On Challenging Old Concepts and Catholic Guilt

I’m not sure if I’ve written about it over here yet, but I have this creative streak that seems to have turned into a business. I make incense and blended oils. I love what I do, and my house smells amazing!

That being said, with my line of blended oils, I’ve been known to do custom blends. These oils are used for aromatherapy or for wearing on the skin, so my requests may vary.

Yesterday I received what has to be the strangest request yet. I received a request for Holy Water.

“You have this ‘Cleansing Sage Mist’; I was wondering, can you make Holy Water?”

I was raised Catholic. I haven’t been to confession in over 30 years and I doubt the church would consider me as being Catholic now (I don’t), but the Catholic guilt never leaves you. The first thing that crossed my mind was, “Isn’t there someone a bit more qualified?” Followed by, “Won’t I go straight to Hell for making that, much less, selling it?”

Photo: "Shock" Kitty Parrish, Deviant Art
Photo: “Shock” Kitty Parrish, Deviant Art

Off to the Google I went and not only did I find a few recipes for Holy Water, I found there are different types of Holy Water. Most religions that use it follow the same basic recipe but they use a different blessing. The Catholic Church has three different types alone, for different occasions. The type we are most familiar with is the one they keep in the stoup, found as one enters the church. This is the basic recipe, made with distilled water and a bit of sea salt.

The blessing I found to be most interesting. Up until the Second Vatican Counsel (referred to as Vatican II), the church used the traditional Roman blessing to consecrate the water. This was a powerful and fascinating read. They actually performed an exorcism over the salt and the water, making it pure and “exorcising the evil” out of it. It was a lengthy ritual, of course.  Vatican II was 1959-1965. During that time they changed the blessing making it much shorter. It’s no longer an “exorcism” over the salt and water, but after reading the new version, IMO, it does seem to do its job.

I’d found the recipe and the blessing. I now had my moral dilemma. Sister Nora would sternly disapprove and would be highly disappointed. She would tell me I should not be so sacrilegious and I should go to confession immediately for even thinking of doing such a thing.

But Catholics don’t have the exclusive on Holy Water, and I’m not Catholic anymore. Besides, my label wouldn’t say, “Catholic Holy Water.” Another thing that crossed my mind; if this customer wanted Holy Water from the Catholic Church, she would have gone to a priest. In my research I confirmed they do still give that out to parishioners.

Anyone can say a prayer…

I went for it.

I went for it


Sister Nora, I’m sorry. When I was 7 years old, grasping the concepts of God, forgiveness, and following the right path, I asked you about people who weren’t Christian and said, “What if we’re wrong and one of them are right?” I know you probably gave me the answer you thought best at the time, but I needed something more than, “You shouldn’t be so sacrilegious.” I kept questioning as I got older and got to the point I believe all these different spiritual paths lead to the same Deity. There are just too many similarities in their beliefs to think otherwise.

So can anyone make Holy Water? Sure. Will the Catholic Church recognize it as such? No. But I believe in sanctification and I believe it is something any of us can do.

As for selling it? You know, I don’t feel right selling the water itself. I do have packaging involved so I have to put some kind of a price on it. If that means I’m going to Hell; well, at least I’ll be in good company. All my friends say they’ll be there and Mr. Magick Man says he already has the ice concession.

going to hell

4 thoughts on “On Challenging Old Concepts and Catholic Guilt

  1. Sister Lucy was a scary woman. I can still hear her speaking with a slight Irish accent, “You deserve a bop on the head!” (as her fist bopped me on the side of my head). They sure don’t make teachers like that anymore.

    I had the same initial reaction; kind of incredulous. You can’t just whip up holy water! It must be blessed and all that religious stuff. But really, when we cleanse our home with sea salt and water, it’s basically the same thing isn’t it?

    1. Yeah, really it is.

      And OMG, I remember Sister Lucy! I think she was one of the “reigning terror’s” of St. Bernard’s. Let’s see… there was Sister Lucy and … Sister Cresencia. Do you remember her? She had this horrible habit (pardon the pun) of pointing with her middle finger when she went on her daily rant. Of course, all the kids in her class didn’t dare laugh. 😉

  2. As a Priestess, I make Holy Water all the time of course. And yes, I exorcise it. Not having been raised Catholic, I have no particular associations with it except Pagan ones. I find it a very useful tool and use it for all kinds of things. That said, it never crossed my mind to look for somewhere to buy it. I want full energetic control over the tools I use. But I’m not a baby Pagan nor a recovering Catholic and know damned well I am very qualified for the task. Interesting request for sure.

    1. Interesting indeed. By far the most interesting yet. 🙂

      I always enjoy my custom requests, especially when they require a little research on my part. While I’ve done my own rituals as well (and who hasn’t used sea salt and water for cleansing???), this one made me curious. I really enjoyed reading about the different traditions that use Holy Water, why they use it and how they make it.

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