The Sacred Source
In the Old Testament we read that God sent Moses to lead the chosen people: “ Take in thy hand the rod and strike the rock and water shall come out of it, that the people may drink.” And Moses did as the Lord commanded him. A fresh source sprang up and gave forth abundant water with which the thirsty multitude were refreshed.
Now, in the new Covenant the Catholic Church holds the place of Moses. She has received the command to lead the chosen people of the kingdom of Jesus Christ and to open to them the source of grace—in the words of St. Paul, Jesus Christ Himself—is Prayer. By prayer the Church performs her work of redeeming souls; for it is extremely efficacious; of her prayer may be said, in the words of Our Saviour: “Ask and you shall receive!” By her powerful prayer also the Church sanctions holy water.
Holy water is composed of two elements, water and salt. Very beautiful are the prayers, and deeply significant the ceremonies with which the priest converts both into a mediation of divine grace; the evil spirits are exorcised so that the water may be efficacious in warding off their evil influence; and it is consecrated so that it may become a mediator of divine grace.
The priest, wearing a purple stole, blesses the holy water in the following manner:
Our help in the Name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
[The Priest exorcises the salt].
I exorcise thee, creature of salt, by the living + God, by the true + God, by the holy + God, by that God who ordered thee to be put by Eliseus the prophet into the water, that the barrenness of the water might be healed; that thou mayest become exorcised salt for the salvation of those that believe; and that thou mayest be for the healing of soul and body to all those receiving thee, and that there may be banished from the place in which thou hast been sprinkled every kind of hallucination and wickedness, or wile of devilish deceit, and every unclean spirit, adjured in the name of Him who will come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire. Amen.
LET US PRAY.
O Almighty and eternal God, we humbly implore Thine infinite mercy, that this creature of salt which Thou hast bestowed for the use of mankind may be blessed + and sanctified + through Thy mercy, that it may make for health of mind and body to all who partake of it; and that what ever is touched or sprinkled with it may be freed from all uncleanness, and from the assaults of the evil spirit. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee for ever and ever. Amen.
[He then exorcises the water.]
I exorcise thee, creature of water, in the Name of God + the Father Almighty, and in the name of Jesus + Christ His Son our Lord, and in the power of the Holy + Spirit, that thou mayest be made exorcised water for the banishment of every power of the enemy, and that thou mayest be able to uproot and cast out that enemy himself, together with his rebel angels: by the power of the same Jesus Christ Our Lord, Who will come to judge the living and the dead, and the world by fire. Amen.