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asperges (əspûrˈjəs) [key], ceremonial sprinkling of the people with holy water by the priest before the Sunday High Mass in the Roman Catholic Church. The accompanying antiphon begins, Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor [Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, O Lord, and I shall be cleansed]. At Easter time the antiphon is different, beginning, Vidi aquam [I saw water]; this is based on Ezek. 47.2.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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