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Author Topic: Is the catholic holy water "holy"?  (Read 6237 times) Average Rating: 0
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parmenas
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« on: April 08, 2005, 01:45:06 PM »

Hello,

For the average Christian from both sides (Catholic or Orthodox) matters of faith such as papal infilibility, Filioque e.t.c are always concepts that cannot be easily grapsed.

Therefore, a simple faithful would search for signs to make sure that he is in the true Church.

After the schism of 1054 there are several instnaces where, according to orthodox sources, God manifested through various sighns that Orthodoxy is the right faith and Church.

I think that in the Pedalion St Nikidemos mentions a miracle in Ukrain which pointed out that the catholic holy water was not efficacious.

As you know the Orthodox water is incorupt. 

Does anybody of you know whether incorupt "holy" water can be found among the Latins?
There is also the issue whether Latin priests add things to preseve it incorrupt, too.

I think that a comparison of holy waters from both sides might prove whether latins priests bear priesthood.

I would like your input.
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2005, 02:17:12 PM »

How can water become "corrupt"?
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2005, 02:31:08 PM »

parmenas,
It seemed to me that you are taking too much of a logical/scientific/rationalistic approach.  Church grace-filled items (e.g. holy water, relics, etc.) can't really be empirically or scientifically tested.  Just don't try.  It's a mystery.
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2005, 07:11:15 PM »

Does this mean that the Holy Water I have in my home be safe to use after a year? Forgive my ignorance.

John
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2005, 09:03:18 PM »

How can water become "corrupt"?
It becomes stagnant, fetid and green with algae. There are some who say that this is why the Roman Catholics must add salt to their holy water to prevent this algal growth, whereas Orthodox Christian holy water remains incorrupt without salt, and they take this as "proof" of the validity of the Orthodox priesthood. I would say that if our faith depends on such a miracle, we are in a sorry state indeed, and worse, if we try to make our holy water an occassion for offending others. Physical corruption cannot be taken as "proof" that something is not holy- many ancient Orthodox Icons have cracked, lost their pigment or darkened over time to the point where their dypictions cannot be seen (such as the Wonder-working Icon of the Theotokos 'Mytyrdiotissa" ("Of The Myrtles") etc...should we take this as "proof" that they are not holy?

George (Australia)
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2005, 10:57:08 PM »

Is non-alcoholic beer "beer"?  Well, it's my understanding that a particular yeast is used to make non-alcoholic beer and that the alcohol is removed using a centrifuge. 

So is it beer or isn't it?  I don't know, but I'm not drinking it, so why ask the question.
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Friarmoo32
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2005, 02:10:55 PM »

Ok first of all, Catholics do not put salt in there water to prevent corruption.  Secondly, the Orthodox Church even says that the Roman Catholic Mass is valid and that the Body and Blood of Christ is on their altars (Apostolic Succession gives them this grace) so I cant see why water blest by a priest of the Roman Rite wouldnt be valid.  Just thought i'd add my two cents.
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2005, 02:47:35 PM »

I have heard they use salt to maintain it. Might be wrong though.
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2005, 02:49:01 PM »

Secondly, the Orthodox Church even says that the Roman Catholic Mass is valid and that the Body and Blood of Christ is on their altars (Apostolic Succession gives them this grace)

Brother Friarmoo32,

I believe you are wrong on this. Who have told you this? No Orthodox is accepted the Holiness of Roman Catholic Mass and this is precisely the reason for us not to be in the same Church together during Mass.

Whether this is your opinion, I have to say that I respect It.

The original question, on the other hand, is a tricky one because by saying that "God manifested through various signs that Orthodoxy is the right faith and Church" it automatically rejects Roman Catholic Church. I think that's an insufficient pointless method to approach "the Truth".
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2005, 02:54:21 PM »

I did mean say the Catholic Church in whole, I am sorry if I implied that.  I meant that the Orthodox Church views the Catholic Mass as valid (if celebrated correctly) because of Apostolic Succession.  My point was, if the Orthodox Church sees the Mass as valid, how could water blest by the same priest not be considered valid?  This is how every Orthodox priest has explained it to me on the Validity of the Mass.  What I'm saying is, the Mass (Divine Liturgy) is the body and blood of Christ, so if that's valid, simple water would be assumed as well wouldnt it?
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2005, 03:07:51 PM »

I did mean say the Catholic Church in whole, I am sorry if I implied that. I meant that the Orthodox Church views the Catholic Mass as valid (if celebrated correctly) because of Apostolic Succession. My point was, if the Orthodox Church sees the Mass as valid, how could water blest by the same priest not be considered valid? This is how every Orthodox priest has explained it to me on the Validity of the Mass. What I'm saying is, the Mass (Divine Liturgy) is the body and blood of Christ, so if that's valid, simple water would be assumed as well wouldnt it?

The validity of Mass is regarded as such with regards to the faith of the clergy and the faithful that participate in it. Not by the Apostolic Succession. A priest and his congregation may have false faith and at the same time they may as well have true "Apostolic Succession".

So for Orthodox Church the "Apostolic Succession" is regarded in relation to true apostolic succession in faith and practice, not in just succession in place of someone else's position/office.

In this context I am afraid Orthodox Church has the position that Catholic Church has lost the "Apostolic Succession" by adding human conceptions to the Original Faith.
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2005, 04:40:37 PM »

Perhaps we should be considering the question, what makes 'Holy Water' holy?

Water is created by God, and hence is inherently good. Surely we are not saying it has a soul, and then taking even another step in saying that this soul can be that can be either righteouss or corrupt?...I believe the fifth Oecumenical council has a few anathemas addressing this issue.

Is it holy because algae does not grow in it? If that is all there is to it, what substance could compare with the holiness of Chlorine, sanctifying all it touches?

Does it become holy when the priest casts some magic spell on it? I fear our sacramental theology doesn't quite work that way.

Or perhaps it is holy because of the faith and disposistion of the one who is using it?...regardless of who utters the magic words and preforms the mysterious rites.
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2005, 01:23:24 AM »

greekischristian, that is an excellent point!  We must remember one thing, that God is all merciful, and that we can't really be like the West (well I guess that would include me huh?) and try to explain everything.  God didnt intend for everything to be explained, and this could be one of those things no? 
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2005, 01:40:31 PM »

It is not only Roman Catholics who practise the addition of salt.  This is just a difference between eastern and western rites.  In the west, we add salt, in the east, they do not.  It has nothing to do with whether or not one is Roman Catholic.  Western rite Orthodox will also add salt, whereas, presumably, Eastern rite Catholics will not.  It is simply a difference of rite, and there is no need to seek for deeper meaning in these things.

As for the reason, the addition of salt is part of the rite of the blessing of Holy Water, and not a means of preventing it from "going off".  Incidentally, in the Roman Catholic Church, the addition of salt has been made optional since the 1960s/1970s (I forget which).

Traditionally, in the western rite, the blessing of holy water is in four sections.  First, an exorcism is pronounced over the salt.  Second, the salt is blessed.  Third, the water is blessed - near the end of the prayer of blessing over the water, the blessed salt is added.  Finally, the mixture of salt and water is blessed, and voila!   Holy Water. Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2005, 04:53:17 PM »

It is not only Roman Catholics who practise the addition of salt. This is just a difference between eastern and western rites. In the west, we add salt, in the east, they do not. It has nothing to do with whether or not one is Roman Catholic. Western rite Orthodox will also add salt, whereas, presumably, Eastern rite Catholics will not. It is simply a difference of rite, and there is no need to seek for deeper meaning in these things.

As for the reason, the addition of salt is part of the rite of the blessing of Holy Water, and not a means of preventing it from "going off". Incidentally, in the Roman Catholic Church, the addition of salt has been made optional since the 1960s/1970s (I forget which).

Traditionally, in the western rite, the blessing of holy water is in four sections. First, an exorcism is pronounced over the salt. Second, the salt is blessed. Third, the water is blessed - near the end of the prayer of blessing over the water, the blessed salt is added. Finally, the mixture of salt and water is blessed, and voila! Holy Water. Smiley

Quite a recipe you got there, my friend.
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2005, 04:58:29 PM »

I did mean say the Catholic Church in whole, I am sorry if I implied that. I meant that the Orthodox Church views the Catholic Mass as valid (if celebrated correctly) because of Apostolic Succession. My point was, if the Orthodox Church sees the Mass as valid, how could water blest by the same priest not be considered valid? This is how every Orthodox priest has explained it to me on the Validity of the Mass. What I'm saying is, the Mass (Divine Liturgy) is the body and blood of Christ, so if that's valid, simple water would be assumed as well wouldnt it?

"Validity" is a concept which is basically foreign to Orthodox ecclesiology.
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2005, 05:38:38 PM »



Quite a recipe you got there, my friend.

 Smiley

It's rather delightful actually, and it turns out that I omitted the exorcism of the water. The entire rite follows:

On all Sundays throughout the year, after prime and the chapter, the blessing of salt and water shall take place, at the step of the quire, by a priest, in the following manner.

I exorcise thee, O creature of salt, by the living + God, by the true + God, by the holy + God, by the God who commanded thee to be cast into the water by Elisha the prophet that the barrenness of the water might be healed, that thou mayest become exorcized for the salvation of them that believe, and that thou mayest be salvation of soul and body to all that take thee; and from that place where thou shalt have been sprinkled, let every delusion and wickedness, or craft of devilish cunning, when adjured, flee and depart. Through him who shall come to judge the quick and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, we humbly implore thy boundless loving-kindness that, of thy goodness, though wouldest deign to bl+ess and sanc+tify this creature of salt, which thou hast gien for the use of mankind; that it may be unto all who partake of it health of mind and body; that whatsoever shall have been touched or sprinkled with it may be freed from wickedness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

Here follws the exorcism of the water.

I exorcize thee, O 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 + Ghost; that thou mayest become water exorcized for putting to flight all power of the enemy; that thou mayest have power to root out and transplant the enemy himself with his apostate angels, by the power of the same Jesus Christ our Lord; who shall come to judge the quick and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

Let us pray.

O God, who, for the salvation of mankind, has hidden one of they greatest Sacraments in the element of water, graciously hearken unto our invocations, and pour upon this element prepared for divers purifications the power of thy bles+sing, that this thy creature, serving in thy mysteries, may acquire the effectual power of divine grace for casting out devils, and for driving away diseases; and that on whatsoever in the houses or dwelling-places of the faithful this water shall have been sprinkled, it may be freed from all uncleanness, and may be delivered from hurt. Let no pestilential spirit, no corrupt air, linger there. Let all the insidious attacks of the lurking enemy be dissipated; and if there be aught which threatens the safety or the peace of the inhabitants, let it be driven away by the sprinkling of this water, so that, saved by the invocation of thy holy Name, they may be defended from all assaults. Through our Lord Jesus Christ thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

Here shall the priest cast salt into the water in the form of a Cross, saying thus, without inflection:

Let this mixture of salt and water alike be made in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

The Lord be with you
and with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

O God, the author of unconquered might and the king of unconquerable empire, who ever triumphest magnificently, who repressest the strength of adverse power, and overcomest the rage of the roaring adversary, and by the might subduest the onslaughts of iniquity; with fear and humility we entreat and beseech thee, O Lord, that thou wouldest deign to acept this creature of salt and water; graciously illumine it, and by thy love and by thy pity sanc+tify it; that whenever it shall have been sprinkled, unclean spirit may be parried, and dread of the venomous serpent may be driven far away; and may the presence of the Holy Ghost be vouchsafed to be with us, as we ask thy mercy in every place, through our Lord Jesus Christ thy Son. Amen.

And that's it. The asperges me, domine follows at this point, but what you have above is the blesing of water in the Sarum use, which is the rite adoopted by the western rite of ROCOR. I cannot see how there can be any doubt as to the efficacy of this rite. The intention is clear, and it suffers no diminution because of the absence of dipping a cross in the water.

Somebody commented earlier that, in the western rite, the priest says the words of blessing in the first person, as though he himself is performing the blessing, rather than God. This is clearly not true. He says the exorcism in the first person, but makes it clear that he only does so in the name of God and the power of the Spirit. As for the blessing itself, this is in the form of a prayer addressed to God, asking him to send his blessing on the salt, and then the water, and then the mixture.

These texts are readily available online and people would do well to look them up before making assumptions and accusations. Just a few thoughts.
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Friarmoo32
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« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2005, 09:53:34 PM »

That explains much of why I was surprised to hear someone say we add salt to water, because it doenst have to be done anymore since the 60's (probably after Vatican II).  And the prayers listed above, definetly seem like something you would find in the Old Roman Missals not something now adays, since we Romans have watered everything down. 
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2005, 08:23:50 AM »


It becomes stagnant, fetid and green with algae. There are some who say that this is why the Roman Catholics must add salt to their holy water to prevent this algal growth, whereas Orthodox Christian holy water remains incorrupt without salt, and they take this as "proof" of the validity of the Orthodox priesthood. I would say that if our faith depends on such a miracle, we are in a sorry state indeed,

LOL... yeah those folks are right. Sea.. ahem.. salt water never turns green and has algae in it.. nope.. never. (sarcasm off)  Wink  Tongue

I agree with your accessment.  Grin
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« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2005, 07:27:47 PM »

Friarmoo32,

Many Roman Catholics assume that because of how their own church views Orthodox Sacraments (as being "valid"), that the Orthodox view is reciprocal.  This in large part has to do with assumptions that Orthodox Christianity is essentially "Popeless Catholicism".  This is not the case.

There are some "ecumenist" Orthodox who will say or imply things like this (that Roman Catholic sacraments are "valid"), but this is inaccurate.  Beside utilizing categories not proper to Orthodoxy, the basic idea involved is incorrect.

The simple answer is that the Orthodox Church doesn't normally recognize the baptisms of other denominations.  If the Orthodox Church does recognize them though (such as in the case of converts from Roman Catholicism entering the Orthodox Church), it is by economy - this means "leniency", or the "bending of the rules" to put it in layman's terms.  The understanding is, when this happens, that by anointing such a convert with the Holy Chrism and their repudiating their past errors and professing the Orthodox faith, the grace of baptism is being given to such a person; or put more diplomatically, "whatever was lacking" in their previous baptism is being supplied.

However, there are many places in the Orthodox world (even here in North America), where converts from Roman Catholic or confessional Protestant backgrounds (like Lutherans, Anglicans, etc.) are given full, canonical Baptism by immersion.

As should be apparent by now, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian concepts of "validity" are much different.

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« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2005, 02:27:06 AM »

Augustine, what is the official Orthodox position on this? Because it seems that the many of the Orthodox I have spoke to (as you noted) seem to think they are valid. Some even went to the extent of calling those who say they are not valid as anti-Catholic. You got some official document I can read?

Would appreciate it.

~Victor
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« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2005, 09:54:28 PM »

Does this mean that the Holy Water I have in my home be safe to use after a year? Forgive my ignorance.

John

I have mine since the beginning of the year and guesss what It is good to drink.  I have howerver kept it in the frig for that time.   I also have a container that has set at room temp for the last 6 months and has yet to faul in its content.

JoeS

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« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2005, 03:58:08 PM »

Is it really necessary to deny the holiness of the Roman Catholics?

When I decided I wished to convert, I did it because I dont believe the Pope is any better than the other Patriarchs. However, in my eyes, he is still a Patriarch, an equal to all the others. Miracles occur all the time for Catholics, as well as for Orthodox.

Do you explain the tears of statues of Mary and various exorsisms as unholy? H\What about the crumbling of the 20 foot tall Virgin Mary at the Boston church the second its final mass came to an end?

I dont need the proof that no mold in a glass of Holy Water means its holy. If it is blessed by a priest, then it is Holy.

I pray this is just an internet Orthodoxy thing, becasue Im not going to sit around in a church where Catholic-bashing and pomp and circumstance is more important than God himself.
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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2005, 06:01:06 PM »

I have EO holy water in my room and it corrupted. It doesn't mean it's not HOLY...
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« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2005, 12:12:06 PM »

Precisely, Armando.  There seems to be an unhealthy attitude to what it is to be "holy", which is leading some of the faithful into a superstitious approach to the Faith.  I am glad that you ahve avoided this.
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« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2005, 07:48:16 AM »

Slightly off topic but related:  have heard several times that the water of the River Jordan is considered "holy" because of the Baptism of our Lord in it and probably other historical reasons?  Have also heard that spring water from natural sources at holy sites is also revered as "holy" water?  Since "holy water" is not a sacrament isn't there some '"validity" to any believer blessing water like a family blessing or a parent blessing a child or for that matter a pious farmer in the Old Country blessing his animals on certain days?
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« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2005, 08:24:41 AM »

Sure holy water is a sacrament in the loose sense of the word, as the Orthodox Church never officialy settled on seven sacraments (and I would definetly argrue there are more than seven).  But there is distinction (at least in Greek practice) between Holy Water and miraculous water (for lack of a better term in English, as these are two seperate  terms in Greek).  Water blessed by a priest is holy water, while water from the well of St. Athanasios on the Holy Mountain (for one example) is miraculous water that hasn't been blessed by a priest but is still renowned for its miraculous origen or/and wonderworking properties. 
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« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2005, 03:24:03 PM »

Just off topic real fast, which other mysteries would you define as being sacraments besides the normal seven.  I have long heard this touted, but no one has ever given me some examples.  Thanks
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« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2005, 04:22:08 PM »

Agiasmos (holy water), monastic tonsure, tonsure to the minor orders, etc.

The things isn't really to creat a list and say this is and that isn't, more simply to be open to reception of grace in all of the Church's differnt ways. 
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« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2005, 05:47:06 PM »

Okay, I understand.  Thank you.
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« Reply #30 on: January 12, 2012, 01:01:16 AM »

For what it is worth I've several containers of Orthodox Holy Water, some several years old. To my knowledge it's all still good. Perhaps I need to use it more frequently, or else stop getting so much at one time.
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« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2012, 01:05:57 AM »


If you've got too much, just water your plants with it.  That way you'll make room for this year's water.

I know folks who drink of it every morning.

I usually reserve it for an "as needed" basis.  If someone is really sick, etc.

I also give my godkids a drink of holy water as they leave for their first day of school.  My mother always did that for us, so, I have continued it with my godchildren.

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« Reply #32 on: January 12, 2012, 11:42:24 AM »

Prior to Theophany, we always watered the house plants with any water from the prior year. We used it as Liza describes as well!
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« Reply #33 on: January 12, 2012, 12:10:55 PM »

I just realized I have some Byzantine Catholic--"u-word"--holy water that has been in my office filing cabinet for over 10 years.  It still looks alright, but I probably wouldn't want to drink it.
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« Reply #34 on: January 12, 2012, 12:17:55 PM »

I just realized I have some Byzantine Catholic--"u-word"--holy water that has been in my office filing cabinet for over 10 years.  It still looks alright, but I probably wouldn't want to drink it.

Why can't you just leave it at "Byzantine Catholic" or "Eastern Rite Catholic"? Why do you even have to *hint* at the "u-word" when you know it's offensive?
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« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2012, 05:13:31 PM »

I've never understood why it offensive. I had a Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic advisor who had no qualms about using the word to  describe herself.
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« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2012, 12:27:07 AM »

In this context I am afraid Orthodox Church has the position that Catholic Church has lost the "Apostolic Succession" by adding human conceptions to the Original Faith.

That isn't the official teaching of the Orthodox Church. Orthodox hierarchs accept that the Roman Catholic Church has apostolic succession and have valid sacraments.

"13...On each side it is recognized that what Christ has entrusted to his Church - profession of apostolic faith, participation in the same sacraments, above all the one priesthood celebrating the one sacrifice of Christ, the apostolic succession of bishops - cannot be considered the exclusive property of one of our Churches.

14. It is in this perspective that the Catholic Churches and the Orthodox Churches recognize each other as Sister Churches, responsible together for maintaining the Church of God in fidelity to the divine purpose, most especially in what concerns unity."

This is from the Balamand declaration which representatives the majority of the Orthodox Churches. You may believe that the Catholic Church has lost its Apostolic Succession, but it isn't what our bishops believe.
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« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2012, 12:34:29 AM »

^ Doesn't mean anything.  Bishops and priests betray the faith all the time, the Balamand Agreement being but one example. 
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« Reply #38 on: January 14, 2012, 01:17:47 AM »

In this context I am afraid Orthodox Church has the position that Catholic Church has lost the "Apostolic Succession" by adding human conceptions to the Original Faith.

That isn't the official teaching of the Orthodox Church. Orthodox hierarchs accept that the Roman Catholic Church has apostolic succession and have valid sacraments.

"13...On each side it is recognized that what Christ has entrusted to his Church - profession of apostolic faith, participation in the same sacraments, above all the one priesthood celebrating the one sacrifice of Christ, the apostolic succession of bishops - cannot be considered the exclusive property of one of our Churches.

14. It is in this perspective that the Catholic Churches and the Orthodox Churches recognize each other as Sister Churches, responsible together for maintaining the Church of God in fidelity to the divine purpose, most especially in what concerns unity."

This is from the Balamand declaration which representatives the majority of the Orthodox Churches. You may believe that the Catholic Church has lost its Apostolic Succession, but it isn't what our bishops believe.

Reminds me of Arminium.

Anyway, is it fine for me to keep a jar of the Holy Water in the fridge, or should it be kept in an icon corner?
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« Reply #39 on: January 14, 2012, 01:39:41 AM »

Anyway, is it fine for me to keep a jar of the Holy Water in the fridge, or should it be kept in an icon corner?

I keep mine in my icon corner.
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« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2012, 01:51:30 AM »

In this context I am afraid Orthodox Church has the position that Catholic Church has lost the "Apostolic Succession" by adding human conceptions to the Original Faith.

That isn't the official teaching of the Orthodox Church. Orthodox hierarchs accept that the Roman Catholic Church has apostolic succession and have valid sacraments.

"13...On each side it is recognized that what Christ has entrusted to his Church - profession of apostolic faith, participation in the same sacraments, above all the one priesthood celebrating the one sacrifice of Christ, the apostolic succession of bishops - cannot be considered the exclusive property of one of our Churches.

14. It is in this perspective that the Catholic Churches and the Orthodox Churches recognize each other as Sister Churches, responsible together for maintaining the Church of God in fidelity to the divine purpose, most especially in what concerns unity."

This is from the Balamand declaration which representatives the majority of the Orthodox Churches. You may believe that the Catholic Church has lost its Apostolic Succession, but it isn't what our bishops believe.

I think that the Orthodox Churches did NOT ratify the Balamand Agreement. 

The sole Russian representative at Balamand was Father Nestor (Zhilyaev.)  The signature of one monk can no more bind the Russian Synod to such an Agreement than your own priest's signature can bind your Church to any Agreement with the Vatican.

PS:  Just a small reminder that it was a minority of Orthodox Churches at Balamand.  8 if I remember correctly.  Most of the Orthodox Churches were simply not there.
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« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2012, 01:55:48 AM »

Isn't all water that is potable holy?  It is a treasured resource that many people in the world have extremely limited access to and even at that water that doesn't make them sick or die.  All water really should be treated as holy as we can not live without it.
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« Reply #42 on: January 14, 2012, 03:21:37 AM »

"Holy" means "set apart". So what makes holy water holy, what is it set apart for, and how do we ask that it be made holy?
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« Reply #43 on: January 14, 2012, 03:29:05 AM »

There may well be differing traditions about Holy Water, but in the Russian and Serbian Churches there is quite a major difference between Theophany Water and regular Holy Water.

Theohany Water is considered to be "Agiasmo" - a "great holy thing."   It is one of the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) of the Church.

Other Holy Water is simply blessed by a priest.

A reading of both Services will reveal much of the theology. 

Saint John Maximovitch has a small article on Theophany Water but I cannot find the entire thing, only an extract

 http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/john/2/

Holy Water

On Theophany, the Day of the Lord's Baptism, every year a great miracle is performed. The Holy Spirit, coming down upon the water, changes its natural properties. It becomes incorrupt, not spoiling, remaining transparent and fresh for many years. This Holy Water receives the grace to heal illnesses, to drive away demons and every evil power, to preserve people and their dwellings from every danger, to sanctify various objects whether for church or home use. Therefore, Orthodox Christians with reverence drink Holy Water — a great Agiasma (holy thing), as the Greeks call it.

One should always have at home enough Theophany water to last the whole year, and make use of it at every need: in cases of illness, leaving on a journey, whenever one is upset, students prior to examinations, etc. People who drink a little Holy Water daily, before eating any kind of food, do well. It strengthens the powers of our soul—if it is done with prayer and reverence, and one does not merely expect a mechanical result from it.

Every priest should take care to bless a sufficient quantity of water for his church, so that it will be on hand for the course of the whole year for every need and to be given out to those who ask for it; and parishioners should provide themselves at Theophany with Holy Water for the whole year and even so that it can be kept for future years.
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« Reply #44 on: January 14, 2012, 11:47:47 AM »

^ Doesn't mean anything.  Bishops and priests betray the faith all the time, the Balamand Agreement being but one example. 

Then why should we even trust them in the first place? They were appointed shepherds over the flock of Christ. If they betray the faith, then maybe the gates of hades have prevailed. By this reasoning, then perhaps it would be better for us to reject bishops and the priesthood and become priestless Old Believers.
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Tags: Holy Water blessed water cheval mort cheval ressuscité 
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