew thee from the rock for His thirsty people. I bless + thee also in the name of Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who by a wonderful miracle in Cana of Galilee, converted thee into wine; Who with His feet walked upon thee; and was baptized in thee by John in the Jordan. Who gave thee forth, together with blood from His side; and ordered His disciples that those who believed should be Baptized in thee, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

He immerses the Paschal Candle into the water, saying:

May the virtue of the Holy Ghost descend into all the waters of this font. And may He render the whole substance of this water fruitful with the quality of regeneration. Here may the stains of all sins be washed away; here may nature, created to Thine image and reformed to the honorable estate of its origin, be cleansed of all the foulness of the past; that every human being, by entering into this Sacrament of regeneration, may be born again into a new infancy of true innocence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who shall come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.
[All:] Amen.



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