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holy water

holy water, in Christian churches, water blessed to symbolize spiritual cleansing. In Roman Catholic churches there is a bowl (stoup or font) of holy water near the doors, so that the faithful may bless themselves with it on entering. Holy water is a sacramental and is used in formal blessings, including the asperges.

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

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches: General Terms and Concepts

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