Saturday, April 11, 2009
i often wonder why there are angels or urn in front of the churches and people dip their fingers into it, with or without water and being a catholic and seeing this practice since i was a kid, i followed this practice, making the sign of the cross after dipping into the water. it is only last holy week did i learn the symbolism of the holy water and according to my research:
"The Use of Water in the Church: The ritual use of this precious substance is ancient and rooted in the Old Testament. When the Israelites entered the Temple, they had to undergo purifcation by immersion in a mikvah (modern Jews still make use of mikva'ot on Yom Kippur, on wedding days, for purification after menstruation or coming into contact with a dead body or semen, etc.). These ritual purifications by water prefigured Christian Baptism, which we recall when we bless ourselves (cross ourselves) using holy water upon entering our churches. Devoutly blessing one's self with Holy Water remits venial sins.
When you enter a church, you might find a holy water font (or "stoup") attached to the wall at one or both sides of each door, or you might find a free-standing font. Simply dip the tips of the fingers of your right hand into the water and cross yourself while mentally contemplating the words, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Don't rush through this; make it meaningful, remembering the meaning of your Baptism and mentally expressing your gratitude to God. Many Catholics repeat this process upon leaving the church, too."