minima maxima sunt

The Small things are the Great things; as in a grain of mustard seed.


Blessing of Holy Water at Easter Vigil

Easter Sunday is the beginning of the Easter season, sometimes called Eastertide, which lasts for 50 days until Pentecost Sunday. Like Christmas, the liturgical season lasts much longer than just a day. As such the idea of new birth and resurrection factor into the celebration of the mass through this time. The Asperges, which is a rite of sprinkling of the congregation with Holy Water, may be performed on Sundays through lent. The rite is a reminder of our Baptism.

During the rite, the priest will bless water, and may add some salt, then using a branch of hyssop or sprinkler, will proceed to sprinkle himself, the deacons and servers, and then go through the congregation sprinkling and singing an antiphon or hymn as he does so.

Holy Water isn’t just used for this symbolic rite. It’s also found at the entrances of church buildings throughout the year. People entering can dip their hands and bless themselves, again as a symbol and reminder of Baptism. This is done by making the Sign of the Cross.


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8 thoughts on “Asperges

  1. I can fill in the blanks with my imagination, but what is the salt for? Why is it added?

    • Mike LaFountain on said:

      I’ve heard that salt helps to keep the water from getting old. But there is also a symbolic aspect of adding it which ties in with the addition of salt in old testament sacrifice, as symbol of preservative, as a symbol of wisdom and also as protection from evil.

  2. marieagrace on said:

    This is what I mean, your Easter Sunday starts at Easter when most of the churches Easter ends at Easter Sunday, that’s it no more Easter.Why do you have it for so long till Pentecost is this a Jewish belief?

    • Mike LaFountain on said:

      The Easter season has a few ideas behind it. One is a corresponding tie in with Jewish belief. Easter ties with Passover, Pentecost ties with Shavuot and the weeks between Easter go along with the Counting of Omer which took place between these days.

      Other reasons for the season is to reflect on all the rest of the gospel accounts and events which take place up to the Ascension and of course Pentecost.


      • marieagrace on said:

        Mike,I thought when Paul and Jesus told us we weren’t under the laws that it meant the Jewish laws that God put for them to use because they did not still believe in the risen saviour?I know the ten commandments we should never argue about, they are Gods way of life and this is why Jesus came because we could never keep them without sinning some way.I also know that Jesus said he did not come to change the laws but to reinforce them.Then Paul tells us we are not under the laws.What part of this do I not understand?

      • Mike LaFountain on said:

        Paul’s concern with the law was specific. It directly confronted those areas where the church saw those laws fulfilled. It wasn’t a rejection of the commandments or a rejection of christian practice which was taught by Christ. He did reject certain works of the law, but that should not be confused with any kind of work, or the commandments. Paul also taught about grace which is important to understand.

      • marieagrace on said:

        Good morning Mike, This is important,what laws were the church refering to back then?I need to knowThank you!:)

      • Mike LaFountain on said:

        The laws of Torah. Paul specifically speaks about circumcision, but other dietary laws were also addressed. When Paul speaks about works in the negative, these are what he means. When he addressed the church over this controversy, the church made a new law per se, which relaxed the need for circumcision. They in turn also retained laws about food sacrificed to idols and drinking blood, fornication and strangled food.

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