holy water

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English holy water, haly water, hali water, holiwater, halywater, from Old English hāliġwæter (holy water), equivalent to holy +‎ water.

Noun[edit]

holy water (usually uncountable, plural holy waters)

  1. (Christianity) In certain Christian churches, water that has been sanctified by a priest or bishop for the purpose of baptism or for the blessing of persons, places, or things.
    • 1660, Jeremy Taylor, The Worthy Communicant; or a Discourse of the Nature, Effects, and Blessings consequent to the worthy receiving of the Lords Supper
      None comes to this holy feast but they whose sins are cleansed in baptism, who are sanctified in those holy waters of regeneration, who have obedient souls,
    • 1889, Charles Paschal Telesphore Chiniquy, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, page 307:
      ... with our signs of the cross and holy waters, our crucifixes and prayers to the saints, our scapulars and medals, our so humiliating auricular confession
    • 1979, "The Catechesis of Cyril of Jerusalem", translated by Lucien Deiss, Matthew J. O'Connell, in Springtime of the Liturgy
      In a parallel way, when you came up from the font and its holy waters, you received chrismation and the mark with which Christ was chrismated.

Translations[edit]